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Food labels and food allergies: New regulation

Food labeling isn’t easy to follow at the best of times, especially if you are worried about individual food allergies. This is because there is no uniformity in the way shops, brands or products label. However, this is changing.

On the 13th December 2014, new European legislation on allergen labeling will come in force. The regulation stipulates that allergens will no longer be in a separate box on packaging, but instead, will be located in a single place within the ingredients list. This could take the form of allergens labelled in bold, underlined or highlighted so that they really do stand out.

At this stage there won’t be any change to the ‘may contain’ statements, as it is very difficult to clarify to what level any potential allergen may elicit a reaction across individuals. Therefore, where there may be a risk of cross contamination, manufacturers will continue with the ‘may contain’ statements.

For further information, there is an excellent leaflet called “Advice on Food Allergy and ” available on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) website