FDF guidance seeks to inform on allergen-free and vegan difference

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The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has published a guidance that seeks to inform the difference between allergen-free claims and vegan claims.

As each claim communicates to different consumer groups, only the allergen absence claim (e.g. milk-free) can be termed as food safety information, the ‘FDF Guidance on ‘Allergen’-Free and Vegan Claims’ notes.

The industry body said the guidance aims to dispel any misunderstanding that a vegan claim automatically means a food product is safe and suitable for an allergic consumer.

The UK guidance is supported by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

“The FSA warmly welcomes the FDF’s work to improve the clarity of allergen information provided to consumers,” said Heather Hancock, chairman of the FSA. “Getting this right is essential to ensure that food is safe for people living with food allergy or intolerances.”

The document details the current legal frameworks that regulates the use of these voluntary claims and how it may develop going forward. It also signposts to resources and positions from other relevant stakeholders both in the UK and EU.

“In an ever-evolving regulatory landscape, FDF strives to support food manufacturers to provide accurate consumer information, and is well-aware that an informed allergic consumer is a more protected consumer,” commented Alex Turtle, FDF’s food law, labelling and enforcement manager.