Allergen Bureau session at AIFST Convention 2018 gets audience thumbs up

Over 50 delegates joined the Allergen Bureau for our recent allergen management guidance session at the AIFST Convention, Melbourne, on 12 September 2018. Facilitated by Tom Lewis, Allergen Bureau Chief Executive, the session included a series of short, sharp presentations from our expert panel of speakers followed by an interactive Q&A session amongst panel members and the audience.

Session speakers and their topics were:

  • Bill McBride, GFSI & SQF on GFSI benchmarking requirements & setting standards to meet GFSI requirements
  • Lauren Kolstad, FSANZ about international agreements on allergen management (e.g. Codex) & Food Standards Code mandatory allergen declarations
  • Brad Costello, SAI Global about how they need to interpret all the above in relation to retailers’ own allergen management requirements
  • Geoffrey Annison, AFGC about its Allergen Management and Labelling Guide
  • Peter Bush, Food Technology Association of Australia about their current Allergen Protocols
  • Lisa Warren, Allergen Bureau about its Risk Review interactive website, and
  • Kirsten Grinter, Allergen Bureau about the VITAL® Program, Draft VITAL Standard and the VITAL best-practice labelling guide for ANZ.

The session was designed by the Allergen Bureau to give participants an opportunity to understand the system as a whole – what influences what – and to find out what they should be doing, with whom and why.

Some of the key issues from the facilitated Q&A were:

  • How do we get information about allergen management to the multitude of small food enterprises?
  • Key role of auditors in information dissemination and education
  • Understanding allergen analysis variability within risk assessment and communication systems
  • Communication and coordination between the various organisations providing allergen management guidance
  • VITAL cross contact management best practice, how it has evolved and the science that underpins the Reference Doses

Kirsten Grinter, Allergen Bureau President and Nestlé Australia, wrapped up the session suggesting the following next steps for allergen management guidance in ANZ:

  • Allergen Bureau has a key role in facilitating communication among organisations providing allergen management guidance
  • Consider the most effective ways to make food allergen management guidance available to food industry communicators
  • Delivery of this guidance using platforms and mechanisms best suited for food industry learning outcomes

To access all speaker presentations from the Allergen Bureau website – Click Here