Undeclared allergens in food

Food control, analyses and risk assessment

image of Undeclared allergens in food

Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden collaborated during 2015 in a control project on allergen labeling. Products were also analysed for the allergens milk, egg, hazelnut, peanut and gluten. Correct labeling is the only aid for allergic consumers to avoid products which could pose a serious health risk. The widespread use of non-regulated precautionary allergen labeling (PAL) might decrease the amount of products available for allergic consumers. It can also pose a risk since the PAL might be ignored. On 10% of the controlled products, the allergenic ingredients were not correctly transcribed in the list of ingredients and EU regulations were thus not followed. Milk was the most frequently found undeclared allergen, especially in chocolate and bakery products, and therefore constitute a risk for allergic consumers. The results might give input to achieve EU legislation regarding PAL.




In total, information regarding food control of 339 products was imported into the electronic reporting system. Products were controlled and sampled in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden (Table 4), and most products were produced in the country in which the control was performed. Some products were imported from one of the four Nordic countries and controlled in the importing Nordic country. Thus more products were produced in Finland (35 products) compared to controlled in Finland (33 products). Fifty products were imported from other countries within the EU other than Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. Nine products were produced in other countries outside the EU other than Norway.


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