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NEW: Plain English allergen labelling

NEW legislation to make it easier to identify allergens in packaged foods

It’s great to see some positive results of A&AA’s advocacy for plain English allergen labelling (PEAL). Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has worked hard to progress important changes to allergen labelling, which have now been legislated nationally.

These changes will make it easier for people with food allergies to choose suitable food.Businesses have 3 years from February 2021 to move to the new requirements. For a further 2 years (until February 2026), stock will be allowed on the shelves with the ‘old’ allergen labelling.

Some of the important changes will be:

  • using plain English terms for all common allergens
  • writing common allergens in bold font
  • naming individual tree nuts
  • making molluscs and crustaceans separate categories to replace shellfish and
  • placing a ‘contains’ summary statement near the ingredients list.

Thanks to those of you who also put in submissions to FSANZ on the plain English allergen labelling proposal.

FSANZ has information about the changes on its website. The Australian Food and Grocery Council and the Allergen Bureau have worked together to produce a guide to food labelling for food manufacturers. This has been updated to include information on complying with the PEAL legislation.