On August 4, 2012, regulations amending the Food and Drug
Regulations (FDR) came into effect aimed at reducing the
inadvertent consumption of undeclared food allergens and to provide
consumers with safe food choices. The amendments require enhanced
labeling for food allergens, gluten sources, or added sulphites on
food labels whenever they or their derivatives are added to
prepackaged foods. http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2011/2011-02-16/html/sor-dors28-eng.html
General Requirements for Enhanced Labeling
Under the FDR, all pre-packaged foods must carry a label listing
ingredients. The FDR now requires an enhanced prescribed list of
known allergens, gluten sources, and sulphites to be declared in
commonly used words. For example, the common names for plant
sources of starches, modified starches, hydrolyzed plant proteins,
and lecithin must now indicate source information (e.g.,
"hydrolyzed soy protein" instead of
"hydrolyzed vegetable protein"); and the common name of
gluten sources must be declared, such as barley, oats, rye,
triticale, or wheat. These allergens, gluten sources, and sulphites
must be declared either in the list of ingredients or in a separate
"contains" statement immediately following the ingredient
list (e.g., "Contains: milk, peanuts, triticale, wheat
(spelt), and sulphites.")
Some foods not requiring a list of ingredients will continue to
be exempt from these new rules. However, if a manufacturer
voluntarily lists ingredients for these exempted foods, the
manufacturer must adhere to these new rules.
Other Key Amendments
Ingredients in foods usually exempt from declaring their
components must now identify any food allergens, gluten sources,
and sulphites within exempt components. For example, a pre-packaged
food listing "spices" must list any allergens, gluten
sources, or sulphites in the spices.
In addition, companies that manufacture products made with
barley, oats, rye, triticale, or wheat, without any gluten protein,
have the option of labeling them "gluten free."
Finally, although standardized alcoholic beverages are not
required to list ingredients, if wine or other standardized
alcoholic beverages (except standardized beer) contain a food
allergen, gluten, or sulphites, these must be declared as set out
above on a visible surface. Additional amendments dealing with
enhanced labeling of beer will be dealt with in future
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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