Allergen control

Optimise your allergen control through use of colour

Allergies of all kinds are on the rise with hospital admissions for allergic reactions increasing by 33% in the last 5 years. As a food producer you have a legal responsibility to produce foods that are free of undeclared allergens. Find out how Vikans comprehensive range of colour-coded tools and Site Survey can help you meet your legal obligation. 

Allergen control – why is it important?

Allergen management is vital in any food business and integration into your sites’ overall food safety management system is required for it to work well. The consequences of ignoring this requirement, or of getting it wrong, could range from causing a consumer discomfort to causing their death.

Allergies of all kinds are on the increase. It is estimated that 1 in 50 children in the UK has a nut allergy. Peanut allergy cases have tripled in the last decade, and hospital admissions related to allergic reactions have increased by 33% in the last 5 years. Every year in the UK there are around 10 deaths as a result of food allergies, with the under 25’s being at greatest risk.

It is therefore essential that all those involved with the production of food know what allergens are, why they need to be controlled, and how best this is achieved.

What are allergens?

An allergen is a substance that causes an allergic reaction. An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system overreacts to a normally harmless substance known as an allergen.

There are 14 allergens listed by the EU currently. They are,

  • Gluten
  • Sesame
  • Nuts
  • Crustacean
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Mustard
  • Milk
  • Celery
  • Peanuts
  • Soya
  • Shellfish
  • Lupins
  • Sulphite

Allergen control – Legal and Global food safety Standard requirements

If your site produces foods that contain any of these allergens (allergenic foods), and/or foods that don’t (non-allergenic foods), you have a legal responsibility to ensure that those that do are labelled properly, and that those that don’t are allergen free (or are labelled appropriately).

  • Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 – General Food Law Regulation
    Prohibits unsafe food being placed on the market

  • EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011
    Provides information about the 14 allergens listed by the EU
Debra Smith

Debra Smith

Global Hygiene Specialist

Debra Smith

Debra Smith

Global Hygiene Specialist

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