By Allergen Bureau

Allergens still dominate but recalls drop in Australia

A recent article in Food Safety News reports that undeclared allergens accounted for almost half of Australian food recalls in 2021, according to FSANZ data. Figures from Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) show 38 of the 80 recalls were because of allergens. Twenty were prompted by a consumer complaint and eight by routine government testing.

Interestingly between 2012 and 2021 most food recalls were because of undeclared allergens and microbial contamination. Recalls for undeclared allergens, microbial contamination and chemical/contaminant show an increasing trend while those for foreign matter seem to be going down.

There were 335 food recalls because of undeclared allergens over this timeframe. The most common were milk, multiple allergens, and peanut. The top food type associated with such recalls was mixed and/or processed food such as snack foods, custard powders and frozen meals. Second was confectionery, followed by breads and bakery products.”

It would seem that there is still much to be done in supporting industry to reduce recalls.  The Allergen Bureau is here to help. Did you know that the Allergen Risk Review website (ARRW) is a freely available interactive factory map designed to assist the food industry with understanding the allergen status of its products. Here you can find detailed information about assessing allergen risk at every stage of the process to make food.  We also have a dedicated FREE helpline aimed to support industry in allergen management and labelling.  For any queries contact us at