“May Contain” Allergen Statements: Facilitating or Frustrating Consumers?

Soon, J.M. and Manning, L. (2017) “May Contain” Allergen Statements: Facilitating or Frustrating Consumers? Journal of Consumer Policy.

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As a result of mandatory labelling legislation, major food allergens that commonly cause allergic reactions are declared on packaging. The usage of precautionary allergen labelling (PAL) on packaging is not regulated in all countries, and the food industry uses various forms of “may contain” labelling which firstly is often inconsistent and secondly over time may diminish the value of such advisory statements. Hence, the aims of this paper are to review the current industry usage of PAL and to provide recommendations on future use that are of value to academics, policy makers, food industry, and consumers. A case study example is used to illustrate the likely costs and benefits of improving the current PAL status by considering a “peanut-free” product and calculation using the Voluntary Incidental Trace Allergen Labelling (VITAL) calculator. Governance such as addressing the inconsistent usage of PALs, promoting the harmonization of language used in PALs, and improving PAL status to quantified PAL statements would be helpful in communicating risks to consumers, so they can make informed choices when purchasing food products.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Allergens, Eliciting dose, Precautionary allergen labelling (PAL), Quantified PAL
Divisions: Food Science and Agri-food Supply Chain Management
Depositing User: Ms Kath Osborn
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2017 12:42
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2018 21:20
URI: http://hau.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/16206

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