The Anaphylaxis Campaign’s Allergen Standard David Reading Anaphylaxis Campaign
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- The Anaphylaxis Campaigns Allergen Standard David Reading Anaphylaxis Campaign
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- Allergy: a media scare story
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- Allergy: the statistics Acute, severe food allergy affects half a million people across the UK. Nut allergy affects one in 50 children. Thats 250,000 children.
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- Parental anxiety My little boy suffered a severe allergic reaction to a slice of cake containing walnuts. I am terrified I will lose him. I feel we are living with a ticking timebomb.
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- What creates this anxiety?
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- The key message Food allergy can be serious but its manageable. Deaths can be prevented.
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- What are the challenges? Introducing sensible, consistent allergen labelling. Avoiding cross-contamination. Reducing the number of may contain statements. Reducing the number of recalls. Addressing the problem of free from.
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- Confusion among shoppers "Food labelling is at best confusing and at worst life-threatening. Blanket warnings mean that people do not take them seriously. (Mother of allergic child).
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- The may contain dilemma I had always thought that food labelling was there to help and protect the consumer. But now I wonder if it really exists to protect the food industry. (Mother of allergic child)
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- Scepticism about may contain "We ignore all may contain warnings since we found one on a cabbage. (Allergic shopper)
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- Quote from a teenager Food companies put nut warnings on everything to cover themselves. I just cant believe the risk is real. Ill eat anything with a warning.
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- Can of milk with a nut statement!
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- Increase in product alerts The Anaphylaxis Campaign sent out 58 product alerts to members during 2007, compared with 17 in 2004.
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- Example one Canisters of croissant dough wrongly packaged. The label said the dough contained sunflower margarine. It actually contained butter. The company paid for a mail alert.
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- Example two Sesame-allergic member found several sesame seeds embedded in base of a fruit tea cake. No sesame warning on pack. Other packs also contaminated. Company declined to act. Mail alert sent out at Campaigns expense.
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- Further examples Soya infant formula recalled because of milk contamination. Product was labelled suitable for a milk-free diet. Carob ices were labelled 100 per cent dairy free. Two people suffered reactions. Analysis showed casein traces.
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- The Anaphylaxis Campaign Allergen Standard Project began in 2006 in response to consumer and industry concerns. Funded by an FSA grant. Written by industry experts. Went through three months of consultation. Launched November 2007.
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- Aim of the Standard To reduce risk through the management of food allergens. To ensure consumers get accurate information. To increase consumer confidence.
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- The scope of the Standard Peanuts. Tree nuts. Crustaceans.Molluscs.Fish.Eggs.Milk. Cereals containing gluten. Soybeans.Celery.Mustard.Sesame.Lupin.Sulphites
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- The scope of the Standard Ingredients labelling as legally required.Ingredients labelling as legally required. Allergy advice boxes.Allergy advice boxes. May contain advisory labelling.May contain advisory labelling.
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- Why introduce certification? It provides independent assessment. Reduces risk to the consumer. Generates consumer confidence. Reduces risk of recall, withdrawal, court action, loss of reputation.
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- Due diligence Companies achieving certification will present a lower risk and be better able to meet a due diligence challenge.
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- Defence of due diligence It shall be a defence for the person charged to prove that he took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of the offence. Section 21 The Food Safety Act 1990Section 21 The Food Safety Act 1990 There is a system The system must be made to work
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- Training in allergen management The Standard requires that companies seeking certification must have at least one staff member trained.
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- Certification not the only goal Can the scheme proceed without a requirement for certification? The answer is yes. The Standard offers a high level of best practice guidance. Even without certification, the allergic consumer will benefit.
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- Why a new Standard? Other standards include some allergen requirements but at a basic level. Auditors not trained in specific allergen requirements. An independent scheme promotes consumer trust.
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- Informing the consumer Consumers want to know which products have been certified. A simple logo is the answer. Logo is voluntary not compulsory. It will act as a signpost rather than an endorsement.
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- The logo
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- What the logo will communicate This food company takes allergy seriously. There is a high level of allergen control in the production process. You can trust the information on this label.
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- Later stages Standard to be reviewed regularly by a panel of technical experts. The free from and catering aspects of the scheme to be phased in later.
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- Training and marketing Outsourced to Highfield.co.uk Ltd. One of the UK's leading suppliers of food safety training. Has produced food safety and health and safety materials since 1982. Supplies products in 25 languages to more than 100 countries.
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- What it costs The Standard: 65.00 for a single copy 100.00 for two copies 200.00 for five copies The training: 2-day course: 740+VAT 2-day course + optional 3rd day: 940+VAT
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- The problems with free from The phrase free from suggests an absolute value. Consumers expect it to mean total absence. But some free from products have been tested to reveal traces. People have reacted.
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- A few of the recalls Cheese and tomato bake for babies labelled milk and lactose free. Soya slices 100 per cent dairy free. Soya formula for infants suitable for a milk and lactose free diet. Free from chocolate bar free from gluten, wheat and dairy. Organic flakes labelled gluten-free.
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- Spot the mistake
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- The message Food companies wishing to label products free from X must be confident there is virtually no chance of cross-contact.
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- Contact us www.anaphylaxis.org.uk www.allergyinschools.org.uk www.cateringforallergy.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Helpline: 01252 542029
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