Plain English Allergen Labelling (PEAL) and FoodWorks
Changes are coming for labelling allergens on your food products.
After several years of consultation, on 25 February 2021 the Food Standards Code was updated with new requirements for labelling allergens in food.
Before compliance with the Plain English Allergen Labelling (PEAL) requirements becomes mandatory, there is a 3-year transition period.
The aim of the PEAL changes is to make it quicker and easier for consumers to find and understand allergen information on food labels.
The new PEAL requirements mean that allergen information must be declared:
- in a specific format and location on the label
- in simple, plain English terms (using the specified required names for the allergen source, detailed in Schedule 9 of the Food Standards Code)
- with a co-located allergen summary statement beginning with the word ‘Contains’
- in bold font in both the ingredient list and in the summary statement
Other changes under PEAL include:
- declaring the specific type of tree nut – for example, cashew, almond, pine nut, pistachio
- the introduction of a new allergen, mollusc
- increased clarity around declaring wheat and gluten
- declaring allergens when used as a processing aid in the manufacturing process
‘Before and after’ example
Here is an example of some of the PEAL changes in action:
In the ‘After Peal’ example, you can see that:
- In the statement of ingredients, allergens are declared in bold type that distinctly contrasts with the other text.
- Processing aids that contain an allergen are declared in both the statement of ingredients and allergen summary statement
- Gluten is declared in the allergen summary statement and the source of gluten is declared by its cereal name in the ingredients list.
- Allergens are declared using their required names as per Schedule 9. For example, here the specific nuts are declared as opposed to using the generic name ‘tree nuts’.
- The allergen summary statement begins with the word ‘Contains’, is in bold type, is the same size type as the allergens declared in the statement of ingredients and the entire text is distinctly separated from the ingredients list.
3-year transition period
Food businesses have up to 3 years (until February 2024) to make the transition to the new PEAL requirements.
During the transition period, you can continue to use the existing allergen declarations, or you can choose to start applying the new PEAL requirements (but not a mix of both).
Food products labelled after February 2024 will need to comply with the new requirements.
2-year stock-in-trade period
Any food packaged and labelled with the existing allergen declarations before the end of the transition period in February 2024 may be sold for up to 2 years subsequent to the end of the transition period.
PEAL and FoodWorks
FoodWorks 10 Nutrition Labelling does not support the new PEAL requirements for allergen declarations.
However, we are currently mid-development of a new cloud version of FoodWorks which will support the PEAL requirements. Foodworks Online Nutrition Labelling is slated for release in the coming year, giving time for preparation of PEAL information before the transition period is complete in 2024.
We’ll send you more emails about Foodworks Online soon, and you can also check news on this website.
More information on PEAL
Find out more about the new allergen labelling requirements here:
- Food Industry Guide to Allergen Management and Labelling (FIGAML)
- Allergen Bureau News 27 January 2021
- Food Standards Proposal P1044
- Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code: Standard 1.2.3 – Information requirements – warning statements, advisory statements and declarations
- Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code: Schedule 9 – Mandatory advisory statements