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Vending Machine Allergens

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Posted 14 June 2024 - 01:56 PM

Good morning,


I have a question about SQF and vending machines in the cafeteria. We are not peanuts free facility we do have the rest of the allergens in our facility. Do we need to remove all the peanuts from the vending machine inside the cafeteria.


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Posted 14 June 2024 - 02:18 PM

In my experience they don't have to be removed, but you need to control for them in another policy to prevent contamination of your product. Our facility requires handwashing at a handwashing station located outside the lunchroom before heading on to the production floor. We don't have peanuts in our vending machines but we don't control what employees bring in their lunches (other than for documented allergies that employees have), and thus far this has been acceptable with auditors.

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Posted 14 June 2024 - 03:39 PM

SQF does prescribe that you assess all work place allergens.  I take assessment to mean a written assessment based on risk.  Our RA basically states all allergens are acceptable in a lunchroom or the work place, so long as the clothing and handwashing policies are followed as these measures control the risk to the processing areas.  


2.8 Allergen Management  2.8.1 Allergen Management  (Mandatory) The responsibility and methods used to control allergens and to prevent sources of allergens from contaminating product shall be documented and implemented. The allergen management program shall include:
i. A risk analysis of those raw materials, ingredients, and processing aids, including food grade lubricants, that contain food allergens;
ii. An assessment of workplace-related food allergens that may originate from locker rooms, vending machines, lunchrooms, and visitors;
iii. A list of allergens that is applicable in the country of manufacture and the country(ies) of destination, if known;
iv. A list of allergens that is accessible to relevant staff;
v. The control of hazards associated with allergens and incorporated into the food safety plan, and
vi. Management plans for control of the identified allergens.


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Posted 14 June 2024 - 04:14 PM

You don't need to remove them, but you do need to declare them and indicate how the company handles all allergens as well as the peanuts. 


We had the vending company make written lists of ingredients in each item they supply and then we installed signage on the machines and wrote into the gaps and allergen policies how the allergens are handled.


In the other facility we made easy. We put in a refrigerated box with pre-washed and wrapped fruit and eliminated the soda machine by installing a coffee, tea and spring water machine with coconut milk as the creamer - that meant 1 allergens declaration for the coconut. 

All the Best,


All Rights Reserved,

Without Prejudice,

Glenn Oster.







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