Allergies and intolerances
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) sets standards for labelling of products containing food allergens, which includes gluten and sulphite preservatives. Any product containing allergens specified in the Standard must be either:
- declared on a label on packaged food, or
- declared on, or in connection with, the display of food that is not required to be labelled, or
- declared to the customer at the time of purchase if they ask.
For more information on allergen labelling requirements refer to the FSANZ website. The NSW Food Authority makes sure food labels comply with national standards so consumers are provided with accurate information about the food they buy.
Consumers should contact the Food Authority if they suspect a food label does not adhere to the FSANZ guidelines.
Food allergies can be life threatening, which is why systems are used to protect allergic consumers from food allergens. See Managing Food Allergen Risk for a one page overview.
Education and training for the food service industry
The booklet Be Prepared. Be Allergy Aware (updated May 2021) produced by the Food Authority and Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia, outlines requirements for food service businesses relating to declaring and managing allergens. The following resources can also be downloaded:
- The Usual Suspects (A2 poster)
- Allergy Aware Checklist
The National Allergy Strategy, an initiative of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) and Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia, has developed free online training materials for food businesses to gain knowledge about food allergens and make their food safe for people with allergies.
The Australian Food and Grocery Council has a great deal of information for businesses that package or serve food/food products that contain or may contain allergens.
The Food Safety Centre Allergen Bureau is another worthwhile site to visit.
Changes to allergen labelling
New requirements for labelling the most common allergens in food commenced on 25 February 2021.
The changes to the Food Standards Code will help people find allergen information on food labels more quickly and easily, so they can make informed and safe food choices.
For more information see Food allergen rules.
The NSW Department of Education and Training has developed guidelines for schools to assist in the management of children with allergies. The guidelines include forms for doctors/parents, action plans and Epi-Pen™ instructions.