Over the past few years, a lot of work has been done on researching the best approach when amending the PEAL (Plain English Allergen Labelling) guidelines.
Final changes are being prepared for the FSANZ board meeting this month. It is expected that the new allergen-labelling laws will come into effect in the first half of next year, with a transition period allowed for businesses to prepare their products and packaging for compliance to the new laws.
Allergens are an important aspect to product development. Last year in Australia, the leading cause of product recalls was again due to undeclared allergens, which has been the case for the previous ten years bar one.
Australia has one of highest rates of allergies in the world, and according to research from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, the highest published rates of food allergy in children.
As a food and/or beverage manufacturer, it is imperative both morally and legally to take responsibility for the allergen information you provide to your consumers, as getting it wrong can literally cost lives.
Having an effective allergen-management plan is a complex but important process to set up and maintain. There are multiple aspects of the product lifecycle to consider, and changes made to any part of the lifecycle can affect the allergen status of a product. It is a plan that requires ongoing management and an understanding of its importance by all involved.
Hazards associated with the whole lifecycle of the product must be evaluated, from the production of raw materials right through to labelling and packaging of the final product for sale. The critical points where allergens can be introduced into products during manufacture should be identified, and a system established to monitor these critical control points, to ensure that unintentional cross contact is minimised.
Understanding differing countries regulations is also imperative when importing and exporting food items.
The good news is that Mérieux NutriSciences Australia can help in all aspects of your allergen management plan!
Our dedicated teams across the country have years of experience to bring you the following services:
Testing – We can assist you with all your allergen testing needs. We have a comprehensive list of matrices across all FSANZ recognised allergens available, to ensure you have an accurate picture of the allergen status of your products.
Label Compliance – We have a dedicated team of specialists with years of experience to provide you with consulting on your product labels. We assess the labels with reference to the Australian Food Standards Code, as well as other regulatory requirements such as Australian Consumer Law. Assistance is available to ensure that the product label information accurately represents the products allergen status. This ensures the most important asset – your consumer – is kept well informed of the allergen status of the product, allowing them to make educated and safe decisions regarding the product.
Auditing – Our team of experienced and accredited consultants provide:
- Allergen Management audits.
- Assistance with the development of cost effective allergen control programs.
- Environmental monitoring.
Experiencing a recall is extremely costly, both to your brand equity and reputation and your company’s finances, not to mention the possible health affects to the consumer. Getting it right the first time is imperative!
Find your peace of mind by partnering with us to develop or review your allergen-management plan. Contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 1300 000 990. Visit our website for more information at www.merieuxnutrisciences.com/au
Our offices and laboratories are conveniently located in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.