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Food labelling practices putting allergy sufferers ‘at risk’ – study

Food makers which are not prepared to indicate which unlabelled foods are safe to eat are putting Australian with food allergies at risk, according to a study.

The study by the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute addressed the industry’s allergen risk assessment processes.

Companies representing 454 different manufacturing sites in Australia were surveyed, it has been reported by Fairfax.

It was reported that “30 per cent of edible packaged goods on supermarket shelves had been declared safe to eat after a risk assessment for food allergens but still remained unlabelled”.

“This would enable consumers to understand which foods have been through a risk assessment process and which have not,” said senior author, Prof Katie Allen.

“Currently allergy consumers are taking significant risks. This situation is just an accident waiting to happen.”

The most common ingredients that account for more than 90 per cent of food allergies include milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and crustacean shellfish.

About one in 20 children and two in 100 adults suffer from a food allergy, the report added.

“It’s become ubiquitous … industry is keen to keen to inform consumers, but they take a ‘zero risk’ approach, that is, if in doubt, put on a label,” Prof Allen added.

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