Declaration of allergens on food labels: overview of Latin America

Caro et al.

Identify countries that have legislation on mandatory declarations of food allergens, irradiated foods, and transgenic foods on the nutritional labels of packaged foods.

Exploratory study reviewing the health regulations and technical standards for foods in Latin American countries in order to gather information on declarations of allergens, trace allergens, irradiated foods, and transgenic foods. The information search was carried out through the countries’ government web pages. Presentation of the results is descriptive and narrative.

Of the 19 countries reviewed, 89% require a declaration of allergens on their nutrition labeling, 76% have legislation that explicitly require a statement on trace allergens, and 82% follow Codex Alimentarius recommendations with some modifications of food categories.

Three pending challenges in the Region are: requiring statements on allergens as a food safety measure; making progress toward improved labeling of trace allergens; and ensuring universal availability of epinephrine.

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