It is estimated (perhaps conservatively) that 1 – 2% of the UK adult population and 5 – 8% of children in the UK have a food allergy (not including intolerances), and in addition, one in 100 people have coeliac disease.1 The accuracy of information on allergens in food is, therefore, important to the overall safety of food and drink, as well as for ensuring compliance with legal requirements for this information.
Following the publication of new legislation implementing full ingredient labelling for foods that are “prepacked for direct sale” (PPDS) from 1 October 2021, many businesses have been awaiting further guidance from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) as to which products the requirements will apply to and how the laws will be applied in practice. Preliminary guidance was due to be published by the FSA on 1 October 2019, with detailed guidance on technical implementation at the end of last year. However, following stakeholder discussions as to the difficulty of applying a definition to some food and drink products, a decision was taken to consult on the guidance.
The launch of this consultation and the opportunity to respond will, therefore, be a relief for many in the sector. Responses must be submitted by 6 March 2020 and the consultation document, and the new draft technical guidance on food allergen labelling and information requirements (Draft Guidance) are now available on the FSA website.