Food allergy represents an increasing public health issue, and a large number of food control authorities have provided regulations aimed to minimize the risk of allergic reaction for sensitized consumers. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations together with the World Health Organization established the Codex Alimentarius Commission whose main goal is to protect the consumers’ health. To purse this task the Commission listed the foods and ingredients causing the most severe allergic reactions that should be labelled. It has been reported that some cases of specific foods hypersensitivity display a different prevalence among different Countries. Thus, the European Union drew up a list of mandatory allergens (that must be labelled) longer than that provided by Codex Alimentarius. As a consequence of the complexity of the legal phraseology of the European Union (EU) and/or European Community (EC) the Regulations and/or Directives were differently translated in all EC/EU official languages determining possible misinterpretations of the legislation. Moreover, food labelling regulations were also established with the goal to promote the consumers’ conscious choice about what they eat. Starting from the case of the fermented beverages, we analysed the European legislative scenario concerning the allergen labelling of the last fifteen years, highlighting that mistranslations, misinterpretations and lack of information in the EU Regulations might lead to health and ethical issues.

The Food Allergy Risk Management in the EU Labelling Legislation

MAINENTE, Federica;FRATEA, Caterina;SIMONATO, Barbara;ZOCCATELLI, Gianni;RIZZI, Corrado
2017

Abstract

Food allergy represents an increasing public health issue, and a large number of food control authorities have provided regulations aimed to minimize the risk of allergic reaction for sensitized consumers. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations together with the World Health Organization established the Codex Alimentarius Commission whose main goal is to protect the consumers’ health. To purse this task the Commission listed the foods and ingredients causing the most severe allergic reactions that should be labelled. It has been reported that some cases of specific foods hypersensitivity display a different prevalence among different Countries. Thus, the European Union drew up a list of mandatory allergens (that must be labelled) longer than that provided by Codex Alimentarius. As a consequence of the complexity of the legal phraseology of the European Union (EU) and/or European Community (EC) the Regulations and/or Directives were differently translated in all EC/EU official languages determining possible misinterpretations of the legislation. Moreover, food labelling regulations were also established with the goal to promote the consumers’ conscious choice about what they eat. Starting from the case of the fermented beverages, we analysed the European legislative scenario concerning the allergen labelling of the last fifteen years, highlighting that mistranslations, misinterpretations and lack of information in the EU Regulations might lead to health and ethical issues.
Food labelling
European Union legislation
Directive and regulation misinterpretation
Food allergens
Consumers’ risk and conscious choice
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/964132
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