Poor understanding of allergen labelling by allergic and non-allergic consumers
van Os-Medendorp, H.
van den Bergh, H.
van Dijk, L.M.
Background: Understanding consumers’ interpretation of allergy information is crucial for effective food safety policies. We evaluated consumer understanding of allergy information on foods in controlled, experimental studies. Method: Using 18 packaged foods, we evaluated consumer understanding of information about allergens in two experiments: First, a comparison of foods with no stated allergen versus allergen as a stated ingredient versus a precautionary allergen label (PAL); second, a comparison of three common variants of PAL. In each experiment, consumers with and without self-reported food allergy were asked to estimate the risk of allergic reaction and to rate the comprehensibility of the allergen information. In the second experiment, consumers were also asked which form of PAL they preferred. Results: Risk of reaction was assessed as high and low for foods with the allergen stated as ingredient, or without any mention of allergen. However, risk assessment for PAL varied and was judged as higher by non-allergic than allergic participants (82% vs. 58%, p
To reference this document use:
Clinical and Experimental Allergy, 51 (51)