Lupin has been added to the list of nine allergens that must be declared on food labels, following consideration by ministers responsible for food regulation. Food businesses have 12 months from 25 May 2017 to meet the requirements.
FSANZ CEO Mark Booth said lupin (which like soy and peanut has the potential to be an allergen) has been recognised as a significant allergen in the European Union food regulations since 2007.
“Historically, most of the Australian sweet lupin crop has been used for animal feed or exported. However, because of its high protein and fibre content, lupin is increasingly being used in food for people. Due to the increase in use in food and some cases of allergic response, FSANZ decided lupin should be one of the allergens requiring mandatory declaration,” said Booth.
“Australia and New Zealand have among the highest prevalence of allergic disorders in the developed world so it’s critical that food businesses get their allergen labelling right.
Booth added that some foods and food ingredients or their components can cause severe allergic reactions including anaphylaxis. This is why there are mandatory allergen labelling requirements in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.
“The ten foods/ingredients that must be declared are peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, sesame seeds, fish and shellfish, soy, wheat and now lupin. These ingredients must be declared on the food label whenever they are present as ingredients or as components of food additives or processing aids,” he said.
Booth said if the food is not in a package or is not required to have a label (for example, food prepared at and sold from a takeaway shop), allergen information must either be displayed in connection with the food or provided to the purchaser if requested.
“If you run a food business you are responsible for understanding and meeting mandatory allergen labelling requirements,” Booth said.
“In addition to protecting public health and safety, awareness can save time and money for food businesses by avoiding food recalls of their products. Many food recalls occur because the food business hasn’t declared an allergen that must be on the label. Undeclared allergens were responsible for 33 recalls in 2016. Food businesses can easily avoid the costly and lengthy process of a recall by staying on top of their responsibilities regarding allergen labelling requirements.”