New EU regulations regarding food allergen labelling were introduced in 2005. These rules were introduced to ensure that 12 potential food allergens are labelled if they are included as ingredients in food products. The question arises as to whether food-allergic consumers will benefit from the new labelling requirements. A study was conducted in the Netherlands and Greece where researchers observed 40 food-allergic consumers whilst they were grocery shopping for a list of potentially problematic foods. The participants in the study described many problems associated with current food labelling practices, which did not meet the needs of food allergic consumers. Problems were reported regarding readability of fonts, and identifying allergen information on the label which also contained other allergen information. Moreover, information included on the label was not always trusted by the food-allergic consumer, which may cause feelings of insecurity and stress. In particular, participants reported problems with 'may contain' labelling. Recommendations Regarding improvements to existing labelling practices include not only "on package" labelling. but also the introduction of new approaches to food labelling using novel ICT-solutions which may improve the allergen labelling and information provision, particularly from the perspective of individualising information to specific consumer needs.
|Journal||Agro Food Industry Hi-Tech|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|
Cornelisse-Vermaat, J. R., Botjes, E., Frewer, L. J., & Voordouw, J. (2007). The importance of accurate and understandable food allergen labelling for food-allergic consumers. Agro Food Industry Hi-Tech, 18(5), 25-27.