How fabulous to see so many colleagues online for the Joint AIFST/Allergen Bureau Food Allergen Webinar. Andreas Klieber showed some really great examples of labels before and after PEAL and discussed the implications that Food Manufacturers must consider (outside of labelling compliance) such as making changes to incoming goods procedures, scheduling documents and rework documents to account for things such as changed allergen definitions (mollusc) or new allergens identified in processing aids. Georgina shared the answers to frequently asked questions and emphasised once again that although PAL is not mandatory it is still a very important part of communicating risk to a consumer. Finally, Alan Edwards demonstrated a non-compliant label that may represent a risk to a consumer and how changing that label to meet the regulation resulted in clearer communication of the risks. This change to the label clearly assists the consumer, but as Alan explained also contributes to the concept of due diligence as a defence. He also showed us the wonderful tool developed by NSW Food Authority to assist businesses to prepare compliant labels.
The panel did a fabulous job of impromptu responses to the questions. Many of these answers can be found in the wonderful AFGC/AB document called FIGAML.
Importantly the webinar was a wonderful example of how lucky we are in Australia to have such great collaboration assisting the food industry to lower the risk for allergenic consumers.