The Allergen Bureau provides rapid responses to questions concerning the management of food allergen risks in food ingredients and manufactured foods.
Allergen Bureau Member enquiries and VITAL® Online subscriber enquiries will be acknowledged within 2 working days and considered responses given within 5 working days – although we are pleased to say we are usually much quicker than that and generally respond on the same or next day.
Non-members are only able to access the Allergen Bureau phone and email information service as a priority for one enquiry. Subsequent enquiries and requests for assistance by non-members will be considered on a case-by-case basis, as time and resources allow.
Contact the Free Helpline today.
Australia: 0437 918 959
International: + 61 437 918 959
The Allergen Bureau’s Allergen Risk Review website is a freely available interactive guide designed to assist the food industry with understanding the allergen status of its products.
Allergen risk review is the process of thoroughly investigating the allergen status of food. It begins with raw materials and continues throughout the manufacturing process until the food is packed and labelled.
In the VITAL® Program, allergen risk review represents the holistic approach to assessing the allergen status of a food. It encompasses any systems, allergen management processes or evaluations made in order to make a labelling decision.
Visit the ARRW today
The 2019 Food Industry Guide to Allergen Management and Labelling for Australia and New Zealand is a partnership document of the Australian Food and Grocery Council and the Allergen Bureau.
The Guide describes industry best practice for the management of allergens, allergen labelling, and allergen communication. In this Guide, ‘allergens’ are the foods or substances that are listed in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) Section 1.2.3—4 Mandatory declaration of certain foods or substances in food.
The Guide provides:
- an overview of food allergy and food intolerance
- a description of the requirements outlined in the Code regarding food allergens that require labelling in Australia and New Zealand
- information about international food allergen regulations
- guidance on the management of food allergens in the manufacture and supply of food ingredients and finished products
- information on analysis for allergens
- best practice guidance for allergen declaration and communication, including the application of the VITAL Program for risk assessment and labelling of cross contact allergens.
- guidance on the management and communication of a change in allergen status of a food product
- guidance on the management of reports in relation to alleged allergic reactions to a food the company has supplied
- information about food recalls.
Download the 2021 Food Industry Guide to Allergen Management and Labelling for Australia and New Zealand.
The Allergen Bureau’s VITAL® Standard is a supplementary certification program for food manufacturers that are already certified to GFSI recognised food safety management standards that include allergen management. The VITAL® Standard is certified by Certification Bodies accredited to ISO/IEC 17065:2012 (or subsequent version) and audited by auditors trained in the VITAL Standard and registered with the Allergen Bureau Ltd.
Manufacturers that achieve VITAL® certification may use the VITAL® mark on the products within their scope of certification.
The VITAL® Standard was produced by the VITAL Phase 3 – Certification Working Group.
The Allergen Bureau’s VITAL® (Voluntary Incidental Trace Allergen Labelling) Program is a standardised allergen risk assessment process for food industry. VITAL® allows food producers to assess the impact of allergen cross contact and provide appropriate precautionary allergen labelling on their products.
Carrying out a VITAL® risk assessment using the VITAL tools – including VITAL® Online – assists a food company to thoroughly review the allergen status of all the ingredients and the processing conditions that contribute towards the allergen status of the finished product.
The VITAL® Program produces a ‘labelling outcome’ that summarises the food allergens present in a food due to intentional inclusion as part of a recipe and where food allergens, present due to cross contact, should be included (or not) on the label in the form of the precautionary statement ‘May be present: allergen x, allergen y.’.
Training Providers are endorsed by the Allergen Bureau to provide VITAL® Training. Please note some Training Providers may deliver training in the UK, other EU countries or the broader Asia-Pacific region. We recommend you contact individual Training Providers to discuss your particular needs for VITAL® Training.
For more details on countries and languages of VITAL® Training delivery, download our VITAL Training Providers quick reference list.