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Food Labels and Allergen-Related Recalls in the EU and USA

December 26 2023

The significance of proper food labeling cannot be overstated in today's global food market. Recent data reveals alarming statistics: 40% of product rejections in the European Union (EU) and America(USA) are attributed to improper food...

The significance of proper food labeling cannot be overstated in today's global food market. Recent data reveals alarming statistics: 40% of product rejections in the European Union (EU) and America(USA) are attributed to improper food labels, while a substantial 30% of recalls stem from undeclared allergens. This critical issue not only affects consumer safety but also significantly impacts food manufacturers, regulators, and the food industry at large.

The Importance of Accurate Food Labels

Accurate food labeling is paramount for consumer safety and transparency in the food supply chain. Labels serve as a vital source of information for consumers, detailing ingredients, nutritional content, allergens, and usage instructions. However, inaccurate or incomplete labels pose severe risks to consumer health and result in regulatory non-compliance, product rejections, and recalls.

Understanding the Impact: Product Rejections

The rejection of food products due to improper labeling accounts for a substantial portion of regulatory actions in the EU and USA. When products fail to comply with labeling regulations, they are often rejected at borders or during inspections, leading to financial losses for manufacturers and creating distrust among consumers.

Undeclared Allergens and Recalls

Undeclared allergens represent a significant concern, with around 30% of food recalls attributed to their mislabeling. Allergens like peanuts, gluten, soy, and dairy, when not properly declared on labels, can pose severe health risks to individuals with allergies, potentially leading to allergic reactions or even life-threatening situations. The repercussions of allergen-related recalls are not only financial but also erode consumer confidence and brand reputation.

Regulatory Frameworks and Compliance

Both the EU and America have stringent regulations governing food labeling to safeguard consumer health and ensure transparency. Regulatory bodies like the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the USA and the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) in the EU enforce labeling requirements, set standards for allergen declaration, and conduct inspections to ensure compliance.

Mitigation Strategies and Industry Response

Addressing the challenges of improper labeling and undeclared allergens requires proactive measures from food manufacturers. Implementation of robust quality control measures, accurate ingredient sourcing, enhanced production processes, and investing in technology for accurate labeling play pivotal roles in mitigating these risks.

Collaborative Efforts and Continuous Improvement

Collaboration between regulatory bodies, food manufacturers, and other stakeholders is essential for continual improvement in food labeling standards. Continuous education, training programs, and sharing best practices across the industry can drive better compliance and mitigate risks associated with improper food labels and undeclared allergens.

Comprehensive Food Label Solutions

SGS Digicomply's Label Review Service: A Solution for Compliance

In addressing the challenges of accurate food labeling, SGS Digicomply offers a comprehensive Label Review Service. This solution encompasses meticulous nutritional labeling assessments, compliance verification across 84 countries, and assessments of allergen compliance, ensuring precise ingredient listing and regulatory adherence. With a global/local approach and expertise in regulatory compliance, SGS Digicomply ensures accurate and market-specific label assessments, reducing non-compliance risks and bolstering consumer trust.

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For comprehensive label compliance solutions that enhance product marketability and ensure regulatory adherence, connect with SGS Digicomply's expert label review service today. Learn more

Regulatory Intelligence Hub for Proactive Monitoring of Regulatory Changes

Access a comprehensive regulatory database through our Regulatory Intelligence Hub, offering insights into standards and requirements across 150+ jurisdictions, including food label regulations.

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Our advanced AI technology simplifies data research and retrieval, enabling proactive monitoring and keeping you updated on upcoming changes to regulatory requirements. Explore SGS Digicomply platform now.

LabelWise for Food Label Content Management & AI-Powered Artwork Validation

LabelWise streamlines and expedites product artwork validation using AI technology. It ensures compliance with your company's standards and regulatory requirements by automatically checking label elements.


With an intuitive interface, LabelWise organizes artwork for different categories, languages, and markets. It verifies text, translations, claims, branding specifics, dates, and nutrition information, simplifying global label content management. Contact Sales for assistance.


In conclusion, the integrity of accurate food labeling cannot be understated in ensuring consumer safety and regulatory compliance. The prevalence of improper labeling leading to product rejections and the serious consequences of undeclared allergens necessitates a collective effort from manufacturers, regulatory bodies, and industry stakeholders. Collaborative strategies, robust compliance measures, and technological advancements, exemplified by solutions like SGS Digicomply's Label Review Service, underscore the industry's commitment to mitigating risks and fostering consumer trust. Ongoing vigilance, education, and proactive measures are pivotal in upholding food safety standards and maintaining transparency across the global food market.

Tags: food safety, Food Recall, food labeling, food regulations, food allergens, food supply chain, food label, food safety snapshot, nutrition facts label, food product labels, labels for food, ingredient labels


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