In December 2018 the New South Wales Food Authority (NSWFA) successfully prosecuted a company on charges related to both allergen labelling and the company’s recall process.
The company was fined $48,400 and professional costs of $17,034 after the Director pleaded guilty to nine offences under the Food Act 2003.
The company imported a food which was consumed by a child, who has a diagnosed peanut allergy. The translated labelling did not show the presence of peanuts.
The father submitted a complaint to NSWFA and upon investigation the nine charges were laid and the company taken to court.
This case highlights just how important it is that every food of every manufacturer, importer and wholesaler must clearly shown not only every allergen present in that food, but every ingredient.
The NSWFA CEO, Dr Lisa Szabo said; “Food allergies are on the rise and one in ten babies born in Australia today will develop a food allergy.That statistic alone shows how important this issue is for the entire community.”
Every food business is obligated and required to know what allergens are present in their foods and if that food is prepackaged that information must be available for customers, so they can make an informed decision about whether to purchase and consume that food.
So dod you know exactly which allergens are present in your product – and remember that includes the ingredients of your ingredients?
It also reinforces why every food manufacturer, importer, and wholesaler must have Recall Program in place which meets the requirements of the Recall Protocol and the Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code, and that there be regular mock recalls to test that program.
Dr Szabo said; “We demand a high level of food safety is upheld across the food supply chain because it serves as an important protection measure of public health. Consumers deserve to have confidence in knowing the food they purchase is safe to eat and will cause no harm to them or their family.”