Food allergen management and control is a critical part of an overall food safety plan. Unlabeled or mislabeled allergens are the leading cause of food recalls in the US and can lead to severe reactions in sensitive consumers.
Under FDA and USDA HACCP regulations, and as part of the development of food safety plans and preventive controls under the Food Safety Modernization Act, manufacturers need to consider food allergens as potential hazards. This means:Completing a well documented hazard assessment that considers the potential presence of allergens in ingredients and establishing:
- Supplier controls,
- Label controls,
- GMPs to prevent cross-contact,
- Sanitation practices
In many cases, sampling and testing will be needed for validating, verifying, and monitoring allergen controls.
How we can help
IEH Laboratories offers a comprehensive array of allergen testing, consulting, and validation services for all food allergen concerns. Our research and consulting teams are at the forefront of the allergen testing, methods development, and industry control programs. Together with our unsurpassed technology, we provide the highest quality services.
Training and Education – General or custom training, seminars or workshops to help processors of all sizes understand the scientific and regulatory environment for food allergens.
Consulting and Support – Expert support for developing allergen control programs, including hazard assessment, identification of preventive controls and supplier controls. Laboratory and other services support validation, verification, and on-going monitoring of allergen controls.
Risk Assessment and Recalls – When things go wrong, food may need to be relabeled or recalled. Scientific risk assessments are important to understand the problem and potential solutions.
Quantitative or Qualitative Lab Services – We offer comprehensive allergen testing, for targets including:
- Brazil Nut
Confirmation tests – Allergen tests based on antigen-antibody interactions have a level of cross-reactivity with non-target antigens with similar epitopes. We believe when important samples test positive for allergen residue, it is prudent to subject them to confirmation tests to avoid making consequential decisions based on false positives.
Test Kits – In addition to providing test kits, we can help you develop your own sampling plan and validation of a kit for your food or ingredient(s). Kits are available for:
We can work with you to develop and validate tests for other foods or proteins.