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funwithdesign t1_j414w7u wrote

I thought the easiest thing was to just put ‘may contain..’

That’s what I see all the time.


diagnosedwolf t1_j415cne wrote

Apparently, doing this isn’t enough. The companies are expected to do a full allergen clean before making a product without sesame in it, according to the article. Otherwise they’re liable if a person eats it and has an allergic reaction.

Honestly, I’d probably put some sesame flour in, too, under those circumstances.


onioning t1_j42d5cf wrote

To be clear, that's normal for the top allergens and the way it's been for decades. The difference here is that bakeries really didn't have to deal with it. They had wheat and soy which is in everything, and then they just avoid the rest of the top eight (now nine). Sesame is different because it's used for some baking but by no means ubiquitous. So previously bakeries didn't need full wash downs to control for allergens because each was either in everything anyway, or in nothing.

Just saying though. Full wash down between allergens is the industry norm and has been for decades.


Murderyoga t1_j41bncn wrote

It'd be like filling your Cuisinart with cyanide then being expected to turn around and make cookies.


hamhead t1_j42er4y wrote

If cyanide only harmed a relatively small percentage of people…


Murderyoga t1_j42fx89 wrote

I assumed that part went without saying.


hamhead t1_j42g49a wrote

Well, no, because the analogy makes no sense. One impacts everyone, one doesn't. So why make it at all if that 'goes without saying'.


onioning t1_j42cp4w wrote

Doesn't actually mean anything legally. It's a hedge. Basically discourage the at risk population from consuming your product just in case you fuck up. Provides no legal protection whatsoever.


spectre_ertceps t1_j42uztc wrote

so they aren't actually adding sesame, they are just saying they are? so now the label becomes completely meaningless?


onioning t1_j42vnpv wrote

If you add sesame it's listed in the ingredients. "May contain" doesn't add anything. It's a nominally true statement so it's permitted, but it is not an ingredient listing. If it says "may contain" but the ingredient is not listed then that means there's a cross contamination risk. Communicating that risk does not get them out of controlling for it.

Say you have a soy allergy. You eat a food that does not have soy listed as an ingredient, but does say that it may contain soy. As it turns out it does, you suffer health consequences, and you successfully sue the manufacturer. The presence or lack of a "may contain" statement makes no difference.


spectre_ertceps t1_j4329he wrote

my understanding was that if it says "may contain" you know that if you have a sensitivity you can eat it, but if you have an allergy, you can't

I don't remember seeing "may contain" in the EU, i remember seeing "may contain traces of" which is information rich, it lets you know that there was that allergen in the factory for some other product so if you have that allergy don't eat it


onioning t1_j432rcu wrote

That is the idea. The point is to discourage those who have the greatest risk. If you can stop people with allergies from eating your products in the first place any cross contamination will never be relevant.

>I don't remember seeing "may contain" in the EU, i remember seeing "may contain traces of" which is information rich, it lets you know that there was that allergen in the factory for some other product so if you have that allergy don't eat it

Those are essentially the same statements. Just very slight variations of syntax.

The important thing though is that these statements do not mean the producer doesn't have to control for allergens. In both the US and the EU they do. It's a hedge to reduce risk.


Chance_Wylt t1_j4311bn wrote

> and you successfully sue the manufacturer.

The hanger for me is the lawsuits wouldn't be successful at all. You were duly warned and proceeded right along anyway.I don't see any entitlement for compensation.


onioning t1_j432c2d wrote

You would be. It's a slam dunk even. Producers have legal obligations. When they don't meat those legal obligations it makes litigation extremely easy. In the eyes of the law they were not duly warned.

This is my actual industry. This isn't some hypothetical. It's one of the main ways that enforcement happens. There's inspection, which is more or less significant depending on what it is, but for most foods they rely on consumer action for enforcement. This scenario is actually super clear cut. Just need to have damages so you can have standing.

And it has to be this way too. Otherwise all food would contain a "may contain" statement and all the relevant regs about labeling and controlling contaminants would be irrelevant. You can't magic words your way our of not having to follow regulations.


GetlostMaps t1_j42lzvt wrote

It does in the Modern Developed World. Perhaps not in your litigious society? A clear warning is a warning. The consumer has to behave as a reasonable person would, and read the label. This is the case in the EU, UK, in most of the world in fact. My law degree is getting pretty old now, but it still works ok.


onioning t1_j42n4ao wrote

Not sure where you're talking about. Has no legal value in the US, the EU, or the UK. I'm unaware of anywhere that's different, and would be a small sum of money that no modern nation is different in this regard.

Also fun fact: the US is not especially litigious, instead being about par for the course.


hamhead t1_j42ell4 wrote

This change made that not possible