Hi Adrienne, thank you for taking the time to leave a review..
Please note that Clearspring use 100% vegan ingredients in all of our product range. Although the risk of cross contamination is extremely low, we feel that sharing this information with the public will inform people, especially ones with severe allergic reactions, of the possible risk to them.
Here is a link to the vegan society's website on this matter that may be useful to you:
Please note the guidance note from the UK government regarding the Food Information Regulation (FIR) compliance on this topic:
Under Article 9 (1)(c) of EU FIC, all Food Business Operators (FBOs) will need to declare the presence – whether for use as an ingredient or a processing aid - of any of the 14 major allergens listed in Annex II to the Regulation.
The trace amounts of crustaceans that may be present in the Sea Vegetable products do not fall into the above category (ingredient or a processing aid). The possibility of these traces being present would be classified as unintended. Please note the following guidance on may contain statements to this end:
Voluntary use of precautionary allergen labelling to indicate the unintentional presence of allergens.
FBOs voluntarily use precautionary allergen labelling such as ‘may contain’ or ‘not suitable for…’ to communicate the risk of the unintentional presence of an allergen (e.g. milk, egg, nuts, fish etc.) in a food product due to the allergen entering the product accidentally during production, through cross-contamination. The voluntary use of such precautionary allergen labelling is still permitted; the basis for this is contained within Article 14 of EU Regulation No.178/2002 (General Food Law).
After much thought and as we believe this is an unavoidable risk, we as a company intend to continue to use the current format of 'may contain traces' even though the chance of cross contamination is extremely low. On Sea Vegetables we feel it is particularly important to state this due to the nature of the product (originating from the sea).
So to cut a long story short, it's for allergen advice and does not affect its vegan status, as the Vegan Society acknowledges that unintentional cross contamination is possible on a product of this nature.
Hope this helps.