dairy allergic buy vegan cautiously dairynews7x7

People with dairy and fish allergies are being advised not to buy vegan products without checking the label carefully as they may contain animal products due to cross-contamination.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has launched a campaign to make consumers aware of the dangers after research released by the regulatory body showed 62% of people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who have allergic reactions to animal-based products, or who buy for others who do, are confident that vegan products are always safe to eat.

The campaign encourages people with allergies to milk, eggs, fish and crustaceans to check for a precautionary statement such as “may contain” when there is a chance that a food allergen could be present.

“It’s concerning that so many people who are allergic to milk, eggs, fish and crustaceans or molluscs believe food labelled as vegan is safe for them to eat because they assume it doesn’t contain products of animal origin,” said Emily Miles, the chief executive of the FSA.

“Unfortunately, the reality of food production means there is still a risk of cross-contamination with animal-based allergens in vegan and plant-based products if produced in the same factory as animal-based products.”

Last year, scientists found almost two dozen foods labelled as vegan that contained animal products, prompting experts to warn consumers with severe allergies they faced potentially “tragic consequences”. Trading standards bosses called for legal protection to stop consumers being “exploited by unethical food businesses”.

The FSA campaign explains how a free-from label, which is a food safety label, is different to a vegan or plant-based label. Vegan labels are used to support a dietary choice, and these products do not intentionally contain products of animal origin. Vegan food could still be prepared in areas alongside products such as egg or milk, whereas free-from foods are not.

To use a free-from label, food businesses must follow strict processes to eliminate risks of cross-contamination so they do not contain any of the allergen that they claim to be free from.

Three main UK allergy charities – Allergy UK, Anaphylaxis UK and the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation – issued a joint statement saying they heard every day from “people with food allergies, and their families, who face difficulties when choosing food that is safe for them to eat”.

They said: “This worrying research shows that many people with allergies to products of animal origin are buying vegan and plant-based food and assuming it is safe to eat, without taking further precautions to check the label.”

Claire Ogley, of the Vegan Society, said clear labelling was “very important to people who follow a vegan diet, and accurate labelling is especially vital for people with food allergies”.

She said: “Our vegan trademark shows products are vegan to our rigorous standards as far as is practical and possible, and that efforts have been made to avoid cross-contamination. However, it is essential that people understand that a vegan label does not necessarily mean the product is allergen-free.”

The FSA recently updated its food labelling technical guidance for food businesses. The update advises businesses to use a precautionary allergen label (PAL) alongside a vegan label if cross-contamination cannot be ruled out.

Source : The Guardian Match 5th 2024 by Sarah Marsh

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Subscribe for get daily dairy news

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.