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Allergen Management

Allergens; a growing concern

Today, the management of allergens is a regulatory obligation . However, this concern did not exist or hardly existed 20 or 30 years ago. One of the main factors that explain these concerns and which has become a major health issue for many people is that changes in food consumption and trade on a global scale have exposed people to a wide range of foods that they were not used to eat.

Canada now has a list of allergens that are notifiable for all those who manufacture , distribute or market food. The rules to be applied are strict and despite this; the undeclared presence of allergens remains the leading cause of food recalls in Canada .

The management of allergens naturally includes labeling but also the monitoring of suppliers and the necessary analysis in addition to strategies to avoid cross- contamination during production.

It is important to note that some countries and/or clients have different compliance requirements for allergen management . So be careful when carrying out import-export operations because this could play tricks on you , in particular with the European Union .

Why manage allergens?

Managing allergens requires careful planning and organization .


  • Well first and foremost to protect the health of consumers

  • Because it is now a regulatory compliance requirement

  • To avoid having to recall foods because of:

  • To avoid impacts on your company's reputation

  • To avoid financial losses

It goes without saying that any company having allergens in the products it manufactures , distributes or sells must have a serious and documented allergen management program.

How to manage allergens?

Once you have identified the allergens that may be present in your products, don't forget to check the ingredients and sub-ingredients because the rules for declaring allergens sometimes go further than you might have suspected. This will help you identify the allergens present in each product and include them on your mandatory allergen declaration form.

Labeling is the next step. It is important to ensure that allergens are declared in the correct way and in accordance with the regulatory compliance requirements specific to each substance. Sulphites , among others, are not always easy to manage in terms of declaration or label declarations.

The next step is to have a production planning system in place where you take scheduling and sequencing into account in order to avoid the possibility of cross-contamination on the same line, adjacent lines, etc. This will help you identify the allergens present on each line, adjacent lines, etc. and include them on your mandatory allergen declaration form in the appropriate section.

The next step will include all the tests, rapid tests and/or analyzes that you will carry out routinely, in case of doubt as well as to validate your allergen management program.

We are able to help you develop, implement or even improve your allergen management program. This will allow you to comply with regulatory and normative compliance requirements and those of your customers (including those stipulated in the GFSI standards). This will help to avoid holdbacks and possibly product recalls which can be costly from a reputation as well as a financial point of view.

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