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Clam shell in nuts - Allergen contamination ?


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#1 Tresa

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 11:37 PM

Hello everyone,

 

we found clam shell during our nut inspection. There is no muscle protein attached to the shell and it is just solid shell. I initiated a deviation for the supplier. should I consider it as possible allergen contamination or consider it as foreign material?  Is there any reference under CFIA or FDA or any studies that could help me to stated as a allergen contamination. 

your opinion would be greatly appreciated.



#2 SQFconsultant

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 12:12 AM

It is foreign matter.

 

A clam's classification is as a mollusk or what is also known as bivalve, not shellfish as many folks beleive, thus it is not by itself an allergen (unless of course Canada see's it differently.


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#3 zanorias

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 07:31 AM

Clams are indeed molluscs. In the EU molluscs are identified as a major food allergen, and it looks to be the same in Canada, under the term "crustaceans and molluscs":

 

https://www.canada.c...-allergens.html

https://foodallergyc...s-and-molluscs/



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#4 NEDA

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 12:37 PM

Clams are indeed molluscs. In the EU molluscs are identified as a major food allergen, and it looks to be the same in Canada, under the term "crustaceans and molluscs":

 

https://www.canada.c...-allergens.html

https://foodallergyc...s-and-molluscs/

would you think even if it's a hard shell without muscle protein should be considered as an allergen?



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#5 Tresa

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 12:41 PM

It is foreign matter.

 

A clam's classification is as a mollusk or what is also known as bivalve, not shellfish as many folks beleive, thus it is not by itself an allergen (unless of course Canada see's it differently.

Thank you, so it means the clam shell without muscle protein it 's not considered as an allergen? my point is there is no where in FDA to distinguish hard shell from muscle protein for allergen consideration.



#6 pHruit

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 12:46 PM

would you think even if it's a hard shell without muscle protein should be considered as an allergen?

The question I'd be asking is: how do you know there is no muscle protein?
Was there some previously attached to the shell that has become detached and is mixed in with the product, and/or are there still levels present on the shell that would be enough to trigger anaphylaxis?
If it's on your local allergen labelling list then I'd be treating this as both foreign body and allergen contamination.



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#7 Tresa

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 12:57 PM

The question I'd be asking is: how do you know there is no muscle protein?
Was there some previously attached to the shell that has become detached and is mixed in with the product, and/or are there still levels present on the shell that would be enough to trigger anaphylaxis?
If it's on your local allergen labelling list then I'd be treating this as both foreign body and allergen contamination.

I agree with you. even if there is no attached muscle to the shell, but it was attached before and it might be contaminated the products. but I can not find any reference in FDA or CFIA



#8 zanorias

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 01:29 PM

If I were you I would work on the assumption that it is contaminated unless clear evidence shows otherwise.Perhaps there is no residue on the shell or in the nuts, but as pHruit highlights - how do you know? Considering the potential consequences of getting it wrong, I'd definitely er on the side of caution with this one.



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#9 GMO

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 01:50 PM

I would ignore the FDA and the CFIA.  What you have here is a foreign body which also has the potential to be a source of allergenic protein.  Just because there is no visible protein there, does not mean it's absent.  Unless it's a washed, ornamental clam shell, I would argue it's likely to be present.  Is mollusc a food safety risk?  Yes.  It is both a foreign body hazard and an allergen hazard.

 

Personally if possible I'd reject the load if you can.



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#10 smgendel

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 02:57 PM

There are several issues at play in this situation.  As others have mentioned, there is no way of knowing whether there is any clam tissue present just because the shell does not have any attached tissue at the current time.  In addition, there is the question of why there is a clam shell in a shipment of nuts?  This suggests a lack of GMP controls somewhere in the supply chain.  Third, you don't really know the extent of the problem. Shells can easily be broken into very small pieces that you might not recognize unless you look very carefully. Finally, you did not mention whether the nuts were raw or cooked.  If they are cooked and will not be subject to a kill step, you have a potential microbial contamination problem.  Even if they will be cooked by you, it is worth considering whether your conditions will be sufficient to kill pathogens and viruses associated with shellfish.  



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#11 Tresa

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 03:19 PM

There are several issues at play in this situation.  As others have mentioned, there is no way of knowing whether there is any clam tissue present just because the shell does not have any attached tissue at the current time.  In addition, there is the question of why there is a clam shell in a shipment of nuts?  This suggests a lack of GMP controls somewhere in the supply chain.  Third, you don't really know the extent of the problem. Shells can easily be broken into very small pieces that you might not recognize unless you look very carefully. Finally, you did not mention whether the nuts were raw or cooked.  If they are cooked and will not be subject to a kill step, you have a potential microbial contamination problem.  Even if they will be cooked by you, it is worth considering whether your conditions will be sufficient to kill pathogens and viruses associated with shellfish.  

It's a raw nut and we have killing step, but I need to find evidenced if our killing step temperature is enough to remove potential micro contamination.

I really appreciate your great opinions. 



#12 Charles.C

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 03:37 PM

It's a raw nut and we have killing step, but I need to find evidenced if our killing step temperature is enough to remove potential micro contamination.

I really appreciate your great opinions. 

 

^^^^ Do you mean allergenic contamination ?

 

Appropriate roasting is certainly capable of acceptably reducing pathogenic micro-contamination, despite the misnomer "killing step".

 

But removal of allergenic protein potentials for molluscs, I have no idea what temperature is involved.? (I recall this logic works in the refining process for edible oils).


Edited by Charles.C, 28 January 2020 - 03:41 PM.
added

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#13 Tresa

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 04:02 PM

^^^^ Do you mean allergenic contamination ?

 

Appropriate roasting is certainly capable of acceptably reducing pathogenic micro-contamination, despite the misnomer "killing step".

 

But removal of allergenic protein potentials for molluscs, I have no idea what temperature is involved.? (I recall this logic works in the refining process for edible oils).

No, I mean micro contamination. because potential allergenic contamination will not remove by killing step.



#14 Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 03:01 PM

I guess my question would be: regardless of allergen presence (which is almost certain), where is the rest of the shell? Shell shards can cause severe intestinal injury. If you can't absolutely verify you found the only shell pieces, you have a physical contamination with potential to do great physical harm if ingested. Either way, a mistake here could be potentially bank breaking, is it worth the debate?






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