Exporting and allergen management
According to the Kerry Health and Nutrition Institute (2018) food allergies are a serious global public health concern. In the United States, food allergy reactions take someone to the emergency room every three minutes (KHNI, 2018). Approximately 17 million Europeans suffer from food allergies, including 3.5 million under the age of 25. In Europe, the number of children with allergies has doubled over the last decade, and emergency department visits have grown sevenfold (KHNI, 2018).
EFSA has set up a list of common allergens that have to be declared on the labels. The Scientific Opinion of the Authority examines in depth all allergenic goods and chemicals whose presence in food must be mentioned on the label in accordance with EU legislation (EFSA, 2014). These include the following allergens: (EFSA, 2014).
Other food safety authorities use different main allergens depending on how common the allergens are in the region. The FDA, for example, has categorized eight major food allergens according to the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004. The 8 allergens are as follows:
- tree nuts
Common allergen in Australia
According the the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (2020), there are 10 major allergens listed. Therefore, you must keep this in mind when transporting to another continent or country that legislation according to labelling and allergens can differ per location. As stated by the FDA, more than 160 allergens have been recorded worldwide (2022). The following list is of the Australian government, the list has 10 allergens, while the English one had 8, while the EFSA list is more expensive.
- tree nuts
- sesame seeds
Allergy management, in general, is already a very delicate procedure. Read more about unexpected allergens here ‘Unexpected Food Allergens‘. Allergen management is a careful procedure, and when exporting to a different country, comes a different labelling approach. According to the Kerry Health and Nutrition Institute, KHNI (2018), information on food, labels is crucial for those with food allergies so they may make educated decisions about the foods they consume. It is improbable that a single list of allergens would be acceptable for all jurisdictions due to variations in sensitivity patterns across countries (KHNI, 2018).
Table 1. Food allergy labelling around the world (KHNI, 2018)
|Allergenic Foods||Codex Alimentarius||EU||US||Australia/Nz||Canada||China||Japan||Brazil||GSO/Middle East||Korea|
|Wheat/Cereals containing gluten||x||x||x||x||x||x||x||x||x||x|
|Sulphur dioxide & sulphites||x||x||x||x||x||x||x|
|Latex (natural rubber)||x|
- Mackerel is the only fish listed.
- Crab, shrimp, and prawn are the only crustaceans listed.
- Walnut is the only tree nut listed.
- Squid, clam, oyster, abalone, mussel.
- For Canada – directly added or ≥10 mg/kg; For Brazil – no limit; for Others ≥10 mg/kg.
- Food Standards Australia New Zealand. (2020). Allergen labelling. Retrieved June 15, 2022, from https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/labelling/Pages/allergen-labelling.aspx
- EFSA. (2014). Allergens in food: scientific advice updated. European Food Safety Authority. Retrieved 15 June 2022, from https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/141126.
- Kerry Health And Nutrition Institute. (2018). What are food allergens, and how are they labelled around the world? Kerry Health And Nutrition Institute. Retrieved June 15, 2022, from https://khni.kerry.com/news/blog/what-are-food-allergens-and-how-are-they-labelled-around-the-world/
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