In an article published in the online foodmanufacture.co.uk, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has called for a uniform approach to allergy guidance labelling on food and drink products.
Under a new European law – the Food Information for Consumers Regulation – that comes into force at the end of 2014, food companies will have to highlight major allergens such as nuts, peanuts, fish and milk, in a pre-packed product's ingredients list in bold or a different background colour.
But the FSA is in discussion with the European Commission over concerns that consumers might not check the list. The FSA wants a statement on product packaging signposting allergic customers to the allergens listed in the ingredients.
The FSA also stressed the importance of consistent signposting amongst food companies to avoid confusion and the potential dangers associated with inconsistency.
Sue Hattersley, head of the Food Allergy Branch at the FSA, said the mandatory changes should make it easier for consumers to find this information quickly, "regardless of the product or manufacturer". She said it would also help standardise labelling across the industry, both in the UK and Europe."
The Anaphylaxis Campaign is wholeheartedly in support of the approach suggested by the FSA.