Food labelling regulations will help coeliac disease sufferers manage their condition better.
The new EU regulation sets new standards in the way allergens are presented on existing legislation on the labels of pre-packed food, so information is less ambiguous making choices far clearer and safer.
Coeliac disease is not an allergy, but is caused by a reaction of the gut to gluten and the only available treatment is a lifelong gluten-free diet.
On previous food labels the term ‘Contains Gluten’ to summarise allergens was originally stated, but is no longer permissible.
Instead a clear list of the ingredients that contain gluten (such as ‘wheat’, ‘rye’ and ‘barley’) found in cereals, will need to be clearly emphasised in the manufacturers’ chosen method. As illustrated below:
Companies can use different methods of emphasis, as long as the allergens stand out, such as:
- Contrasting colours
- CAPITALISING TEXT
- Underlining text
An allergy advice statement may still be added to the label or packaging; directing consumers to the ingredients list of allergens. As illustrated in the above label.
The new EU food labelling regulations do not only apply to packaged food but unpackaged foods as well such as:
- Foods served in restaurants
- Meals served in hospitals, schools, workplaces, universities and prisons
- Including foods sold loose, for example in deli counters, butchers and fishmongers, and bakeries
In whatever way the unpackaged food is served, the new food labelling regulations state that any allergens present in the food must be communicated to the customer. For example, stated on the menu, verbally, or printed on special labels.
Please refer to the official ‘Advice on Food Allergen Labelling’ leaflet: at food.gov.uk for guidance.
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