Allergen labelling can sometimes mean the difference between life and death for people with food allergies. Food producers must ensure that they meet the mandatory allergen labelling requirements in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.

The Code specifies the allergens that must be on food labels. These allergens are: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, sesame seeds, fish and shellfish, soy and wheat and lupins. These ingredients must be declared on the food label whenever they are present as ingredients or as components of food additives or processing aids.

If the food is not in a package or is not required to have a label (for example, bulk containers), allergen information must accompany the consignment so the business purchasing the food has access to the allergen information.

If you import food you are responsible for understanding and meeting mandatory allergen labelling requirements.

Many food recalls occur because food businesses have not labelled allergens correctly. Meeting mandatory allergen labelling requirements can save lives, but meeting the requirements can also mean avoiding a food recall, saving your business time and money.

Useful reference documents to assist you in managing allergens, include:

Food Standards Australia New Zealand, ‘Allergen Labelling’

Allergen management for dairy food manufacturers, Dairy Food Safety Victoria

Allergen Bureau website

Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia

Australian Food & Grocery Council’s ‘Food allergen management and labelling’

Australian Food & Grocery Council’s ‘Food Industry Guide to Allergen Management and Labelling’