Australian food manufacturers take their responsibility in relation to allergen labelling very seriously. They have worked closely with Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia, the Coeliac Society and others to provide meaningful information to help consumers manage their special dietary needs.
AFGC and the Australian Food Safety Centre of Excellence established the Food Allergen Resource Bureau to assist industry in allergen identification and labelling issues.
AFGC recommends that consumers who are allergic should avoid consuming products which declare the presence of an allergen they are allergic to by using a ‘may be present’ statement.
AFGC Allergen Management and Labelling Guide
The revised 2007 Allergen Management and Labelling Guide provides an overview of the regulatory requirements in Australia and New Zealand for the mandatory declaration of food allergens, guidance on good manufacturing practices, recommended labelling formats and the use of the risk assessment process referred to as Voluntary Incidental Trace Allergen Labelling (VITAL).
This publication provides guidance for industry in managing allergens in the production environment, highlights the requirements for staff training and the responsibilities of minimising cross contact through effective cleaning, handling and storage.
The guide identifies the need for consistent information about allergens present in ingredients and recommends using a standardised product information form. The guide also recommends replacing all the various forms of precautionary statements that are used on food labels with the single term "May be present:". However, it is essential that this statement is used in conjunction with the VITAL process and only when it is indicated that labelling is required.
Download a copy of the guide -
Further information on VITAL and the product information form can be found on the Allergen Bureau website.
Product Information Form (PIF)
The Product Information Form (PIF) is a standardised universal supplier questionnaire designed to capture standard information about ingredients, such as the presence of allergens, country of origin, performance characteristics, compliance with specifications and shipping information.
Click here for more information and to download a copy of the PIF.
Voluntary Incidental Trace Allergen Labelling (VITAL)
The Voluntary Incidental Trace Allergen Labelling (VITAL) system is a standardised risk assessment tool used to determine if a manufacture needs to provide a precautionary allergen labelling statement.
For more information visit the Allergen Bureau website.