Certain foods and ingredients can cause severe allergic and other adverse reactions in some people. The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) requires these to be declared on labels when they are present in food.
On 25 February 2021 the Code was amended to introduce new requirements for the labelling of allergens in food.
These requirements include that allergen information is to be declared:
- in a specific format and location on food labels, and
- using simple, plain English terms in bold font
The changes will help people find allergen information on food labels more quickly and easily, so they can make informed and safe food choices.
Businesses have 3 years from 25 February 2021 to implement the new requirements. During this transition period, food businesses can comply with either the existing allergen declaration requirements in the Code, or the new requirements.
A 2 year stock-in-trade period will follow the transition period. Any food packaged and labelled with existing allergen declarations before the end of the transition period may be sold for up to 2 years after the end of the transition period.
Background to Proposal P1044
In 2017 FSANZ prepared Proposal P1044 to consider changes to the Code to make allergen information clearer and more consistent, including through the use of plain English.
FSANZ’s assessment of Proposal P1044 had regard to best available scientific evidence, stakeholder views, and costs and benefits. As part of this work, FSANZ undertook a literature review, safety assessment and two rounds of public consultation.
Reports for P1044 and supporting documents are available here.