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Food Packaging

Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on the use of the phrase 'may contain nuts' on food packaging.[130091]

I am advised that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) wish to see this type of phrase used responsibly on food labels—only being used when strictly necessary and being worded in a manner that allows consumers with food allergies to make informed choices about what they eat. The FSA has held discussions with a wide range of interested parties and will shortly seek comments on an alternative phrase and guidance to industry.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he plans to amend the regulations on allergy-related labelling on food.[130092]

I have been advised by the Food Standards Agency that a new European Directive on allergen labelling of food is in the process of being finalised in Brussels. This will strengthen existing labelling legislation, helping to ensure that consumers are provided with comprehensive information about the ingredients of foods and that those with food allergies are able to identify products they may wish to avoid.