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.
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. We offer E-Learning in Allergen awareness and more.
There are many procedures that can be put in place to make allergen awareness more knowledgeable and the risk of allergen contamination reduced.
The following controls should be implemented within your Food Safety Systems.
- Raw Materials-assessment of the allergens present within the ingredients that are purchased
- Intake Assessment – the assessment of deliveries for potential cross contamination.
- Storage – a dedicated storage and ingredient weighing area for raw material and finished products containing allergens.
- Dedicated labelled equipment/tubs for the weighing of allergens.
- Dedicated plastic overalls/gloves and foot covers which must be worn when we handle the peanuts and nuts (product which cause the most severe allergenic reaction in people)
- Stock – routine assessment of stock for broken bags or containers.
- Production planning of allergen containing finished products to reduce the likelihood of cross contamination i.e. produced at the end of the day.
- Full clean down of production equipment/dedicated utensils after the production of allergen containing products. Double sign off to confirm the cleaning is effective.
- Allergen Swabbing to confirm cleaning methods are suitable.
- Procedure for Non-conforming Materials.
- Product Development – review of raw material specification for allergens.
- Finished Product Specification – declaration of allergens within the specifications.