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  1. Allergen Forum Update March 21, 2007 Kirsten Grinter, Nestle Fiona Fleming, GWF

  2. Overview • AFGC Food Industry Guide to Allergen Management and Labelling • Allergen Labelling • VITAL • Allergen Communication

  3. AFGC Food Industry Guide to Allergen Management and Labelling Kim Leighton Feb 2007

  4. Overview • What does the Guide cover? • What’s new? • Product Information Form • Recommended Labelling Format • Precautionary statements • VITAL Tools and labelling

  5. AFGC Allergen Guide • Revision of the AFGC Food Industry Guide to Allergen Management and Labelling

  6. Standardised Supplier Questionnaire • Acceptable to food companies and their suppliers • Consistent with regulatory and consumer information requirements • Comprehensive information about ingredients – more than simply allergens • Results in improved confidence in allergen statement

  7. Standardised Supplier Questionnaire KEY INFORMATION: • Supplier & contact details • Product description, ingredients & origin • Product specifications • - physical, chemical, microbial, organoleptic • Allergen and compositional information • Nutrition information & dietary suitability • Pre-market clearance – irradiation / GM • Storage & transport, packaging, coding

  8. Good Manufacturing Practices • Training requirements • Product formulation • Cleaning validation • End product testing

  9. Labelling • Need to develop consistent allergen labelling process to ensure it is: • simple • easy-to-understand • easily identifiable • associated with or near the ingredient list

  10. VITAL Voluntary Incidental Trace Allergen Labelling - a set of allergen risk assessment tools to assist in determining when and if voluntary allergen labelling statements are used: • Decision Tree • Procedure • VITAL Action Level Grid

  11. Consultation The AFGC has now released as a consultation paper for comment by industry, government regulators, key consumer organisations and other stakeholders.     The consultation paper can be downloaded either from :    -  AFGC :  http://www.afgc.org.au    -  Allergen Bureau: http://www.allergenbureau.net    Closing date for comments: 23rd March 2007

  12. Allergen Labelling Kirsten Grinter, Nestle Project Team Leader

  13. Labelling Project Brief • Development of a consistent allergen labelling process appropriate for all industry groups including retail, food service, catering, commercial and point of sale labelling

  14. Project Overview • AFGC Food Industry Guide to Allergen Management and Labelling • Domestic and international labelling review including company policies, benchmark survey • Consolidation of allergen labelling attributes • Consultation with external stakeholders • Preferred allergen labelling format recommendation • Allergen Labelling Guideline

  15. Allergen Labelling Survey • Extensive supermarket category review • Allergen information collected for several products within each category (approx 350) • Inconsistent representation • Summary & Cross Contact statement details location • Allergen summary statement (21) • Allergen cross contact statements (42) • Upper Case (59%), plain English (84%)

  16. Allergen Labelling Survey • Example Summary Statements! • ‘Contains …’ • ‘Contains allergen products’ • ‘Warning: Contains …’ • ‘This product contains …’ • ‘This product contains allergens’ • ‘This product contains allergens. People who may be sensitive to allergens should be aware’ • ‘Some ingredients contain preservative 220’ • ‘ Contains allergens and may contain traces of …’ • ‘Contains allergens as indicated in bold type’

  17. Allergen Labelling Survey • Example Cross Contact Statements! • ‘Made on equipment that also produces allergens’ • ‘This product may contain allergens’ • ‘May contain allergen traces’ • ‘May contain nuts but not peanuts and some dairy’ • ‘May contain traces of allergen protein’ • This product may contain allergens which are natural foods’ • Product manufactured on a line that produces …… • Product made on the same equipment that produces …’ • Packed on equipment that also packs ……’

  18. Preferred Format Recommendation • The Preferred Allergen labelling format includes: • General requirements • Ingredient list allergen declaration • Allergen summary statement • Cross Contact Statement • Preferred alternatives have also been detailed to assist in maintaining consistency

  19. Preferred Format • Labelling Example (1) • Water, vegetable oil, vinegar, cane sugar, tomato paste (5.0%), salt, parmesan cheese, egg yolk, maize thickener (1412), almonds, walnuts, red capsicum, soybean oil, garlic (1.0%), vegetable gum (415), spice, herbs, wheat cornflour, flavour (wheat maltodextrin, sesame, milk), antioxidant (320) • Contains milk, egg, tree nuts, soy, wheat and sesame • May be present: peanut

  20. Preferred Format (General Requirements) • All allergen labelling information must be presented together in a block • Product description and representation should be accurate • Allergens must be declared using plain English terms • Allergen labelling legibility should be optimised using lower case with a distinct colour contrast to the background • Alternative ingredient declaration where one ingredient is an allergen and the other is not, should be avoided

  21. Preferred Format (Ingredient List) • All allergens to be identified in the ingredient list each time they are used in a product • Allergens to be declared in bold type in the ingredient list by either bolding the ingredient or the component Eg.Parmesan cheese or Parmesan cheese (milk) • Gluten source (grain source) to be qualified in the ingredient list at all times. Eg maltodextrin (from Wheat) • The specific name of the tree nut/s must be declared in the ingredient list when added as a direct ingredient/s • The word ‘sesame’ can be used instead of ‘sesame seeds’ • A processing aid derived from an allergenic source which is present in the final food shall be declared in ingredient list

  22. Preferred Format (Summary Statement) • Allergen summary statement to be used and declared using the terms listed Std 1.2.3 Table to Cl4 • The summary statement to be declared as: ‘Contains xxx…’ and appear directly below the ingredient list, on a separate line in bold and using the same font size • Allergen summary statement required for single ingredient foods where the product does not include the name of an allergen • If there is more that one gluten derived ingredient in the product the summary statement can be declared by naming each of the source grains or by using the term ‘gluten containing cereals’

  23. Preferred Format(Summary Statement) • (Cont) • If the product contains tree nuts either the specific name of the tree nut can be declared or the general term ‘tree nuts’ can be used in the summary statement • Processing aids derived from an allergenic source and present in the final food must be declared in the summary statement

  24. Preferred Format(Cross Contact Statement) • Allergen cross contact statement to be declared according to the allergenic foods listed in the Vital Tool used as part of the Risk Assessment process • The cross contact statement to be declared as: • ‘May be present: xxx’ and • appear directly below the summary statement on a separate line in bold • The statement was reviewed and changed recently as VITAL needed to address both easily dispersible and particulate cross contact so the use of the word ‘traces’ became irrelevant!

  25. Preferred Format(Cross Contact Statement) • (Cont) • This statement is only to be used when the vital Tool has been employed as part of the risk assessment process • The allergen cross contact statement text declared using the same font size as the ingredient list information or 1.5mm minimum

  26. Preferred Alternatives • If no summary statement is used then allergens must be declared in bold • If no summary statement is used then allergens must be declared using the terms in the Table to clause 4 (Std 1.2.3) • Allergens can be declared once only in the ingredient list (small label constraints) • Generic terms like ‘tree nuts’ and ‘Gluten containing cereals’ can be used in the summary statement but only when there are more than 1 variety declared in the ingredient list

  27. Preferred Alternative • Labelling Example (2) • Water, vegetable oil, vinegar, cane sugar, tomato paste (5.0%), salt, parmesan cheese, egg yolk, maize thickener (1412), almonds, walnuts, red capsicum, soybean oil, garlic (1.0%), vegetable gum (415), spice, herbs, wheat cornflour, flavour (wheat maltodextrin, sesame, milk), antioxidant (320) • Contains milk, egg, tree nuts, soy, wheat and sesame • May be present: peanut

  28. Preferred Alternative • Labelling Example (3) • Water, vegetable oil, vinegar, cane sugar, tomato paste (5.0%), salt, parmesan cheese (milk), egg yolk, maize thickener (1412), tree nuts (almonds, walnuts) red capsicum, soybean oil, garlic (1.0%), vegetable gum (415), spice, herbs, wheat cornflour, flavour (wheat maltodextrin, sesame, milk), antioxidant (320) • May be present: peanut

  29. Barriers to Implementation • Company constraints? • Unable to sell any of the formats internally? • Lower case vs capitals? Should this be another preferred alternative? • Bold vs no bolding? • Resource constraints? • Awaiting formal allergen communication? • Awaiting external endorsement? • Awaiting VITAL completion before commencing?

  30. Another Preferred Alternative? • Labelling Example (4) • WATER, VEGETABLE OIL, VINEGAR, CANE SUGAR, TOMATO PASTE (5.0%), SALT, PARMESAN CHEESE (MILK),EGG YOLK, MAIZE THICKENER (1412), TREE NUTS (ALMONDS,WALNUTS), RED CAPSICUM, SOYBEAN OIL, GARLIC (1.0%), VEGETABLE GUM (415), SPICE, HERBS, WHEAT CORNFLOUR, FLAVOUR (WHEAT MALTODEXTRIN, SESAME, MILK), ANTIOXIDANT (320) • CONTAINS MILK, EGG, TREE NUTS, SOY, WHEAT AND SESAME • MAY BE PRESENT: PEANUT

  31. VITALFiona Fleming, GWFProject Team Leader

  32. What does it mean? • V • I • T • A • L

  33. VITAL • Voluntary • Incidental • Trace • Allergen • Labelling

  34. What am I going to talk about??? • VITAL – the Project • What this is and isn’t • VITAL • Issues • Next Steps

  35. Fiona Fleming, GWF Kirsten Grinter, Nestle Julie Newlands, Unilever Robyn Banks, Nestle Kim Leighton, AFGC Olivia Martyn, GWF Chris Preston, Legal Finesse Kevin Norman, PCA Maria Said, AAInc Robin Sherlock, facta Bill Porter, NSW Food Authority Debbie Hawkes, Danisco Dr Simon Brooke-Taylor The Team

  36. Allergen Risk Assessment ProjectObjective: Development of a standardised allergen risk assessment tool for food producers to use when assessing the impact of allergen cross contact and in provision of appropriate precautionary labelling

  37. Cross Contact: • The term "cross-contact" describes the inadvertent introduction of an allergen into a product that would not intentionally contain that allergen as an ingredient. (USFDA)

  38. What VITAL Is • A tool for industry intended to be used as part of your HACCP process when conducting the risk assessment for allergenic hazards • 3 level grid to assist in determining if the presence of residual protein from allergenic substances requires a precautionary statement • Reflects best evidence currently available

  39. Who have we consulted with? • Industry via project team • Local and international (Nestle, Unilever, ABF, Heinz) • Industry – pilots • Sydney: Kellogg, Uncle Tobys, Heinz, Coles, Campbell Arnott, Danisco, Cerebos, Kraft, NSW Food Authority, George Weston Foods, Masterfoods, Unilever. • Auckland: Goodman Fielder, Hansells NZ Ltd, Cerebos Greggs, George Weston Foods, Agriquality, Nestle, Sanitarium, Griffins, Manufactured Foods Database, NZ Food Safety Authority, Tegal Foods, Danisco, Mc Foodies, Lion Nathan

  40. The VITAL PROCESS

  41. ELEMENTS OF VITAL • VITAL Decision Tree • VITAL Procedure • VITAL Grid, with explanatory notes • VITAL excel calculation tool • The VITAL procedure should be followed for each allergen that may be present in the final product due to cross contact via ingredients or processing. • VITAL is not applicable to ingredients intentionally formulated into the product.

  42. VITAL requires • the assessment of likely sources of cross contact allergenic substances from raw materials and the processing environment, • an evaluation of the amount present, • a review of the ability to reduce the allergenic material from all contributing sources and • ongoing monitoring and verification.

  43. VITAL Decision Tree

  44. 1 Ingredient and Processing Impact • VITAL requires the assessment of likely sources of cross contact allergenic substances from raw materials and the processing environment.

  45. 2.1 Review the Ingredient Allergen Impacts • Assess the allergen status of the raw materials using the information from the Product Information Form (PIF). • If allergenic potential exists from cross contact, determine if the presence of allergenic protein is in particulate form or a readily dispersible form. • Particulate form: • review contributors with the supplier to prevent occurrence OR • a precautionary allergen cross contact statement will be required.

  46. 2.1 Review the Ingredient Allergen Impacts • If the allergenic protein is present in a readily dispersible form determine with the supplier if it is feasible to reduce the level of allergen cross contact • Determine the maximum amount of protein from the allergen and calculate in parts per million (ppm) or mg/kg of protein in a unit or lot of the final product.

  47. 2.2 Review the Manufacturing Process Allergen Impacts • Determine if there are allergens present on the production line through cross contact of ingredients or product that are not formulated into the product. • Determine if there are any hang-up points in the process that may cause accumulation of residues or particulate material which may result in significant variations in the quantity of allergens present in the product. • Determine the maximum amount of protein from the allergen due to manufacturing cross contact and calculate in ppm or mg/kg of protein in a unit or lot of product.