Correct food labelling can literally be a lifesaver for people with food allergies.
Currently, a list of 14 food allergens have to be indicated if they have been used at any level in pre-packaged foods, including drinks.
On Saturday, 13 December 2014, new legislation is coming into effect ensuring that consumers are given an extensive list of food ingredients. This includes pre-packed food as well as foods sold non-packed or pre-packed for direct sale.
The regulation was originally signed off in October 2011, giving manufacturers and businesses three years to make the necessary changes and adapt their food labelling to comply with the new legislation. Farzad Henareh, European managing director, Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS, commented: “The new regulations make life a lot easier for people who are allergic to certain foods. Not only will pre-packaged food become easier to understand, but restaurants, cafes, canteens and takeaways will also become safer.
“Food labelling is of utmost importance to food safety, after all, almost half of all food recalls in the second quarter of 2014 were caused by undeclared allergens, cross- contamination being one of the main culprits. This shows how vital complying with the new regulation is for food businesses in order to avoid complex food recalls and potential repetitional damage to their business.
“Longer and more global supply chains make it more difficult to guarantee food safety, so it’s crucial that businesses are recall ready at all times. They can improve safety measures and change processes, but they still might be hit by unforeseen circumstances. Being ready to act is the most important thing when these situations arise – and that means preparation and a perpetual state of recall readiness.”
Farzad Henareh is European managing director at Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS. This is a personal blog and the views expressed are his own.
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