May contain statements

The statement 'may contain xxx traces' is used to show where there may be small amounts of the allergen present in the product, most likely as a result of cross-contamination. Currently it is most commonly used for peanuts and nuts. The statement must only be used where there is a real risk of cross-contamination and not as a catch-all to remove any liability. GMP and HACCP studies will identify real areas of risk and the need to use such a statement. Where it is used it needs to be clearly legible and in a place where consumers


Wheat flour, sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oils, cocoa powder, modified starch, dried egg, dried skimmed milk powder, raising agents (E500, E450(a)), salt, flavouring, water, chocolate (contains lecithin & vanilla), acetic acid.

May contain nut traces

Fig. 8.4 'May contain' statement.

would expect to find it. It has become common practice within the UK to place this statement at the end of the ingredients list and, where possible, in a typeface slightly larger than that used for the ingredients list and similar to that used for the word 'Ingredients'. Figure 8.4 shows an example.

The use of 'may contain' advisory labelling in respect of the potential, adventitious presence of a food allergen should be a last resort. Such labelling should never be used as a general insurance and a substitute for Good Manufacturing Practice.

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