A recent report by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has revealed that last year, Australia had their lowest rate of allergen-related product recalls in almost a decade.
This reduction suggests that FSANZ’s initiatives and tighter regulations in the food industry may be having an impact.
The FSANZ report analysed food recalls in Australia and identified a 23.6% decrease in allergen-related food product recalls from 38 cases in 2021 to 29 cases in 2022. This reduction marks the lowest rate of recalls in eight years. While the overall numbers of recalls may seem small, this improvement is significant.
In the last ten years, the most common allergens involved in recalls were milk, peanuts, and multiple allergens. Issues related to packaging errors, such as incorrect packaging, wrong claim labels, or ingredient lists have declined.
Strategies implemented by FSANZ to reduce recalls include a focus on tighter regulations, and new initiatives such as a consumer information portal which provides best practice food allergen resources to different sectors of the community.
The report highlighted that supplier verification issues were a significant root cause for undeclared allergens in food recalls and emphasised the importance of robust supply chain management and effective communication between suppliers and manufacturers.
Despite the decrease in allergen-related recalls, the report highlighted the need for ongoing vigilance in both food manufacturing and retail as most recalls only take place after products have already been made available for sale.
In the UK, the equivalent organisation is the Food Standards Agency. They have extensive information for food businesses on managing product recalls here.
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