Dairy products are more prone to undeclared allergen recalls because they often contain a wide variety of ingredients, according to Mamun Chowdhury, technical manager for SGS North America Inc. This is one of many insights offered in an article published recently by dairyfoods.com.
The article cites the “Components of an Effective Allergen Control Plan” report, developed by the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program (FARRP) at the University of Nebraska. Not specific to dairy processing, this report states that an effective allergen control plan requires keeping allergenic foods and ingredients separate from all other products and ingredients from the time they enter a facility until they are introduced into the production line and beyond.
An effective allergen control plan requires a dedicated allergen management team; mapping the allergens in your facility; structuring your facility with designated areas for allergens and non-allergenic products; and establishing cleaning procedures and verification processes. An allergen-monitoring program should be supported by a cross-functional team effort with high level management support.
Use of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is recommended as a means to highlight materials that have allergen risk, as well as the protocols workers should follow when dealing with these materials. Such software also can assist processors in scheduling separate production runs for allergenic and non-allergenic products, as well as the final sanitation sweep at the end of the day.
This software is especially helpful for dairy processors that don’t have dedicated equipment for their allergenic items where proper sanitizing is an even more vital part of the allergen management program.
Access the full article for more tips and advice on “How to sidestep the allergen minefield in dairy processing”.