PAL should only be used when, following a rigorous risk assessment, an actual risk of allergen cross-contact within the supply chain is identified and cannot be removed through meticulous risk management actions.
The adoption of quantitative limits (based on internationally agreed reference doses) as a standard method, would help the food industry make informative choices in term of labelling, restoring credibility to PAL and, therefore, strengthening the protection of allergic consumers.
The food industry, via FoodDrinkEurope, has already asked for official thresholds and for a standard to follow for the correct use of PAL. Top level experts in risk assessment and management have already calculated which could be the maximum level of contaminations that pose no significant risk to allergic consumers (references doses issues by VITAL 3 in 2019 and FAO/WHO in 2022). Now the responsibility for what lies ahead is on the legislator.
Is the time ripe for this change? If not, what is missing for this step to be taken?
Our exceptional panel of experts will discuss what awaits us.