On December 06th, 2021, the Food Standard Agency issued a consultation on “Precautionary Allergen Labelling (PAL): The ‘may contain'”. The requested information is related to the provision of precautionary allergen labelling and allergen information.
The scope of the document highlights the following:
- Current labelling legislation requires food products to indicate the presence of any of the 14 main allergens used as an ingredient or processing aid;
- In case of risk of unintentional allergen cross-contamination it is advisable to use a precautionary allergen label statement to communicate the risk;
- Information can be communicated in different ways: on prepacked foods including chocolate bars, biscuits and other products that are sold in supermarkets on non-prepacked foods;
- Including loose foods such as vegetables and fruits sold individually on a market stall and those provided prepacked for direct sale (PPDS);
- The most common phrase to denote the possibility of unintentional allergen cross-contamination is ‘may contain’, and the information can also be provided verbally, on signs etc.;
- To be able to communicate more clearly and consistently, in an understandable and meaningful way to consumers, in terms of the form and content of the information in reducing the risk of cross contaminations by food businesses.
The draft is open for public consultation period until March 14th, 2022.