Since Canada's new food allergen labelling regulations came
into force on Aug. 4, 2012, the most common category of recalls has
been undeclared mustard. There have been eight national voluntary
Class 1 product recalls on a broad range of products, including
kosher frankfurters, macaroni and potato salad, pizzas, barbecue
kabobs, various wiener products and, just this month, another
frozen pizza product.
Why are we seeing so many mustard recalls? Mustard is now one of
the 10 priority food allergens that must be declared in the
ingredient list or have a clear statement that begins with
"Contains..." on their labels. Even under the old rules,
mustard had to be listed if it were a primary ingredient, but now,
under the new rules, priority allergens must be listed even if they
are merely a component of an ingredient. This long overdue reform
corrects past situations in which manufacturers didn't need to
disclose the presence of an allergen if it were contained within
what they listed as spices, flavourings or seasonings. Mustard is
widely used in most salad dressings, barbecue sauces, vinaigrettes,
curries, pickles and processed meats. Manufacturers of these
products will now have to change their labels so the
mustard-allergic consumer can finally know of the mustard's
presence. As Marilyn Al len, a consultant on the issues of
allergies and anaphylaxis for Anaphylaxis Canada, has noted, until
these new regulations were brought into operation the presence of
mustard was "very, very difficult to ferret out" in
literally hundreds of food products.
The new rules will not be as problematic for food manufacturers
that have been exporting to Europe, as mustard has been a
prioritized allergen for food labelling there for many years. For
others, complying with the new labelling rules is proving to be
quite a challenge. Often suppliers of prepared soups, sauces,
gravies and spice combinations have not even disclosed the various
ingredients to the food manufacturer.
Mustard is probably the world's most common condiment. An
ancient food, it was the Romans who introduced prepared mustard by
grinding the seeds and adding wine to create a paste that is very
similar to modern mustard. French monks at Dijon refined the
process for creating prepared mustard, and by the 17th century
Dijon became the mustard centre of the world. It was also there in
1777 that a M. Grey arranged funding from a M. Poupon to allow him
to expand the production of his mustard processing facility,
solidifying Dijon as the mustard capital of the world. It was not
until 1904, at the St. Louis World's Fair, that R.T. French
added turmeric and introduced bright yellow mustard as a condiment
for that other new American invention — the hot dog.
Most Canadians would be surprised to learn that we are the
largest mustard seed producer in the world. The Canadian Grain
Commission establishes and maintains quality standards for mustard
seed under Section 5 of the Canada Grain Regulations, allowing it
to be traded around the world with the highest reputation for
quality. Nearly all those famous British and French mustards are
made with Canadian mustard. This is another Western Canadian
agricultural success story that deserves to be better known, just
as we should all know that Canada, in just a few years, went from
nowhere to being the largest producer of lentils in the world,
thanks to the genius of our agricultural scientists and our highly
innovative and efficient Western Canadian farmers.
Because mustard belongs to the Brassica family, and canola oil
can be made from both rapeseed (Brassica Napus and Brassica Rapa)
and mustard seed (Brassica Juncea), the question has arisen whether
canola oil should be considered a risk for people with a mustard
allergy, and allergen labelling required. Health Canada has
announced that because the oil has been highly refined, it does not
contain appreciable amounts of the pro¬tein that could cause an
Because mustard is so widely used in spice preparations,
flavourings and sauces, we are likely to see many more recalls
until food manufacturers get better organized to meet the new
This article originally appeared in Food in Canada and is
republished with the permission of the publisher.
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.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
The prospect of an internal investigation raises many thorny issues. This presentation will canvass some of the potential triggering events, and discuss how to structure an investigation, retain forensic assistance and manage the inevitable ethical issues that will arise.
From the boardroom to the shop floor, effective organizations recognize the value of having a diverse workplace. This presentation will explore effective strategies to promote diversity, defeat bias and encourage a broader community outlook.
Staying local but going global presents its challenges. Gowling WLG lawyers offer an international roundtable on doing business in the U.K., France, Germany, China and Russia. This three-hour session will videoconference in lawyers from around the world to discuss business and intellectual property hurdles.
Effective September 1, 2016, the Disposition of Surplus Real Property Regulation to the Ontario Education Act was amended with the intention to reduce barriers to the formation of health and community hubs in Ontario.
This appeal relates to two generic drug submissions for two different products: exemestane and infliximab. Both submissions cross-referenced the submission of another generic company that had received a Notice of Compliance.
Two recent decisions from the Supreme Court of Canada directly affect Quebec's farm businesses by confirming La Financière Agricole du Québec's discretion in the administration of the farm income stabilization program...
On October 6, 2016, the Ontario Legislature reintroduced the Patients First Act, 2016 as Bill 41. Bill 41 is very similar to its predecessor, Bill 210, which was introduced in June 2016, but makes some important changes to the previous bill.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).