While more than 160 foods can cause allergic reactions in people with food allergies or intolerances, in Australia and New Zealand there are 12 allergens that account for 90% of food allergic reactions.

Whenever these 12 allergens are present in food as ingredients or processing aids, or are from cross-contamination, they must be declared on the food label. Food labels help allergic consumers identify offending foods or ingredients making it easier to avoid them.

The Top 12 Allergens are:
1. Peanut
2. Treenuts
3. Gluten containing cereals
4. Egg
5. Milk
6. Sesame Seed
7. Fish
8. Crustacea
9. Mollusc
10. Soy
11. Lupin
12. Added Sulphites

PEAL Changes 2021

In February 2021, FSANZ made some changes to the list of allergens for Australia and New Zealand as part of the new Plain English Allergen Labelling (PEAL) laws to differentiate some of the allergens.

The changes were:
  • Fish excludes crustacea & molluscs
  • Shellfish term no longer exists
  • Crustacea and molluscs must be declared as separate allergen groups
  • Tree nuts must be declared as the named nut eg almonds

Changes to Shellfish:

Image: Food Standards Australia & NZ

Image: Food Standards Australia & NZ

Changes to Treenuts:

Image: Food Standards Australia & NZ

Image: Food Standards Australia & NZ

Not sure how to respond to the food allergen changes?

I’m launching a brand new PEAL Plain English Allergen Labelling course soon to help you with this! Make sure you sign up to my Waitlist to be the first to know when it is launches. Sign up here!

Checkout also our previous PEAL blog posts.


This is general information rather than regulatory advice. We therefore recommend you seek further advice that takes into account your particular ingredients, products, processing, packaging and other circumstances before making commercial decisions for your business.