Stay Informed: Plain English Allergen Labelling (PEAL)
Food allergen labelling plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety of consumers with food sensitivities. In Australia, this is governed by the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code). To enhance clarity and accessibility of allergen information, a significant change known as Plain English Allergen Labelling (PEAL) was introduced on 25 February 2021. In this blog post, we'll delve into the details of PEAL and the important dates that food business owners need to be aware of.
What is Plain English Allergen Labelling (PEAL)?
PEAL is a new system designed to simplify allergen information on food labels, making it easier for consumers to identify potential allergens in the products they purchase. The goal is to improve transparency and enhance the safety of individuals with food allergies.
PEAL: Key Changes and Important Dates
The transition to PEAL involves a phased approach with specific timelines for compliance. Understanding these key dates is crucial for food business owners to ensure a smooth transition and compliance with the updated regulations.
- 25 February 2024: PEAL Implementation Begins
From this date onwards, all food that is packaged and labelled must adhere to the new PEAL requirements. This change signifies a shift from the previous allergen labelling system to the more consumer-friendly and straightforward PEAL format.
It's important to note that any food packaged before this date with the old allergen labelling can still be sold until 25 February 2026. This period is referred to as the 'stock in trade period,' allowing businesses to deplete existing inventory while adjusting to the new labelling standards.
- 26 February 2026: Full PEAL Compliance Required
By this date, all food sold in Australia must comply with Plain English Allergen Labelling. This marks the completion of the transition, and any non-compliant products may face regulatory consequences.
Obligations for Food Business Owners
As a food business owner, it is crucial to stay informed about these changes and ensure compliance with the updated regulations. The Australian government provides an overview for download, offering detailed information to help navigate the new requirements. This resource is a valuable tool to fully understand the obligations associated with Plain English Allergen Labelling.
In Conclusion: Plain English Allergen Labelling (PEAL)
The introduction of Plain English Allergen Labelling represents a significant step towards improving the accessibility and clarity of allergen information on food labels in Australia. Adhering to the specified dates and obligations is essential for food business owners to guarantee a seamless transition and, most importantly, to uphold the safety of consumers with food allergies. By embracing these changes, the food industry contributes to creating a safer and more transparent environment for individuals with dietary sensitivities.
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