Dealing with Allergen awareness.
In the UK, it is estimated that 1-2% of adults and 5-8% of children have a food allergy. This equates to around 2 million people living in the UK with a food allergy, this figure does not include those with food intolerances. This means the actual number of affected people living with food allergy and/or food intolerance is considerably more.
You need to tell your customers if any food products you sell or provide contain any of the main 14 allergens as an ingredient.
The 14 allergens are:
- cereals containing gluten – including wheat (such as spelt and Khorasan), rye, barley and oats
- crustaceans – such as prawns, crabs and lobsters
- molluscs – such as mussels and oysters
- tree nuts – including almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts
- sesame seeds
- sulphur dioxide and sulphites (if they are at a concentration of more than ten parts per million)
This applies also to the additives, processing aids and any other substances which are present in the final product. For example, sulphites, which are often used to preserve dried fruit, might still be present after the fruit is used to make chutney. If this is the case, you need to declare them.
All staff, including temporary staff and contractors involved in the food production process should be aware of Food Allergens and the consequences should they be consumed by anyone with a food allergy. There are many procedures that can be put into place to avoid such events, for example Handwashing, Cleaning, Storage and dedicated equipment.
We offer E-Learning courses in Allergen Awareness, which is ideal for anyone that works with, handles or sells food. and, Allergen Awareness in manufacturing, which is ideal for anyone involved in the manufacture of food products.
click here for more information on Allergen Awareness courses available.