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  • Food Allergen Management

    Helping Industry Prevent Allergen Recalls

    Free Industry Webinar Dec 9, 2015

    Speaker: John Figgins, BCR Global Standards

    Host: Jasmin Kraus, Romer Labs®

  • C o p y ri

    g h t ©

    2 0 1 5 R

    o m

    e r

    L a b s .

    John Figgins

    Technical Speacialist for Food,

    BRC Global Standards

     Degree in Applied Chemistry

     Worked as Food Analyst and Science Officer, then as Chemical Safety Manager

     Joined BRC Global Standards in 2012 – responsible for day to day management

    BRC Global Standards is a safety and quality certification program with a worldwide network of certification bodies.

  • John Figgins – Technical Specialist - Food

    Helping Industry to Prevent Allergen Recalls:

    BRC Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 7

  • Agenda


    Overview of Good Practice

    Specific considerations

    Questions and close

  • What is a food allergy?

    Allergy occurs when the immune system reacts adversely to a food or substance that is harmless for most people.

    Symptoms include rashes, wheezing, itching, severe gut symptoms or in extreme cases, anaphylaxis.

    Other conditions such as auto- immune conditions produce adverse symptoms in some individuals, e.g. coeliac disease

  • Sensitisation – immune system set up for future allergy

    Very minor symptoms – tingle, itch …

    Mild moderate symptoms

    Life threatening symptoms


    Typical Symptoms

  • Categories of incidents dealt with by the

    Food Standards Agency (UK)

    Source: Food Standards

    Agency (UK) Annual

    Report of Incidents 2014

  • Source: The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed 2014 annual report


    “In 2014, the most common reason for recall was an

    undeclared allergen, followed by Listeria monocytogenes,

    extraneous material, and E coli. These products were

    recalled because these problems went undetected.”

    Undeclared allergens top US food

    recall in 2014

  • What causes these incidents?

    Unintentional presence of an allergen

    • Cross-contamination during production

    • Accidental addition of an allergen by using the wrong recipe

    Mis-packing – the wrong packaging is used

    • Insufficient or ineffective changeover controls

    • Inadequate packaging management

    Wrongly labelled packaging

    • Specification errors

    • Communication poor during packing development

    • Ineffective change management when a recipe changes

    • Ineffective sign-off of new packaging or print changes

    • Error on printing

  • • Risk assessment of raw materials/suppliers


    • Significance (Risk assessment)

    • Identification

    • Separation

    • Scheduling

    • Sanitation/Hygiene

    • Rework

    • Documentation – Policies & Procedures

    Management of Allergens On site

    • Accuracy of labels

    • Packaging control

    • Precautionary labelling

    Labelling & Pack Control


  • Suppliers Understanding the

    materials that arrive on site

    Raw material specifications

    • Ingredients listed

    • Knowledge of component parts, e.g. carriers,

    additives, processing aids

    • Avoid generic terms, e.g. vegetable oil

    • List allergens and their derivatives from

    ingredients, e.g. whey is a derivative of milk

    • Cross-contamination risk

  • Sanitation

    Frequently used as an allergen control

    Methods must be designed to consistently achieve desired level of cleaning

    Consider materials, chemicals, water (temperature, hardness), methods and equipment

    Identify what needs to be cleaned and when

    Validation, verification and monitoring

    Establish sign-off processes


  • Packaging

    Label creation and maintenance

    Packaging controls

    On-pack warning labels

  • Label creation and maintenance

    Procedures to ensure accurate information on label

    Packaging is a raw material – subject to controls and approval

    Ensure good communication between all relevant parties involved in packaging design

    Establish sign-off by a qualified person

  • Labelling & Legislation

  • Legislation

    Different legislation applies in different countries and geographic regions

    Identifies those foods most likely to cause a reaction

    Requires management of those ingredients

    Requires products to be labelled if they deliberately contain those ingredients

    Sites have to consider the legislative requirements in the countries they:

    Buy raw materials from

    Manufacture products

    Sell products

  • Packaging controls

    Start-up checks on the line

    All packaging returned to storeroom

    immediately after use

    Ensure correct recipe is in correct


    New packaging must be verified as


    Storage should enable easy

    identification of packaging

    Multi-components of packaging

    should be matched, e.g. pots

    and lids

  • Any questions or points for discussion?


    Practice? Allergens?

  • Thank you!

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