Labelling change could save lives
Experts say the way foods are labelled creates unnecessary risks for kids with allergies.
About 30 per cent of food products that have been through an allergy risk assessment process are safe to eat but remain unlabelled.
Products that have not been through a risk assessment are also unlabelled, so allergy-sensitive consumers are left to choose foods that they cannot tell are safe or not.
Researcher Professor Katie Allen suggests that food labelling be expanded to incorporate ‘permissive labelling’, to help consumers better assess if products are safe for consumption.
“This would enable consumers to understand which foods have been through a risk assessment process which have not. Currently allergy consumers are taking significant risks. This situation is just an accident waiting to happen” she says.
Permissive labelling is a term used by food allergy experts to describe packaging that highlights safe and suitable foods for allergy-affected individuals, not just foods which should be avoided.
“Permissive labelling could be incorporated onto these products if they have been assessed to be safe for consumption to give consumers information to help them to make, safe choices,” says Professor Katie Allen.
“Everyone deserves the right to eat food safely.”