Earlier this year, statutory body Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), who create and uphold food safety standards, announced several changes to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code across the country, regarding appropriate food labelling practices. This is due to heightened concern over potentially harmful allergens within food products, and the necessity of ensuring that food products have all their ingredients unambiguously labelled. Clear disclosure of all allergens contained within food products means that consumers will have thorough knowledge of what ingredients are in the food they purchase, and the chance of consuming food that they will have an adverse reaction to is significantly minimised. This article will discuss some of the important changes brought in with this new food labelling standard.
The changes will increase knowledge about safe food options
The Code has several new requirements that help people make appropriate food selections, and minimise risks from consuming food that causes allergies. Some of the key changes in the Code include ensuring that allergen information is clearly displayed on food packaging, in a certain location and format, and the use of unambiguous, easy-to-understand English terminology when outlining possible allergens the food products may contain.
Further, to minimise the chances of allergens being overlooked by people, the Code requires allergens to be labelled in bold on food products, in addition to requiring an adjacent allergen summary statement on food labels. Finally, to remove ambiguity, labels will need to clearly state that the food contains these allergens.
Although the new requirements came into effect earlier this year, business’ have a three-year transition period to work at adjusting their food labelling practices to ensure they comply with the requirements.
Appropriate food labelling practices are just one ingredient of an effective Food Safety Management System. Over the past year, there has been increased awareness concerning the necessity of strong food safety and hygiene practices, and two internationally recognised food safety codes for business’, the Safe Quality Food Code and the Codex HACCP, have recently been revised. This is to ensure that all business’ food safety practices reflect recent food hygiene concerns, and that organisations works at developing an effective ‘food safety culture.’
If you would like to know more about how some of the changes to both food safety labelling regulations and general food safety practices impacts your organisation, and what you can do to achieve compliance, then please contact Anitech’s specialist consultants today at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 1300 802 163. By giving them a brief overview of your business, including it size, industry, and the food it works with, they will be able to discuss with you what your company could be doing to strengthen its food safety practices, achieve regulatory compliance, and uphold its reputation as a safe company to purchase food products from. Isn’t that a label your business would like to display?
Please click here to read about the recent changes to the 2020 Codex HACCP, and what it means for business’ in the food industry.