Guidance on the meaning of ‘allergen-free’ and ‘vegan’ published

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In February 2020, the Food & Drink Federation (FDF) published new guidance aimed at educating the wider food industry and consumers as to the difference between ‘allergen-free’ claims and vegan claims. As the FDF is at pains to point out, only the ‘allergen-free’ claim contains food safety information.

The FDF hopes that provision of the information and guidance will dispel any misunderstanding that a vegan claim automatically means that a food product is safe and suitable for an allergic consumer.

Heather Hancock, chairman of the Food Standards Agency, was quoted as saying “The FSA warmly welcomes the FDF’s work to improve the clarity of allergen information provided to consumers. Getting this right is essential to ensure that food is safe for people living with food allergy or intolerances. This new guidance makes clear the requirements for free-from claims for egg and milk, and it also contains important clarifications about vegan labelling, which will help prevent shortcuts and other claims inadvertently leading people with food hypersensitivity to make the wrong food choices.”

The guidance sets out the current legal framework that regulates the use of these voluntary claims and how it may develop going forward.

WM comment

You can read the full guidance on the meaning of ‘allergen-free’ and ‘vegan’ here.