As the current treatment for food allergy involves dietary exclusion of the problem food, information for food-allergic consumers provided on food labels about the nature of allergenic ingredients is important to the management of their condition. The members of an EU-funded networking project, InformAll, focusing on developing strategies for the provision of credible, reliable sources of information for food allergy sufferers, regulators and the food industry, have been considering these matters with respect to food labelling. This paper presents an overview of the genesis of the new EU directive on food labelling, its relevance to food-allergic consumers and the problems that might arise if precautionary labelling becomes more widespread in response to concerns regarding inadvertent allergen contamination in foods. International efforts to define threshold levels of allergens able to trigger a reaction coupled with validated allergen detection methods are essential if the food industry is to implement effective hazard control procedures and address the problems of cross-contact allergens without devaluing the information provided to consumers on food labels.
- peanut allergens