I am writing a HACCP plan for a company that grows and harvests their own produce indoors and then moves the raw product to a processing room. They grow their produce in coco coir which is a coconut based growth medium and thus falls under the big 8 per FDA classification.
The produce is harvested in a way that the edible portion never touches the growth medium so it seems chance of cross contamination would be low. Given satisfactory GAPs/GMPs, is it enough to provide a precautionary label that says the product may contain coconut given that it was grown in a coconut soil medium? Or should allergen testing be implemented to verify the absence of allergenic proteins?
In the new section of our southern facility we will be using Coconut Coir (coco coir) as the growing medium.
Granted, Coconut is considered a tree nut and thus a part of the big 8 classifications, Coco Coir is a by-product of coconut fiber and testing has not found the presence of allergen. Our Coconut Coir is in a mat format that is soaked in an organic nutrient formula and then the seeds will be injected.
Finished products (regardless of type of microgreen) will not even have a trace of allergen in it.
With all that said, there is an issue with the actual material, where it is sourced from, who is making it, etc. thus, there is a possibility that actual coconut could get into the material, frankly I doubt, however it could.
We do not plan on putting anything on the label about "may contain", but we do plan on random allergen testing as we go along.
Glenn Oster Consulting / 800.793.7042 / Serving Food & Food Related Businesses
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