Allergens may be present in foods in the form of cross contact. The Allergen Bureau’s Voluntary Incidental Trace Allergen Labelling (VITAL®) Program defines cross contact as a residue or other trace amount of a food allergen that is unintentionally incorporated into another food. Agricultural co-mingling is one of the many reasons why cross contact may occur.
The Unexpected Allergens in Food Guide provides the food industry with a list of foods, ingredients and raw materials that may unexpectedly contain allergens, and a list of questions food business operators (FBOs) can ask their suppliers which support the allergen risk review process. The latest 2021 edition provides an expanded and updated list of foods, as well as new information about agricultural co-mingling, food fraud and some case studies that show the complexity in the supply chain, where allergens may be unexpectedly incorporated because of agricultural co-mingling in food.
For the past two years the Allergen Bureau’s Agricultural Co-Mingling Sampling and Testing Working Group of members has been committed to producing a new resource document that will assist industry to identify and manage agricultural cross contact risk. Watch this space for the new resources coming soon.