Last week, we discussed what to look out for in terms of potential breaches of the allergen requirements and a case study to illustrate that. In this blog, we have condensed our advice into five top tips to help you prevent an allergen incident in your food business.
You are only as good as your worst employee. Ensure both those in management roles and those employees preparing, packaging and labelling your food products are trained in allergen awareness, requirements and procedures.
Make sure your Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (“HACCP”) procedures are up to date and comprehensive. It should be clear if any parameters are breached and what corrective actions are required to bring any process back under control.
Keep comprehensive and accurate records. These should include: a record of your compliance with your HACCP procedures; the details and results of any quality checks; recipe cards, staff instructions, associated training as well as ingredients lists and allergen information for each product. The paperwork will be critical if, despite your best efforts, there is an incident down the line.
Food business operators must declare the presence of any of the 14 key allergens where they are used as an ingredient or in the processing of the food product. There are different requirements for the declaration depending on the product and its mode of sale. Ensure you are providing all the correct and necessary information to consumers and others further down the supply chain.
If you are concerned about your procedures, records or allergen issues generally, seek expert advice. If you have had an allergen incident, have received any enforcement action or are being investigated, please contact the Regulatory Team and we will be happy to help.