Allergen Management

Tips and tricks to help with your food safety compliance

Common reasons for food allergen recalls

Food allergen recalls continue to top the list of the most common type of recall experienced by the food industry. This has been reiterated this week at the 2017 Food Allergen Management Symposium and Asia Pacific Food Allergen Workshop. In this post find out what the most common reasons for food allergen recalls and get some insights into how to avoid them.

Lack of Knowledge

Food labelling laws are made to help the allergic consumer avoid illness and injury. However, if you don’t know what the law requires you to do, it makes food compliance very hard to achieve. Lack of knowledge is not a defence in court so if you are unsure about the laws around allergen labelling in your country of manufacture and country of supply, it is time to get reading. To start you off, click here to watch a free webinar on an Introduction to Food Labelling.

Supplier Issue

Sometimes information provided by suppliers is not correct. If you rely on the ingredients listing or labels provided on raw materials to formulate your own products, beware! Always follow up with your supplier as to the current product specification which includes the correct ingredients and allergen identification. In addition, to avoid a food allergen recall, regularly review your suppliers, the raw materials they provide you and the communication you have with them.

Packaging Error

The product packed into the wrong packaging is purely human error. This also applies to fixing labels to products wrapped in clear packaging.  Robust systems, checks and balances will help to avoid this common cause for food allergen recalls.

Accidental allergen cross-contact

Allergen cross contact is when one food comes into contact with another food that contains different allergens. An allergen food recall due to this issue can originate from poor cleaning practices, inadequate handling and storage procedures and inadequate knowledge. To find out more about preventing allergen cross contact click here.

Food allergen recalls

Has you food business ever experienced a food allergen recall? Can you add to this list? Share your experience and knowledge with the HACCP Mentor community by leaving a comment below.


6 thoughts on “Common reasons for food allergen recalls”

  1. Very interesting. Thanks Amanda. We see that some allergen recalls originate due to lack of fundamental training of operators who aren’t aware of the far-reaching implications of their actions.

  2. Wilko Scholtens

    Industry specialist have concluded that a major risk for Accidental allergen cross-contact is identified in poorly cleaned tanker trucks during bulk transports.

    In the majority of the cases foodstuff only trucks carry different foodstuffs including allergens.

    Cleaning takes place at remote stations often by 3rd party suppliers. These 3rd parties are directly involved in conditioning direct product contact as the foodstuff comes into direct contact with the transport equipment.

    Remote process monitoring can help to secure that cleaning took place according to proper cleaning procedures set by your QA process experts. Allergen removal cleaning procedures are possible.

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