Effective labelling is essential to enable allergic consumers manage their condition. Specific rules regarding the labelling of allergenic ingredients in pre-packed foods are established in European law. The new Food Information Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011) which applies from 13th December 2014 strengthens these rules. This Regulation also introduces a requirement to provide allergy information with non pre-packed foods (e.g. food sold loose in restaurants and deli-counters). This is an important development as it has been estimated that in Europe seven out of ten severe allergic reactions occur when people eat out.
In this podcast, Dr. Josephine Wills, Director General of EUFIC, interviewed Dr Chun-Han Chan, Senior Scientific Officer at the Food Standards Agency, United Kingdom about the changes in European legislation, precautionary/advisory labelling and enforcement issues. This interview was conducted during the EAACI Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Meeting, which was held in Nice, France from 7th to 9th February 2013.
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About the speaker
Dr. Chun-Han Chan
Chun-Han has a background in medical & molecular microbiology and started her career in natural pharmaceuticals before joining the Food Standards Agency in 2003. She has been a member of the Food Allergy Branch since 2008, managing the allergen threshold research programme, which gathers evidence to underpin policy areas surrounding the adventitious presence of allergens in pre-packed food. The aim of this programme of work is to reduce the use of allergen advisory labelling on pre-packed foods and to help the allergic consumer to make a more informed food choice.
Since April 2012, she is responsible for food allergen legislation and providing risk assessments for the management of food allergy incidents.
The Food Standards Agency is an independent Government department set up by an Act of Parliament in 2000 to protect public health and consumer interests in relation to food.
For more information on the EAACI meeting, click here.