Allergen Control in Food Manufacturing: Best Practices and Challenges
Food allergies affect a significant portion of the population, making allergen control a critical aspect of food manufacturing. If undeclared allergens are found in food products, they can have severe health implications for consumers with allergies. To ensure consumer safety, it is crucial for food manufacturers to implement robust allergen control measures.
KLEANZ supports the verification and validation of best practices for allergen control in food manufacturing:
- Proper Allergen Storage and Sanitation Before Production. To prevent cross-contamination, proper separation and segregation of allergenic ingredients and products must take place. Manufacturers should have detailed SSOPs for handling allergens in storage areas, on production lines, and with equipment. This minimizes the risk of unintended contact with non-allergenic ingredients. In addition the appropriate cleaning must take place between product runs.
- Executing Cleaning and Sanitizing Procedures. Dedicated cleaning protocols, including validated cleaning methods, should be implemented to ensure the thorough removal of allergenic ingredients between different product runs.
- Allergen Labeling and Packaging. It is essential to use accurate and prominent allergen labeling to inform consumers about any potential allergenic ingredients present in food products. There are specific labeling regulations put in place to ensure that all allergens are clearly and consistently identified on packages.
- Employee Training and Awareness. It is important that the appropriate employees in a food manufacturing plant complete proper training and education regarding allergen control. Employees should be aware of allergenic ingredients, understand the risks associated with cross-contamination, and follow the established protocols to prevent cross-contamination.
There are many challenges manufacturers may experience throughout the allergen control process and procedures. One common challenge involves the complex ingredient composition of many food products. When products have complex ingredient compositions it can be challenging to identify and manage potential allergens. It is important for manufacturers to have accurate and up-to-date information about all ingredients used in their products. This means ensuring that they build strong relationships with their suppliers and verify that all raw materials and ingredients are accurately labeled for allergens.
Another common challenge is the various stages at which cross-contamination can occur. There are many stages in food manufacturing where cross-contamination can occur, including storage, processing, and packaging. It is important to manage cross-contact risks through meticulous planning, managing, and implementing control measures to prevent unintended allergen transfer.
With the support of KLEANZ, you can be confident that your allergen control measures are robust, reliable, and tailored to your unique needs. Learn more about KLEANZ allergen control compliance and allergen changeovers.
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