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Allergen control and storage


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#1 D-D

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 02:38 PM

Hello,

I have seen somewhere that it is a requirement to have a designated, labelled area for allergen-containing materials and within that area, separate locations identified for the different types of allergen (we have celery , mustard, gluten and soy products in our products (food flavours)). Is this correct? It is not as explicit as this in the standard.

At the moment we use our software system to designate anything as containing allergens through labelling but I am just about to re-organise the warehouse; do I need to do it?

Also, we do not use dedicated equipment for allergen-containing materials. Even after validated clean-down and change-over procedures does this mean that we have to label everything as 'May contain...'?

Thanks.


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#2 Simon

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 09:01 AM

Can anyone help DD?


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#3 Rex

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 12:53 PM

Is there others ways to avoid the allergen except labeling? expect good methods is suggested.


Rex


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#4 Cathy

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 02:01 AM

Yes - You should segregate allergens in storage but this can mean that you keep them on different pallets in enclosed containers or in one specific rack designated for allergen containing products. It helps to identify allergen containing items in storage using colored stickers or bright labels. Never store allergens above non-allergen containers.

For the label, the burden of proof is yours. If you have validated routinely documented procedures, you should not need to indiate 'May Contain' on your products.


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#5 GMO

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 05:01 AM

I prefer the Tesco system where it's listed "processed in a site which also processes soy, celery etc" rather than "may contain" as I think it gives the consumer a better idea of what the risks are.

Most retailers from experience prefer that approach of separate storage locations but I agree it can be a bit of a waste of time. When I've processed nuts in the past, we've had separate dedicated equipment for the nuts separate scales etc. and within this policy "sesame oil" was classed as a nut. It wasn't until I pointed out that several sauces we cooked through the standard cooking pots contained nuts or sesame oil that people started to realise that perhaps they'd lulled themselves into a false sense of security! Especially as part of the CIP cycle of these pots used recirculated water!

I'm not sure what kind of site you work in but if it's a manual assembly site, one thing I've done in the past to ensure disposable clothing is changed between products is to get people to change colours. It can also work if you're doing something particularly high risk, e.g. have a different colour for each allergen, however, as I said before, it's the big equipment where cross contamination is likely to happen and harder to control.


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#6 Tony-C

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 03:52 AM

Hello,

I have seen somewhere that it is a requirement to have a designated, labelled area for allergen-containing materials and within that area, separate locations identified for the different types of allergen (we have celery , mustard, gluten and soy products in our products (food flavours)). Is this correct? It is not as explicit as this in the standard.

Thanks.


BRC just love risk assessments and what it says in the standard is that you should carry out a risk assessment to identify routes of contamination then establish policies and procedures to prevent contamination during handling including physical or time segregation. See Section 5.2.1.3

So it is left to you to decide on the level of control required and then your BRC auditor will come along and decide if they are happy with your controls Posted Image

Personally I would always segregate in storage. Having a labelled seperate area for each should mean people understand where things should be stored!

Regards,

Tony
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#7 D-D

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 08:02 AM

This is very helpful; thanks all.
I think I may veer away from segregated storage within the allergen area itself if it is not a requirement as many or our flavours are compounds that could include both celery and mustard for example, so it could get a bit messy.


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