Is your product adequately labeled for allergies? Allergen labeling requirements are compulsory for certain products. Furthermore, it’s one of the most important things a manufacturer has to address before their product gets to market.
Allergen Labeling Requirements
Labeling designers often leave room for allergens and ingredients on the main design. Law requires allergen labeling to be written on products made for consumer consumption, to be written in plain language, and to convey the ingredients accurately.
Adhering to allergen labeling requirements is important for the health and safety of everyone who consumes your product. Often, allergies can be sensitive enough to matter even when it comes to tracing ingredients of common allergens your product might contain due to processing in the same factory.
Here’s what you should know about allergen labeling requirements and safety.
Why Allergen Labeling is Vital
Accurate allergen labeling saves lives. If someone encounters a product with ingredients (or traces) that they might be allergic to, it’s up to the manufacturer to ensure the potential allergens in their products are clearly listed. Accidental consumption of allergens is a potential killer and lands thousands of people in the hospital every year.
By labeling products accurately, the rate of accidental allergen consumption is drastically reduced. Consumers can make a fair, healthier, and informed decision about choosing their products.
What Needs to Be Labeled?
Any consumer products that might contain allergens or traces of common allergens are legally required to contain labeling that states it. This includes food and medicine and includes any product which might border on these items. In addition, that includes ones that are found outside the kitchen.
Common allergens can include everything from shellfish through to peanuts. If the factory your products are created or packaged in might come into contact with any of these allergens, this also requires a mention on the label according to law.
Even far more obvious allergens such as peanuts containing nuts are a requirement.
The First Requirement (Isn’t What You Think)
The first requirement for labeling says that a product label needs to contain the name and address of the manufacturer.
Similarly, legal labeling should also contain contact details for a consumer line (or e-mail address) where consumers can reach the company about any concerns. Lastly, a detailed list of ingredients is also required by law (and sometimes the proportions in which these ingredients appear).
How Not to Label
Labeling requirements are fairly clear, but there are also clear ways to do it wrong.
All consumer products should be labeled. That is to say, it’s not enough to simply “guess” at what the ingredients or allergens might be to make these labels yourself. Legal allergen labeling should be approached with as much care as the product itself.
Do you know your product? Can this knowledge mean something to people who buy your product? Of course. Lab certification is how you prove this. Without proper labeling and certification of what’s in your product, consumers have no way to tell.
Certified Lab Tests
Ingredients and contained allergens aren’t a matter of guesswork. Product manufacturers have a responsibility to provide their consumers with the most accurate product information possible. When it comes to ingredients and allergens, this could mean that a certified laboratory is needed to assess the product.
A lab certificate which assesses the standard and ingredients is one of the most vital parts of proving what’s in your product – and getting this stated on the label.
A professional lab can also do a lot more than just certify the ingredients that might be contained in the product. Lab experts are also able to certify which of the most common allergens your product might contain. While certain types of nuts and seeds are some of the most common allergies out there, uncommon ones also exist.
Establishing your level of potential allergens is where the experts come in. Once the common (and uncommon) allergens in your product have been certified by a lab, a certificate is usually issued in order to state the ingredients. It’s this certificate that is used to create your allergen labeling.
What “Made in a Factory Containing…” Means
Labeling often states “made in a factory containing…” when it comes to allergens. This means that the product doesn’t necessarily contain this allergen. However, it might contain traces of it which can affect individuals who are particularly sensitive to it.
What can Fortress Nutrition LLC do for you?
Rest assured that you’re in good hands with Fortress Nutrition. To learn more about how we tailor our blending, ingredient sourcing, logistics, consumer packaging, and other services to meet customer needs, and to find out how we can partner with you to ensure compliance with new GMO laws, contact us today.