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Limits for allergen swabs nuts (cashew), celery and milk


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Irulan

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 09:24 AM

Hi Folks,

 

I hope you can help me with my query :)

 

I requested allergen swab analyses in terms of nuts (cashew), celery and milk from manufacturing site as customer site is completely nut free. Lab analyses result are <5mg/pad for cashew; <5mg/pad for albumin; <10mg/pad for celery (everything tested by PCR).

 

Can you please advise whether those results are low and there is no harm for potential allergy sufferers? 

 

I can't find straightforward answer online in terms of limits and never dealt before with allergen swabs. i am based in UK.

 

Thank you very much for your help.



JohnWheat

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 07:50 AM

We use rapid testers. Expensive(ish) but results within minutes. IIRC these pick up down to 2ppm. The need to declare on final consumer labelling is 10ppm again if I remember correctly.

However, we work on ANY presence basis (positive test) requires re-clean and re-swab.



Charles.C

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 09:44 AM

Hi Folks,

 

I hope you can help me with my query :)

 

I requested allergen swab analyses in terms of nuts (cashew), celery and milk from manufacturing site as customer site is completely nut free. Lab analyses result are <5mg/pad for cashew; <5mg/pad for albumin; <10mg/pad for celery (everything tested by PCR). Can you please advise whether those results are low and there is no harm for potential allergy sufferers? 

 

I can't find straightforward answer online in terms of limits and never dealt before with allergen swabs. i am based in UK.

 

Thank you very much for your help.

 

Hi Irulan,

 

afaik there is no defined official UK tolerance for the allergens mentioned. The nominal tolerance is zero.

 

The reason is that, for the allergens mentioned, the lowest "safe" level (if it exists) is undefined/unknown/disagreed.

 

Allergen "ranking" systems (including "thresholds") are extensively discussed in the literature but afaik only one such system (VITAL) has been officially implemented for labelling purposes in a few locations, eg Australia. Not used in UK afaik.

 

Yr query has labelling and cleaning connotations as noted in previous post. Labelling is a bit of a minefield from allergen POV.

 

I anticipate that the "<" signs in yr OP indicate nil detection at some undefined instrument sensitivity.

 

If interested, you could maybe compare the data with VITAL tables if you can transform the "mg/pad" to units like ppm (~mg/litre). I daresay this calculation relates to the sampling/analysis procedure as per kit manufacturer's instructions. A question for the lab. :smile:

 

I expect an officially declared status such as "nut-free" (if it exists) will have a set of (somewhere) defined official compliance requirements. (No idea UK)


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


Irulan

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 07:45 AM

Thank you very much for your help - I discussed the matter with the lab also, and as mentioned by Charles, these results are actually sensitivity threshold, therefore it can be understood as nil. 



Charles.C

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 07:29 PM

Thank you very much for your help - I discussed the matter with the lab also, and as mentioned by Charles, these results are actually sensitivity threshold, therefore it can be understood as nil. 

 

Hi Irulan,

 

The numbers quoted in OP probably mean no detection, ie less than the limit of detection/quantitation (LOD/LOQ) available from the kit.

 

I don't think the data can be interpreted to mean that the level of any possible allergenic material is nil although can maybe associate the result with a satisfactory level of sanitation, eg adequate prevention of cross-contamination.

 

Some possible allergen target levels (ie green) and practical approaches are given in this link - 

http://www.qualityas...ergen-labeling/

 

kit detection capability is illustrated in this link  -

 

Attached File  food allergens,2011.pdf   1.07MB   58 downloads


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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