Accurate allergen labelling ‘never been more important’

BUREAU Veritas used this year’s World Accreditation Day to press food organisations to pay closer attention to accurate allergen labelling.

Jointly established by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), World Accreditation Day’s theme this year focused on how accreditation supports food safety, highlighting how it ensures competent and impartial inspection, certification and testing services in every part of the food chain.

Health and safety specialist Bureau Veritas said accurate allergen labelling has never been more important, particularly as producers, takeaway restaurants and delivery services have seen a ‘surge’ in demand during the Covid-19 lockdown period.

Tracy Wain, food safety technical manager at Bureau Veritas said, “Hospitality closures have forced many outlets to offer takeaway-only services for the first time during the lockdown, and have had to quickly develop new contact-free and cashless delivery and takeaway collection methods. As such, the way in which allergen information is given to customers may have had to change.

“Meanwhile, food manufacturers are not only having to deal with supply-chain disruptions they are perhaps having to operate in a different way to ensure that social distancing can take place throughout the work place. Amid these urgent priorities, not to be overlooked is the need for businesses to still ensure they are correctly labelling the 14 allergens set out by the Food Standard Agency’s (FSA) guidance – as required by law. This is vital to bolstering the confidence of consumers, suppliers, purchasers, and specifiers in the quality and safety of food as well as maintaining accreditation.”