We recently started working for a new client and one of his customers has on the label 2 allergen free logos: gluten-free and milk-free logos. We are a packaging company which is a service provider for packaging and storage of fresh fruit and vegetables. How did the supermarket get to the faboulous idea of putting gluten-free and milk-free logos on their private label, I have no idea. I also find it strange that they have the full nutritional value of the product on the label, although for fresh fruit and vegetable this information is not mandatory in the EU. And whoever works with these products knows that the content of sugar is never the same and changes depending on the fluctuations of the weather, season and source of the product.
But back to the allergen problem. I understand that a bakery which is producing rice cookies will put a gluten-free logo on them to make sure that customers suffering of allergies will buy the product, but why does a tomato, strawberry, grape or mandarin need to be gluten-free? I can see from far away that there are only grapes in the packaging. And of course we have these allergens in our company because we can't tell to our employees that they are not allowed to eat bread, yoghurt and cheese from now on. We have hygiene rules to prevent cross contamination with allergens (eating only in canteen, no working clothes in canteen, washing of hands at return to work), but will this be enough at the audit? I really don't want to send a product which is not ours (it is owned by the client, who selects and assesses its suppliers) to be tested at the lab or start doing swab tests only because some supermarket decided to put allergen free-logos on products that are obviously without those allergens. I checked in the supermarket and everything that is locally packed with own brand label has the same logos.