By Allergen Bureau

NZIFST Round up

The NZIFST 2022 Conference was held in Rotorua, from 5 – 7 July. There were many exceptional speakers, all providing their valuable insights on the core theme of collaboration, and challenging the food industry to achieve a safe, sustainable food supply for all.
 Key recurring topics of “UN Sustainability Goals”, the “Circular economy”, “Clean green Aotearoa”, and “Food Integrity”, were highlighted as more than just aspirational goals, but crucial to our future. We heard about ongoing projects and company strategies, across multi-sectors which are building culture change, and community engagement in these areas.

The Allergen Bureau is a fantastic example of a well-established Food Industry collaboration, with Debbie Hawkes presenting on the recent Ad Hoc Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on Risk Assessment of Food Allergens. It is excellent recognition that the recommendations of this panel are aligned with fundamental VITAL principles, so we look forward to the CODEX Committee responses.

The Allergen Bureau was delighted to be able to present the 2022 NZ Best Practice in Food Allergen Management Award at the Awards dinner. This year’s Award committee of Mark Dixon from Allergy NZ, Glen Neale from FSANZ, & Debbie Hawkes, Allergen Bureau evaluated the nominations, based on their contribution to leading the NZ food industry in best practice allergen management, sharing information that builds trust and transparency, that supports allergen sensitive consumers to make informed choices. The Award recipient stood out from the nominations by having several excellent Allergen Management procedures, including Allergen Hazard risk assessment during Product Development, a Raw Material Approval PIF & Specification checklist, and proactively reviewing labels for PEAL changes across 120 products for 5 brands. The Allergen Bureau congratulates Catherine Pitts, from New Zealand Natural Ice Cream Limited, as this year’s winner.