FSA Annual Incident Report

For the second year running, the FSA Annual Incident report shows a significant increase in food and environmental contamination incidents.

In the study, designed by RSSL's allergen experts, samples will be purchased, at random in duplicate, by a third party agency and sent to RSSL's laboratories for analysis. All samples will be analysed, by internationally accepted ELISA methods, for the presence and level of milk, cereals containing gluten, peanut and hazelnut.

The survey aims is to gain a better understanding of the type of allergen advisory labelling present on pre-packed processed foods sold in the UK. It also aims to quantify the level of allergens present in the food as a result of cross contamination and establish whether the type of advisory labelling used actually relates to the level of allergen present. It will look at the different types of advisory labelling used on processed foods and will consider whether different statements, such as 'may contain nuts' or 'not suitable for someone with a nut allergy', convey accurate levels of risk to the consumer.

Ultimately, the FSA will use data from the survey to underpin the development of sound, evidence-based policies and advice on food allergy and intolerance. This will ensure that food produced or sold in the UK is safe for allergic and intolerant consumers by enabling them to make informed choices.

RSSL's survey will also benefit the wider food industry, as it should assist the FSA in developing risk based, proportionate allergen management thresholds (also known as action levels). These will be used by the food industry as well as by regulatory and enforcement bodies to inform decisions about allergen management, to guide quantitative risk assessments and enable the appropriate use of allergen advisory statements on pre-packed foods.

Results should be published in autumn 2013.

Make an Enquiry