A major UK retailer has changed its labelling policy on allergens in its products. Tesco has now added advice on the presence of peanuts – to which hundreds of thousands of people have an allergy – to a significantly wider range of products, including pizza and baked beans, which have traditionally not been labelled as containing nuts.
There is concern over whether these products do contain small traces of nuts – which even at very trace levels can cause significant problems for some allergy sufferers – or whether tests to determine whether such traces are present are being carried out.
This highlights the dichotomy for food retailers and producers between labelling as a precautionary measure and allowing allergy sufferers to choose from a wide range of safe foods. The Government Chemist has been carrying out work on improving allergen detection and quantitation, and this is carrying on into the new programme of work (April 2014 to March 2017).
There have been significant advances recently in the quality and reliability of methods which can be employed in laboratories for the measurement of a range of allergens in foodstuffs.
Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment