Precautionary Allergen Labelling (PAL): what lies ahead

23/03/2023 - 15:00 - 17:00 GMT+1

Roland E. Poms, PhD

Rene Crevel, PhD
Steven M. Gendel, PhD
Jasmine Lacis-Lee
Maurizio Paleologo
Bert Popping, PhD
Comaine van Zijl
Cesare Varallo
Michael Walker, PhD

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PAL should only be used when, following a rigorous risk assessment, an actual risk of allergen cross-contact within the supply chain is identified and cannot be removed through meticulous risk management actions.

The adoption of quantitative limits (based on internationally agreed reference doses) as a standard method, would help the food industry make informative choices in term of labelling, restoring credibility to PAL and, therefore, strengthening the protection of allergic consumers.  

The food industry, via FoodDrinkEurope, has already asked for official thresholds and for a standard to follow for the correct use of PAL. Now the responsibility for what lies ahead is on the legislator.    

Is the time ripe for this change? If not, what is missing for this step to be taken?    

Our exceptional panel of experts will discuss what awaits us.  



Video introduction by Affidia Journal

Video presentations
- "PAL-ling for food safety” by Bert Popping, PhD  
- “Regulatory framework, recalls, and sanction risks” by Cesare Varallo  
- "Current analytical methods - strengths and weaknesses” by Michael Walker, PhD  

Promotional videos by the sponsors of the event

Panel discussion (René Crevel; Steven M. Gendel, PhD; Jasmine Lacis-Lee; Bert Popping, PhD; Comaine van Zijl)

Q&A session



Why this event

In 2011, the European Union harmonized the legislation about allergens intentionally added in food as ingredients. However, cross-contaminations (unintentional and unavoidable) can cause non-allergen-containing products to become potentially threatening for allergic consumers. To tackle the problem, many food producers started voluntarily to use so-called Precautionary Allergen Labelling (PAL) to alert consumers about the possible accidental presence of allergens.    

Although this system was born with the best of intentions, it is now clear that the use of precautionary statements have little value for consumers and may lead to unnecessary avoidance or risk-taking behaviors. Moreover, the inconsistent application of PAL by the food industry and the difference in levels of contamination have caused many withdrawals, resulting in substantial economic losses.    

Countless clinical studies have followed over the years, which have allowed to collect a considerable amount of data related to anaphylaxis and allergic reactions. This knowledge has led international organizations to defining safety thresholds (e.g. VITAL), which could be now used by the legislator to set levels below which no precautionary warnings on the label is needed, so that PAL would reflect only an actual risk. 


Who should attend

  • - food technologists;
  • - safety and quality managers;
  • - food safety auditors;
  • - product development specialists;
  • - food scientists;    
  • - food regulatory experts.

If you miss the live event, visit and watch it on demand (registration is required).


The format

As in any Affidia Talks, there will be a clear separation between the free opinions of the experts, the points-of-view of the stakeholders, and the advertisements of suppliers of products or services.



An exceptional panel of independent experts will share their knowledge and experience in food allergen management to help you understand what may happen in the near future, in regard to precautionary allergen labelling, and how to react accordingly. 


Participation fees and payment

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The participation fee includes:
· Online participation to the live event
· Access to the recorded version of the event on-demand
· E-Certificate for participation (sent upon request) 

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Contact us

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