May 27 , 2020
Last Friday, May 22, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) dropped a bit of a bomb on the food industry- especially those who regard thorough and clear labeling to be critical to the health and safety of all consumers: Temporary Relaxation of Some Food Labeling Requirements.
It's anyone's prerogative to consider why FDA would make this announcement at the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend, and a weekend in which many states have now eased up on restrictions of movement at least moderately. But the bottom line is: What does this mean for those with allergies to certain foods?
Our friends at Snack Safely have provided a pretty comprehensive analysis of the guidelines and their concerns for the food allergic community in this article by CEO Dave Bloom. A primary concern for us here at Gem City Fine Foods is the vague terminology, such as "should avoid," which allows the manufacturer's own discretion in deciding a substitution that could prove dangerous without the attending disclosure about that substitution.
While we understand there is concern about supply chain during a pandemic and beyond, and we don't want to see companies have to go out of business because they can no longer manufacture as usual, we also support stringent labeling requirements for the safety of the consumer- you, all of us. Even as a small company, we make sure to budget for gluten free certification and to go the extra ways to make sure our labels are consistent in listing the correct ingredients and potential for any of the Top 8 food allergens, and we even go beyond that by considering many different food allergens when conducting product R&D or reformulation. And we have signed onto the Ingredient Pledge at Snack Safely's request- and with our commitment to maintain transparency and safety for our celiac, gluten sensitive, and food allergic friends.
If you have any questions about our supply chain, ingredients, or labels, please reach out to us at any time at 801.746.4454. We will be happy to answer.
With continued commitment, Lisa and the Gem City Fine Foods team