By Allergen Bureau

Safe handling of peanuts and tree nuts in the USA

Two resources developed by USA nut industry associations have recently been issued in relation to the handling and processing of tree nuts and peanuts. Both resources provide guidance for USA food and agricultural industries to help maximise safety and minimise risks for food allergic consumers.

The National Peanut Board partnered with the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program (FARRP) to create a free, downloadable resource for processors to develop and implement allergen control plans, with a specific focus on controlling peanut ingredients.

The resource, Controlling Peanut Ingredients in Food Processing Facilities, provides information on key aspects of allergen management in the USA, including:

  • Hazard analysis
  • Supply chain controls
  • Ingredient receiving, storage and handling
  • Preventing cross-contact during processing
  • Labelling and packaging controls
  • Allergen change-overs
  • Precautionary allergen labelling.

A cross-section of the USA nut growing, shelling and processing industry was involved in development of the 3rd Edition of the Industry Handbook for Safe Processing of Nuts. This 278-page resource is now freely available to access or download from the Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Association (PTNA) website. The comprehensive document covers all aspects of food safety, with Chapter 4 (Pages 51-65) of the Handbook specifically focussed on allergen preventive controls.