VITAL Online Helpful Hint – Recording exemptions from mandatory allergen declaration

VITAL hints

In some legislation, certain foods and ingredients derived from allergenic sources are exempt from the requirement to declare the presence of mandatory allergens. These foods and ingredients have been assessed as safe, because they are processed in a way that makes them suitable for allergic consumers.

It is important to note that each legislation has different exemptions from mandatory labelling. Users of the VITAL Program should always refer to the legislation applicable to their regulatory environment for details of any exemptions to the mandatory declaration of allergens.

In Australia and New Zealand, users of the VITAL Program should refer to ‘Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code – Standard 1.2.3-4 Mandatory declaration of certain foods or substances in food’ for full details of exemptions from mandatory declaration.

When using VITAL Online, the presence of foods or substances where allergen labelling exemptions apply should be recorded – at a level of detail appropriate to your organisation – in the Assumptions text boxes. Assumptions recorded in VITAL Online will be reported in ‘Table 3: Summary of raw materials assumptions’ and ‘Table 5: Summary of processing assumptions’ in the VITAL Online Detailed Summary Report. The Detailed Summary Report should be carefully considered prior to implementing labelling decisions where exemptions from mandatory allergen declaration may apply.

When using VITAL Online, the presence of foods or substances where allergen declaration exemptions apply should be recorded – at a level of detail appropriate to your organisation – in the Assumptions text boxes. An example of recording ingredient information in the VITAL Online Assumptions text boxes is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Example ingredient Assumption text box in VITAL Online

Assumptions about cross contact allergens from ingredients and processing which are recorded in VITAL Online will be reported in ‘Table 3: Summary of raw materials assumptions’ (an example is shown in Figure 2 below) and ‘Table 5: Summary of processing assumptions’ in the VITAL Online Detailed Summary Report. The Detailed Summary Report and relevant assumptions should be carefully considered prior to implementing allergen declaration decisions where exemptions from mandatory allergen declaration may apply.

Figure 2: Example Assumptions recorded in VITAL Online for ingredients reported in Detailed Summary Report in Table 3.