On February 16, 2011 Health Canada published amendments to the Food Allergen Labeling Regulations and with it means big things for those of us with celiac disease (as well as for people with one or more of the major allergens as well as sulphite sensitivities) when it comes to purchasing safe pre-packaged foods.
The Food and Drug Regulations require that most prepackaged foods carry a label and that the ingredients appear on labels in decreasing order of proportion. However, some ingredients used in food products which were previously exempt from declaration in the list of ingredients, (e.g., components of margarine, seasoning and flour) will now be required to appear on food labels also.
Health Canada has also published the mandatory declaration of the major food allergens, gluten sources and sulphite sources to be done so in simple language.
Under the new labeling laws – the foods that must be declared are:
- almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios or walnuts
- sesame seeds
- wheat and triticale
- crustaceans (common name of the crustaceans)
- shellfish (common name of the shellfish)
- fish (common name of the fish)
- mustard seeds
Gluten sources (food that contains gluten protein, modified gluten protein, or gluten protein fractions from barley, oats, rye, triticale or wheat or any hybridized strain)
Sulphites need to be declared when added as a component and is above 10ppm (it is already law to declare if sulphite is in the ingredients but new law states declaration must be made when its also used as a component).
So what will the new labels look like?
Declarations are able to be done either in brackets or using a ‘contains‘ warning. The maufacturer can choose which one they wish to do but it must be done in one of those two ways.
Manufactures and importers are given 18 months to adopt the new labeling regulations therefore it is important to note that changes do not have to be in effect until AUGUST 04, 2012 so until that date please give the same diligence when reading labels and determine if food is safe for your consumption.
Once again Canada proves to be paving the way for safe labeling and ensuring the safety of the consumers. It’s my hope that other countries quickly adapt a similar labeling regulation (or at least start clearly defining gluten-free and regulations regarding that label).Share This Post: Tweet