The Food Standards Code has exemptions from mandatory allergen labelling requirements for some foods and ingredients derived from allergenic sources. The following foods and ingredients have been assessed by FSANZ as safe for food allergies, because they are processed in a way that makes them suitable for consumers who are allergic to wheat, soy or dairy:
- glucose syrups made from wheat starch (exempt from declaring wheat)*
- fully refined soybean oil (exempt from declaring soy)
- the soy derivatives tocopherols and phytosterols (exempt from declaring soy)
- distilled alcohol from wheat or whey (exempt from declaring wheat or milk).
* Glucose syrups must have no more than 20 mg/kg detectable gluten to meet the requirements for an exemption from the mandatory labelling of wheat.
Safety assessment and research
The above foods and ingredients were excluded from some mandatory allergen labelling requirements in 2016. FSANZ carried out a thorough safety assessment of the products considered for exemption, and consulted with expert allergy clinicians in Australia and New Zealand during this assessment.
What if I still want to check the plant source for the glucose syrups?
The code requires that the name and address of the supplier be listed on the label and many manufacturers also supply phone numbers. You can contact suppliers to get information that's not on the label.
Do the exemptions affect the requirements for gluten free labelling?
The exemptions do not affect the Code requirements for gluten free labelling. The current requirements for 'gluten free' claims include the condition that the food must not contain detectable gluten, or oats or oat products; or cereals containing gluten that have been malted, or products of such cereals.
The labelling exemption for glucose syrups relates only to the mandatory requirement to declare wheat as a food allergen. Producers of glucose syrups will not be able label their products as 'gluten free' if any detectable gluten is present in the product.
The Food Standards Code also includes exemptions from allergen labelling for the following:
- beer or spirits do not have to declare barley, rye, oats or wheat
- fish does not have to be declared for isinglass derived from swim bladders and used as a clarifying agent in beer or wine.