Canada prepares for new allergen labeling regs

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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OTTAWA, Alberta – New regulations governing labeling for food allergens will come into force Aug. 4. The enhanced labeling regulations are designed to assist Canadians with food allergies to make more informed choices about the foods they buy.

Under the new regulations:

• Most prepackaged products must include food allergens, gluten sources, and sulphites in the list of ingredients or in a statement that begins with "Contains:..." on their labels;

• Food allergen or gluten sources must be written in commonly used words such as "milk" or "wheat";

• Mustard seed will be added to the regulatory definition of food allergen and will need to be in the list of ingredients or in a statement that begins with "Contains:..." on the label;

• Common names for the plant sources of starches, modified starches, hydrolyzed plant protein and lecithin must be modified to provide source information. For example, the label must indicate hydrolyzed soy protein rather than just hydrolyzed vegetable protein;

• Products that include spelt and kamut must declare wheat as an allergen on their labels;

• Sulphites in products above 10 ppm will need to be in the list of ingredients or in a statement that begins with "Contains:..." on the label;

• Products must list any components of an ingredient that are food allergens, gluten sources, or sulphites (when 10 ppm or more). For example, if a prepackaged food contains the ingredient "spices", that food will be required to list any allergens, gluten sources, or sulphites present in the spices, such as mustard;

• Food allergens present in wine and spirits as a result of the use of fining agents made from allergenic ingredients such as eggs, fish, milk, etc, must be shown on the label of the product;

• Prepackaged fruits and vegetables that have a protective edible coating or wax must include the source of any allergen or gluten on their labels.

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