Go to Top

Regulation

Allergen Legislation

European food legislation states the declaration of certain potentially allergenic substances in directives 2007/68/EC and 2000/13/EC. These directives do not define any thresholds/action levels for allergen declaration. This zero tolerance appears not to be practical. In practice the zero tolerance is the limit of detection of the analytical method used for allergen detection. This has lead to unnecessary labeling of traces of allergens.

EU-VITAL establishes a standardized procedure for food producers in order to get a clear declaration for allergens. EU-VITAL defines action levels for labeling or not labeling. The proposed action levels are based on a recommendation of European and International scientific expert groups, who intensively examinated this issue.

Allergen Action Level 1 Action Level 2 Action level 3
milk < 50 50 – 500 > 500
lactose1 < 100 100 – 1.000 > 1.000
egg < 20 20 – 200 > 200
soy < 25 25 – 250 > 250
fish < 100 100 – 1.000 > 1.000
peanut < 8 8 – 80 > 80
tree nuts2 < 10 10 – 100 > 100
sesame <10 10 – 100 > 100
crustacean < 10 10 – 100 > 100
gluten3 < 20 20 – 100 > 100
celery < 20 20 – 200 > 200
lupin < 20 20 – 200 > 200
molluscs < 20 20 – 200 > 200
mustard < 20 20 – 200 > 200
SO2 < 10 10 – 100 > 100

the values: the table shows values for the action levels of certain food allergens

the unit / dimension: mg allergenic substance / kg food [ppm]

Action level 1: –
Action level 2: “contains traces of…”
Action level 3: “contains… (ingredient)”

1: association of german analytical chemists to declaration of lactose.
2: tree nuts according to Comission regulation (EC) No 68/2007 Hazelnut, Walnut, Brazil nut, Pecan nut, Cashew nut, Macadamia nut, Pistachio and Almond.
3: according Comission regulation (EC) No 41/2009 concerning the composition and labelling of foodstuffs suitable for people intolerant to gluten, according Codex Alimentarius.