The first publicly available guidance for food manufacturers aiming to produce free-from products has been published.
The 12-page document is a collaboration between the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) with the support of Anaphylaxis Campaign and Coeliac UK.
It contains advice on labelling, legislation and appropriate manufacturing practices and aims to ensure free-from claims are applied accurately and consistently across the food industry. With the exception of gluten-free, no specific rules at either UK or EU level currently monitor companies making claims their products are allergen-free.
Andrea Martinez-Inchausti, deputy food director at the BRC, said: “A free-from claim cannot be taken lightly. A small manufacturer could now confidently understand whether producing a free-from product is within their capability. It will also result in more consistency, which means more consumer trust as acknowledged in the foreword to the Guidance by Food Standards Agency (FSA) chief executive Catherine Brown.”
Barbara Gallani, chief scientist/policy and sustainability director at the FDF, said: “This Guidance on free-from, which follows on from the publication earlier this year of FDF’s Gluten Labelling Guidance, is going to provide food businesses with key information on legal requirements, risk assessment and consumer expectations.
“We are pleased that our long-standing collaboration with the British Retail Consortium, Anaphylaxis Campaign and Coeliac UK is continuing to deliver useful advice to businesses and ultimately more consistent labelling for consumers.”