The food industry is required to comply with the allergen declaration requirements in the Food Standards Code. This means that food manufacturers, retailers and importers are required to provide food allergen information that helps consumers manage their food allergy.
Food manufacturers and food retailers (e.g. a supermarket that has its own bakery) are also responsible for managing the unintentional presence of food allergens which may occur due to cross contamination. The Food Standards Code does not regulate for unintentional presence of food allergens.
Food manufacturers, retailers and importers are responsible for ensuring their imports are properly labelled and for providing clear, up-to-date and accurate information about the allergen status of their product.
The Allergen Collaboration has agreed to a number of key messages for food manufacturers, retailers and importers in regard to management of food allergens in the food supply chain. These are listed below.
Food manufacturers and retailers
- Implement an effective allergen management plan
- Train staff in food allergen risks, management and communication
- Food manufacturers and food retailers have a responsibility to manage the unintentional presence of food allergens
- Provide clear, up-to-date and accurate information on the allergen status of your product
- Provide clear, up-to-date and accurate information on the allergen status of the imported product
- Importers should advise overseas suppliers about labelling requirements in the Food Standards Code
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 food is either packaged or unpackaged
- AFGC and Allergen Bureau Food Industry Guide to Allergen Management and Labelling
- Allergen Bureau - Assessing Agricultural Cross Contact Guide (2022)
- Food Allergen Fundamentals
- The VITAL® Program - Food Industry Guide to the Voluntary Incidental Trace Allergen Labelling (VITAL®) Program
- VITAL® Online - VITAL® Best Practice Labelling Guide for Australia and New Zealand
- What Australian food businesses need to know about food recalls
- Nuts for Life - information about nuts and allergy, including frequently asked questions
- Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia
- Allergen Bureau (see above for links to information and guidance material)
- Allergy New Zealand
- What New Zealand food businesses need to know about food recalls
- In New Zealand, the 2014 Food Act and associated regulations require food businesses to register under a Food Control Plan or National Programme. These include requirements for food allergen management. See the Ministry for Primary Industries website for further information.