The Allergen Collaboration has agreed to a number of key messages regarding governments' role in managing food allergens. These are listed below.
- Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is working with a range of stakeholders including food industry, consumer organisations and relevant government agencies to ensure people with food allergy have the information they need to make informed choices
- The Food Standards Code requires information about key food allergens to be declared on the label of packaged food, or made accessible to consumers when the food is not required to be labelled and they ask for it
- State and territory government agencies in Australia and the Ministry of Primary Industries in New Zealand provide advice to industry on the requirements of the Food Standards Code and they undertake a compliance and enforcement role
Food Standards Code requirements
- Standard 1.2.3 Information requirements - warning statements, advisory statements and declarations lists the food allergens that must be declared on food labels
- Standard 1.2.1 Requirements to have labels or otherwise provide information requires the information to be provided when the food is packaged and unpackaged (for example, food sold in a restaurant).
- Food allergies and food intolerances information for consumers.
The Allergen Collaboration is a collaboration of representatives from Australian state, territory and New Zealand governments, Australia and New Zealand allergy support associations and food industry including the food service sector. The Collaboration aims to improve through non-regulatory means food allergen risks are managed and to help consumers with a food allergy make safer choices.
Compliance and enforcement
Food enforcement agencies - Concerns regarding compliance can be referred to these state and territory and New Zealand government agencies and further resources are available on their websites.
The Undeclared Allergen Incident and Investigation Protocol sets out the procedures for food regulators when investigating and reporting of complaints of undeclared food allergens, supplementary to standard food investigation protocols.
In New Zealand, the Food Act 2014 and associated regulations require food businesses to register before they start selling food. These include requirements for food allergen management. See the Ministry for Primary Industries website for further information.