The Allergen Bureau Working Groups provide a collaborative approach to addressing allergen issues at the pre-competitive stage. Following on from the success of the Allergen Labelling Exemptions Working Group, several Working Groups have been identified to help take forward key areas of development. These Working Groups, and the responsible Allergen Bureau Director, are:
- VITAL Phase 1 – Risk Review (Kirsten Grinter, Nestle Australia Ltd)
- VITAL Phase 2 – Risk Communication (Labelling) (Julie Newlands, Unilever Australia Ltd)
- VITAL Phase 3 – Certification (Robin Sherlock, DTS-FACTa)
- Cross-contact risk review anomalies (Kirsten Grinter, Nestle Australia Ltd)
Allergen Bureau Working Groups are resourced and lead by Allergen Bureau member company volunteers and an Allergen Bureau director provides support to each Working Group.
Participation on a Working Group links you in with a range of enthusiastic, diverse and passionate food industry people from across our broad stakeholder groups.
If you are interested in contributing on an Allergen Bureau Working Group, please contact the Allergen Bureau at firstname.lastname@example.org
VITAL Phase 1 – Risk Review
Harnessing the value of physical risk review and analysis to validate management decisions and assumptions
- The group has commenced work on considering the best way to provide resources to support this critical element of allergen management. Working group members are initially considering the type of guidance they would be looking for if doing a risk review that is not currently provided in current risk review processes or decision trees found today.
VITAL Phase 2 – Risk Communication (Labelling)
Communicating accurately and consistently to the allergic consumer
- This group has prepared a draft guidance document ‘Food Allergen Labelling VITAL® Best Practice Guide’ which is with key stakeholders for comment.
- Lisa Warren, Allergen Bureau VITAL Support, presented a poster at the Food Allergen Management Symposium 2015 on this upcoming Allergen Bureau publication.
VITAL Phase 3 – Certification
External verification of specific products showing VITAL process is in control
- This group has delivered a documented outline of the certification process, including a draft VITAL verification module, to the Board and is awaiting the direction of the Board on next steps.
Allergen Bureau & AI Group (Confectionery Sector) cross-contact risk review anomalies working group
• This group is investigating anomalies where allergens are known to be present but are:
- not formulated as an ingredient (as per ANZFSC definition); and
- inappropriate to label as per VITAL ‘May be present’.
These anomalies occur where the process or environment cannot be altered or impacted through good manufacturing practices. The group will consider options and approaches for declaring this type of cross contact to protect consumer safety.