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Contains statement regarding Tree Nuts FDA

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JeremyW(FoodSafetyFirst)

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Posted 08 February 2023 - 04:09 PM

Example Product B

 

Ingredients: Almonds, Cranberries, Pistachios, Tapioca Fiber Syrup, Nonfat Dry Milk, Sugar, Salt, Spices. 

 

Contains: Tree Nuts, Milk

 

Is this acceptable? I would say no. My understanding is that each tree nut should be declared in the Contains statement. I operate in the United States. 

 

Anyone care to weigh in on this for me? How about if product B is ran directly after (without wash) product A which contains Macadamia. Would product B be misbranded because I do not specifically say it contains Macadamia? 

 

Thanks!


Edited by JeremyW(FoodSafetyFirst), 08 February 2023 - 04:10 PM.


Scotty_SQF

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Posted 08 February 2023 - 05:28 PM

My understanding would be that 'Tree Nuts' is acceptable in the contains statement as then you have the ingredient statement that points out the exact tree nut you are using.  Anyone who is allergic to tree nuts would first look at the allergen statement and if it is only one specific nut they are allergic too, then look to the ingredient statement.   



JeremyW(FoodSafetyFirst)

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Posted 08 February 2023 - 05:41 PM

I just came across this snip from the FDA's Questions and Answers Regarding Food Allergens, Including the Food Allergen Labeling Requirements of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (Edition 5): Guidance for Industry NOVEMBER 2022

 

https://www.fda.gov/...117410/download

 

Page 8 section C.3  Do the food allergen labeling requirements of the FD&C Act provide any specific direction for declaring the presence of ingredients from the three food groups that are designated as major food allergens (i.e., tree nuts, fish, and Crustacean shellfish)? Yes. Section 403(w) of the FD&C Act requires that the specific type of tree nut be declared (e.g., almonds, pecans, or walnuts). It also requires that the species must be declared for fish (e.g., bass, flounder, or cod) and Crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, or shrimp) (section 403(w)(2) of the FD&C Act). This means the ingredient list or the “Contains” statement cannot broadly declare “tree nuts,” “fish,” or “Crustacean shellfish” as the major food allergen.

 

I think that helps support my understanding unless I am interpreting this incorrectly. Surprised I didn't come across this before I came here to post.



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Scotty_SQF

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Posted 08 February 2023 - 06:01 PM

Interesting.  Thank you for sharing.  Always good to learn something.



jfrey123

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Posted 08 February 2023 - 06:46 PM

I learned something new today, thanks for that FDA document Jeremy.

 

Anyone else feel like it would be worth still listing "Tree Nuts" in that contains line, with the specific nut listed after for FDA compliance? eg Contains: Tree Nuts (Almonds), Milk

 

Call me crazy, but I feel like some of the picky auditors I've had in the past would want to ding me for not explaining to customers that Almonds are Tree Nuts.  Or the inevitable consumer complaint stating, "I'm allergic to tree nuts, and your product didn't state that tree nuts were contained!"



Kara S.

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Posted 08 February 2023 - 10:00 PM

Example Product B

 

Ingredients: Almonds, Cranberries, Pistachios, Tapioca Fiber Syrup, Nonfat Dry Milk, Sugar, Salt, Spices. 

 

Contains: Tree Nuts, Milk

 

Is this acceptable? I would say no. My understanding is that each tree nut should be declared in the Contains statement. I operate in the United States. 

 

Anyone care to weigh in on this for me? How about if product B is ran directly after (without wash) product A which contains Macadamia. Would product B be misbranded because I do not specifically say it contains Macadamia? 

 

Thanks!

 

Just to touch upon the second part of your post, if Macadamia makes it into product B, then yes, it is misbranded because you did not state that your product contains Macadamia. 

 

You should consider a form of changeover clean or inspection. This is all dependent on the nature of your product, hazard analysis, and risk assessment. There are allergen swab tests for most tree nuts, you should consider swabbing the food contact surfaces and any areas you believe are difficult to clean to determine a baseline for risk.


Kind regards, 

 

Kara

Food & Beverage Industry Consultant

IFSQN Business ListingLinkedIn  |  Webpage

 

 


Ryan M.

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Posted 09 February 2023 - 03:43 PM

I learned something new today, thanks for that FDA document Jeremy.

 

Anyone else feel like it would be worth still listing "Tree Nuts" in that contains line, with the specific nut listed after for FDA compliance? eg Contains: Tree Nuts (Almonds), Milk

 

Call me crazy, but I feel like some of the picky auditors I've had in the past would want to ding me for not explaining to customers that Almonds are Tree Nuts.  Or the inevitable consumer complaint stating, "I'm allergic to tree nuts, and your product didn't state that tree nuts were contained!"

 

I would do this, not just to comply with auditing, but for the sake of your consumers / customers.  You can't have too much allergen information on a label.  Now, you may get push back from marketing if there is lack of space, but at least ASK for it.



Fishlady

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Posted 11 February 2023 - 03:49 PM

With Seafood we declare "contains: fish ([species of fish])." Technically it should be "contains: [species of fish] (Fish)" but I am told that a software program used for generating labels groups the allergens by broader category. FDA informed me that they will not take enforcement action as long as the correct species is declared. I would assume that it is the same for your scenario with different we rent types of tree nuts



JeremyW(FoodSafetyFirst)

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Posted 24 February 2023 - 12:11 PM

Thank you Fishlady for the firsthand experience.





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