August 30, 2018

Food Labeling Issues and Trends in Europe: Lessons for U.S. and European Practitioners from Recent Allergen Recalls

Nicola Smith

Trade press reports have highlighted a spate of recent recalls relating to food and drink products in the United Kingdom resulting from labeling errors. See James Ridler, Labelling Errors Spark Food Recalls, Food Manufacture, Mar. 28, 2018, www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/Article/2018/03/28/Food-recalls-sparked-by-labelling-errors. Examples include foods recalled because of salt crystals not mentioned on the packaging (which represent a potential choking hazard), chocolate drinking straws with labels not in English (with allergen information therefore not easily comprehended), and several products that contained allergens not correctly mentioned on the label. If food businesses are part of a global food supply chain, they would be well advised to be aware of what will happen when recalls are required across several countries. Their own products may need to be recalled in other jurisdictions, and they may use ingredients from other jurisdictions that have been withdrawn or recalled from the market.

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