Allergen Bureau special session at AIFST well received

Ben Fisher (Don KRC) presenting as part of the 'Cooks Tour'

Ben Fisher (Don KRC) presenting as part of the ‘Cooks Tour’

The Allergen Bureau hosted a special session titled “Travel broadens your mind: virtual Cook’s Tour of allergen risk management and developments” at the 47th Annual Convention of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology in Melbourne on the 23rd of June. The Allergen Bureau was pleased to include presentations from Alice Lee (University of NSW) which showed a ‘world view’ of approaches to allergen risk management and Lisa Katzer (Food Standards Australia New Zealand) who highlighted the Australian/New Zealand initiatives in allergen management.

Cases studies of the Voluntary Incidental Trace Allergen Labelling (VITAL®) Program in the food industry were presented by Ben Fisher (Don KRC) and Lisa Warren (HJ Heinz). Ben spoke about the benefits of applying VITAL at the Don KRC small goods production facility – which include standardisation and repeatability and the ability to complete cross contact calculations more quickly than prior to the implementation of VITAL. Lisa Warren’s presentation covered how VITAL works within the Allergen Management Plan at each of the HJ Heinz sites, covering very different products and production facilities, in Australia and New Zealand.

A lively Panel Q&A included presentations about the future of the VITAL Calculator and the Allergen Bureau from Allergen Bureau President Kirsten Grinter (Nestlé Australia) and Allergen Bureau board member Robin Sherlock (DTS FACTA). The special session was well attended and included many informed questions from the audience. The Allergen Bureau is very grateful to the speakers who freely shared their expertise and time – and to each of the speaker’s companies for allowing them the time to present – and to the audience for their informed questions and insightful comments.