FSA publishes draft guide to new allergen rules

allergen rules

The UK’s Food Standards Agency is seeking comments about draft guidance it has published in relation to the forthcoming regulatory changes in European Union food allergen labelling for prepacked foods and allergen information for non-prepacked foods. The FSA guidance is aimed primarily at supporting small and medium sized food businesses in following the new rules on food allergen labeling and the provision of food allergen information which will apply across the European Union, including the UK, from 13 December 2014.

The draft guidance contains general background on allergens and the main allergen labelling changes that will be introduced, including the mandatory obligations for all food business operators with respect to labelling 14 allergenic substances. A brief overview of the labelling exemptions is also provided.

As well as providing multiple examples and scenarios demonstrating how food business operators must incorporate the new allergen labelling requirements, there is also a section on enforcement of the new measures.

Stakeholders have a total of six weeks to provide comments to the FSA on the draft guidance. Details of the final review and the final guidance itself are expected to be published during the week beginning 21 July 2014.

The draft technical guidance can be accessed via the Food Standards Agency website.