Are you PEAL compliant?

As of February 25, 2024, all packaged food labels must be Plain English Allergen Labelling (PEAL) compliant.

The move has been a few years in the making, with the Food Standards Code amended in February 2021 to introduce new requirements for allergen declarations.

These PEAL changes were designed to assist allergen-sensitive consumers to find allergen information on food labels more easily. It is vital to use PEAL as a consistent format for allergen declarations.

Under the new requirements, allergens must be declared in both the statement of ingredients as well as in a distinctly separate summary statement that appears next to the statement of ingredients. These ingredients must be stated in a bold font and printed in a font size that is no smaller than that used for any other text.

This is in contrast to the prior Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) requirements, which stipulated the 11 known foods and ingredients that can cause severe allergic reactions to be declared on labels when they are present in food. However, under this there was no requirement about how these declarations were to be made.

Australian businesses were given three years – until February 2024 – to implement the new PEAL requirements. During this transition period businesses could comply with either the previous requirements or new PEAL allergen declaration requirements. Any food packaged and labelled with the previous requirements before the end of the transition period may be sold for up to two years, however all food sold after February 26, 2026 must comply with the new PEAL requirements.

According to Safe Food Queensland, accredited businesses that are not packaging products  will still need to have correct PEAL allergen information readily available for consumers. This applies to bakeries or butchers that sell food containing allergens like egg, wheat, gluten or nuts within a display cabinet.

To help Australian bakeries smoothly transition, the Baking Association of Australia will conduct an industry webinar, as well as an industry session at this year’s industry trade show in Melbourne.

The industry session will take place in The Bakers Corner, and it will be possible to ask questions face-to-face with the Allergen Bureau.


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