Customers at risk due to ‘confusing’ allergen labelling
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Posted: 17 May 2019 | New Food Magazine | No comments yet
New research highlights how confusion around existing food allergen labelling puts customers at risk.
This research (by Navitas Group) comes as the Food Standards Agency (FSA) Board backs mandatory full ingredient labelling for foods that are pre-packed for direct sale (PPDS).
“Our research highlights just why there needs to be mandatory full ingredient labelling for foods that are pre-packed for direct sale: the current system is simply not consistent and causes confusion,” said Ben Gardner, CEO of Navitas Group.
The research found that almost half (48%) of those who said they look for allergen information when eating out were not fully aware of the different labelling regulations around food freshly prepped and packaged in a food outlet for direct sale and food pre-packed offsite.
While 52% of people who look for allergen information do understand the different allergen labelling regulations, 23% thought that the labelling regulations for food freshly prepped and packaged in a food outlet for direct sale and food pre-packed offsite were the same and 25% were unsure whether the rules differed.
Over half (53%) of respondents who look for allergen information said they tend to look for such information on a label in the first instance, while only 24% said they would ask staff first.
When asked directly about PPDS food some 70% said allergens were an item of information they would expect to find on the label of a sandwich or food item freshly prepared and packed for direct sale.
Further highlights from the research include:
- 86% of consumers who look for allergy information avoid restaurants where serving and waiting staff do not appear confident about allergens in freshly produced food or where allergen information isn’t clear
- 83% of those who look for allergy information expect kitchens to have up to date technology and systems to minimise the risk posed from allergens
- 77% of those who look for allergy information would be put off eating at restaurants and other food outlets that had breached allergen regulations within the last three months. This compares to 37% of consumers in general.
To find out more about the report, read it in full here.