June 13, 2011
By August 2012, food manufacturers will be required to clearly identify any allergens, gluten, and sulfites contained in their products. The new regulations also require more common and specific names for substances. For example, instead of “hydrolyzed plant protein” a label should state “hydrolyzed soy protein”, and instead of “shellfish” a label should name the particular shellfish.
For now, though, beer and the like (ale, malt liquor, etc.) are getting a free pass. The beer industry argued that such labelling is unnecessary because it’s obvious that beer contains barley and rye (and therefore gluten), and also that for smaller brewers who print directly on glass bottles instead of paper labels the labelling change would be too expensive. It’s unknown how long this exemption will last.
Otherwise, this move is an excellent step that will allow people with allergies or celiac disease to make better food purchasing decisions.
Filed under: Packaging