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Food sectorFood-allergic people rely on the food industry to provide accurate and easily accessible information about what is in their food – there is no cure for food allergy so they need to avoid the food allergen completely.
Every time they eat – whether it is a pre-packaged product or a meal at a restaurant – they are putting their trust into those who have prepared the food that allergen management policies are in place and that the information supplied about ingredients is accurate.
Food manufacturers and the food service industry must ensure that they know the source and content of ingredients; that storage, handling, preparation and serving or packaging of food has included allergen controls.
To find out more about food allergies, click here.
Allergy New Zealand has produced two free posters for the food service industry: one is on general food allergy awareness (click here to order) and the second outlines steps you need to take if you have a customer with food allergies (click here to order).
Be aware of your obligations relating to allergen labelling and controls under legislative acts, such as the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code and the Domestic Food Review .
Regulations as they apply to food allergen management
The purpose of the Food Act 2014 is to achieve the safety and suitability of food for sale through implementing risk-based measures. These are set out in National Programmes (levels one – three) and Food Control Plan (FCP). Most food manufacturers will come under a National Programme, and most food services will need to register under the FCP. Food allergen management is referred to in both the National Programmes and FCPs.
For more information click here.
Through the Food Act 2014, MPI is also responsible for regulating the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Food Code, which sets standards for labelling, composition etc. The Code defines the food allergens which it is mandatory to declare, under Std 1.2.3/4 as:
For more information including exemptions, please see the full list here.
Hospitality training video27 July, 2016
Aimed at front-of-house staff, this video describes steps to take in serving a customer with food allergies.
The video was made by Allergy New Zealand on behalf of the Allergen Collaboration, a coalition of some 25 New Zealand and Australian organisations, established in 2011. The Allergen Collaboration is chaired by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and includes representatives from regulators, food industry and food service organisations. The Collaboration has also established a portal with resources available for industry and consumers to use, available here.
A few tips for restaurants and cafes
Tips for front of house and wait staff
Tips for the chef
Allergy New Zealand and the food industryAllergy New Zealand welcomed the introduction of mandatory allergen labelling in 2002 in standard 1.2.3 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, which ensures the main allergens are labelled, including egg, milk, peanut, soyabean, tree nuts, sesame seed, wheat, fish and shellfish.
We have been involved in many food industry and regulatory meetings, conferences and workshops representing the food-allergic consumer since that time, including writing several submissions to Food Standards Australia New Zealand and the New Zealand Food Safety Authority about allergen labelling issues.
Mandatory allergen labelling brought several challenges to the Australasian food industry and as a result the Australian Food & Grocery Council (AFGC), supported by the NZ Food & Grocery Council, initiated the Allergen Forum. One of the major projects of the Forum has been to review the AFGC Allergen Management Guide and to establish online allergen information and advice at the Food Safety Centre Allergen Bureau.
Allergy New Zealand also works closely with The New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) providing information and input into educational and regulatory policy involving allergens.
• Allergen Food Recalls
• Product reformulations / labelling changes
• Non-food product allergen information
We welcome professional membership of Allergy NZ by food companies.
Benefits of membership include
• Annual subscription to our magazine Allergy Today
• Three complimentary sets of our Allergy New Zealand information booklets
• Member discount rate on all Allergy New Zealand resources and services including special discounts on bulk orders
• Regular updates through our magazine and e-network
• Access to information through our extensive networks nationally and internationally, including the latest published research available through the international Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Alliance
• Access to electronic versions of our information resources e.g. Food Allergy Fact Sheets; Allergy Education Guide for Schools & Preschools
• Preferential access to our education seminars and programmes for health and education professionals
• Opportunities to participate in our Allergy Awareness campaigns, and to support us in representing the interests of people living with allergies where possible.
Find out more or join online by clicking here.