Our expert says:
I hear what you are saying because I also have to scrutinise all food and beverage labels for the allergens I react to. Now regarding the labelling of allergens, the new SA labelling regulations state that "egg" is a common allergen and the presence of egg or ingredients derived from foodstuffs classed as common allergens must be indicated on the label as follows:
a) in parenthesis after the name of such ingredient in the list of ingredients, if it is NOT self evident from the name of the ingredient, and/or
b) in close proximity to the ingredient list in a block with the words 'Contains: (allergen(s))’.
So I presume that the manufacturer of the chocolate egg is of the opinion that listing the words "egg albumen" in the list of ingredients falls under point (a) and that because they have listed EGG albumen this indicates the presence of the allergen. They do not have to put (allergen) in parenthesis after the words 'egg albumen' and they also do not need to provide a block listing all the allergens in the product as described under (b). So in this case, the label is legal and the onus is on us to check the list of ingredients carefully (I have resorted to using a magnifying glass because the print is often so tiny) to ensure that we don't ingest an allergen by mistake. Those companies that do provide the block listing all the allergens are my favourites - it saves me so much time and detective work.
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