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Allergen Validation for baked goods

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 07:31 PM

As you are aware the use of "may contain statements" cannot be substituted for responsible food science and or food safety.  We have muffin mix lines and bread lines ( par bake, thaw and serve and frozen dough) and for the muffin line which is "wet cleaned" the Neogen survey using egg allergen as the reference allergen worked out well. However on the lines where we can only dry clean we are getting no detection of egg, sesame seed or total milk allergen.  


Has anyone conducted a similar survey on lines such as the Glimek or Rheon   or Konig  and if so what were the key findings?


My objective was to generate objective evidence that we cannot  achieve a negative test for the target allergen which would then justify the need for a "may contain " statement  however I am yet to detect a positive result . Naturally my method does not allow me to test product , I am limited to testing contact surfaces.


We do not have dedicated lines and wheat (flour) is a universal ingredient, similarly the proximity of lines allows for unintentional transfer of allergens . My thinking was that if we ran a par baked bread with egg in the formulation for 3 day and then switched to another product on day 4 we should be picking up detectable levels of egg on contact surfaces but we are not or at least not so far.







Thanks for your time.

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 08:00 AM

Clemkonan Hi,


We are also a bakery and declare "May Contain" e.g. Sesame Seeds. We have also never detected the possible cross contamination but as we cannot 100% rule out a possible cross contamination we have to declare that risk. This is of course challenged during audits by customers e.g. Tesco and BRC alike it is always accepted.

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 08:36 AM

It's an interesting subject. 


1. If you cannot be bothered to prove it...simply add "may contain".

2. If you can be bothered to prove it..when can you trust your results enough to say 100% "will not contain"?


I don't know the answer. 


You can test over a long period with good results and then if one shift doesn't do the changeover clean effectively then...


In which case it's easier to cover your butt and include on the label.


Or you could ask what would be the risk of a trace contamination of egg, sesame or milk to the consumer?


Not an easy one.  I'm probably confusing you more. :dunno:




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Posted 09 October 2015 - 06:16 PM

I was thinking that a good number of sites would be facing a similar challenge , guess I was wrong.I see us ending up with at least two documents first the "Allergen Control Program"and Second "The Validation of Wet cleaning dry Cleaning"  with the latter providing the rationale for what the "may contain " statement is recommended and is in use.


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Posted 10 October 2015 - 06:44 AM

Hi Clement,


The scientific problem is the near-Global inability to implement a maximum safe level for allergens in consumable foods(Vital is one debated exception).


The "may contain" label (implicitly) expresses this inability. Of course, it may also be regarded as a (legalistic?)  "fudge".



@Clemkonan, the attached article may help to quantitate yr efforts -


Attached File  FDA comparison method detection levels for allergenic food residues on FC Surfaces.pdf   95.11KB   57 downloads

Kind Regards,



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Posted 11 October 2015 - 09:20 AM



I have Koppense forming line and we r using allregen (Bread crumbs/Breader/Batter/corn starch etc) & non-allregen ingredients for our products 


When we are change over the line/change the product we have to cleaned (wet & dry cleaning) all line(machine/belt and any other related to products) before the starting for next product. it's should be verified by the Q.A/P.C any responsible person with the documented(Pre-startup).



 Allergen assessment -

  •  An allergen and sensitivities assessment (using the supplier product Ingredients Verification Form) has been conducted as part of the supplier new product development and approval process.
  • The allergen and sensitivities assessment is updated with each product reformulation or ingredient change.
  •  Assessments are conducted as per food allergens and sensitivities defined by the country of manufacture and countries where products are sold.
  • Potential for allergen cross-contamination from manufacturing and handling activities at the raw material supplier’s sites has been assessed  periodically
  •  Procedures are in place (SSOPs) to prevent potential allergen and sensitivities cross contamination 




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