The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is urging businesses to respond to its ‘May Contain consultation’ to help develop precautionary allergen information.
The consultation, which closes on 14th March, seeks to gather views from businesses and consumers on the use of precautionary allergen information and labels, often written as “may contain” on food packaging.
Precautionary allergen information and/or statements, are a voluntary way that food businesses communicate the risk of allergen cross-contamination in their food products to consumers.
Studies have shown that whilst consumers appreciate this information, they are also confused by the range and types of statement used. Research also shows that whilst businesses use this information to try and protect consumers, they too are confused about when and how they need to do so. Recognising this confusion, the FSA wants to hear from businesses about their personal experience.
Ben Rayner, food hypersensitivity team leader from the FSA, said: “The more feedback we receive from food businesses and industry bodies, the better we can take into account their views as we continue our work.
“The responses to the ‘May Contain Consultation’ will help ensure that future proposals are clear and easy to follow for businesses; and are clear, consistent and understood by consumers.”
The FSA is currently running a series of workshops with businesses, industry bodies, consumers and other interested parties.
Responses to the consultation will be considered alongside the feedback from the workshops, with next steps to be set out in due course.
The consultation is in the style of a questionnaire making it easy for you to respond. Please share your views here - https://www.food.gov.uk/news-alerts/consultations/precautionary-allergen-labelling-pal-the-may-contain-consultation