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Webinar - Update on Food Allergen Labelling

Food Allergen Labelling

In this webinar, Derek Castles from Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and Jasmine Lacis-Lee from the Allergen Bureau share information on food allergen labelling.

The webinar covered: 

  • Plain English Allergen Labelling (PEAL) content

    • What Plain English Allergen Labelling (PEAL) is

    • The challenges that PEAL creates for the food industry

    • How the new PEAL legislation will help consumers

  • Precautionary Allergen Labelling (PAL) statement content

    • The role that the Allergen Bureau plays in PEAL and Voluntary Incidental Trace Allergen Labelling (VITAL) for the food industry

    • What Precautionary Allergen Labelling (PAL) statements are

    • Challenges of PAL statements for consumers

    • Guidance for the food industry on how to use PAL statements

Webinar recorded: Wednesday 17 April 2024

Update on Food Allergen Labelling - Full webinar

1. How does the new Plain English Allergen Labelling (PEAL) legislation apply to foods where the cereal (e.g. barley, rye, oats or wheat) is still present in the product, but no detectable gluten left in the product?

2. What is the Plain English Allergen Labelling (PEAL) requirements for Hospitals/Aged Care if sandwiches are served to patients?

3. Do overseas products have to take on our PEAL labelling if they're sold in Australia? How is this monitored?

4. Can you please advise if Precautionary Allergen Labelling (PAL) statements will continue to be voluntary, and if so, why does the Food Standards Code not regulate this considering the potential risk to consumers?

5.How do we find out if a company uses the VITAL process?

6. Are there any regulations around the contrasting colours on packaged labels?

7. Are companies legally required to test for the presence of common allergens?

8. What does it mean if a company puts a message that says i.e. “nut free” or “gluten free” or any allergen free statement on their packaging? Is this purely marketing?

9. Does FSANZ have any regulation on when or when someone can put a free claim on a product?

10. Difference between a vegan food claim to a free from egg and free from milk claim

11. Are there specific requirements for declaring allergens online such as part of the product information or online sale information?

12. I have a mammalian meat allergy and I am frustrated at ingredient lists that say thickeners/natural flavours which can be either meat or plant based. Why don't they identify this information?

13. How do small, new food businesses afford the VITAL process?

14. With regards to items that contain allergens sold unpackaged, such as a bakery item in a café, is there any other responsibility that the seller has other than have a sign listing the allergens or be able to accurately respond to customer when asked about allergens in the food item? Do they need to have a separate display cabinet to minimise cross contamination?

15. Is there cooperation with food manufacturers around the use of terms like "plant-based", which is appealing to consumers with food restrictions (by choice or necessity) but may be used to avoid comprehensive risk assessments.

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Update on Food Allergen Labelling Webinar Survey

About the presenters:

Derek Castles

Derek CastlesDerek Castles is a member of the Labelling and Information Standards Section at Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), and has worked for the agency for 23 years.

Derek has been actively working on allergen labelling regulations at FSANZ for the decade.

Derek is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian, and has also worked on nutrition-related regulations prior his allergen labelling activities.

Jasmine Lacis-Lee

Jasmine Lacis LeeJasmine a food safety expert with over 25 years of industry experience, began her career in clinical pathology before transitioning to the food sector in1998 as a Food Microbiologist. Her roles have spanned laboratory, quality, and food safety management roles, for companies like Lactalis and Coca Cola Europacific Partners.

With a keen interest in integrating analytical outcomes to production processes, Jasmine shifted in 2015 to a role at BVAQ. Currently as Food Safety Manager, she collaborates with domestic and international organisation to enhance food safety practices, using data and her industry experience to solve problems and mitigate risk.

Jasmine's dedication to advancing food safety extends to her voluntary leadership roles, including serving as a director of the Allergen Bureau since 2018 and President and Board chair since 2021.

In addition, Jasmine played a crucial role in establishing the Australian region of EHEDG (European Hygienic Engineering Design Group) in 2019. She also holds committee positions on the AIFST Scientific and Advisory committee and the NATA Life Sciences Accreditation Advisory Committee and participates in the AOAC Food Allergen Working Group.