Change the current ‘May contain’ allergen labelling so it becomes meaningful
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Under the current EU wide regulations manufacturers can choose to use either the wording ‘may contain’ or ‘not suitable for someone with X allergy’ on their products if there is a risk of cross contamination for a food product.
This labelling is not meaningful because manufacturers use the ‘May contain’ label differently. Some state ‘may contain’ when a product is produced on the same line as a product with an allergen, while others apply the label even if a product containing the allergen is produced on a separate line, in a separate room.
Therefore, a ‘may contain’ label isn’t meaningful, it doesn’t tell people with allergies what the real risk of contamination is.
Also, some manufacturers apply the label even when there is no real chance of cross contamination. This dramatically reduces food choices for people with allergies, unnecessarily.
It would be a lot more meaningful if manufacturers used labelling such as ‘produced on the same line as x allergen’ or ‘produced in a factory where x allergen is handled.
This would enable people with food allergies to make an informed decision about a risk of a potential allergic reaction.
As we are about to leave the EU, it’s the perfect time for us to make improvements to our allergen labelling.
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