Food First Blog | Preventing Allergen Cross-Contact in Your Facil

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Preventing Allergen Cross-Contact in Your Facility
Preventing Allergen Cross-Contact in Your Facility

AIB International manager of food labeling Elaine Meloan recently explored the topic “Regulatory perspectives on labeling coconut and sesame as allergens” for Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery.

Meloan noted the intersection of regulatory and consumer issues involved in classifying – or not classifying – certain ingredients as allergens. As she notes, the FDA’s eight categories of major food allergens do not yet take into account an emerging allergen, while also classifying another ingredient as a nut when it is not. While challenging, this approach may also be contributing to consumer confusion and a lack of understanding allergens and labels.

For manufacturers, prevention is increasingly important, as undeclared allergens or incorrect allergen labeling is the number one reason for recalls globally. This makes an effective allergen cross-contact prevention program crucial in any food production facility. This approach must be multidisciplinary throughout its development and implementation, as well as in ongoing validation. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) lays out specific hazards that must be considered in assessing a food safety plan for hazard analysis and preventative control, one of which is prevention of allergen cross-contact.  

Not only is it important to keep consumers safe and informed of the possible allergens present in their products, FSMA regulates the verification of your food safety and defense programs. AIB International’s FSMA Readiness Assessment offers a FSMA compliance check that will gauge your current programs, suggest updates and prepare a formal report detailing recommended changes to meet these requirements.

For more information or to schedule your FSMA Readiness Assessment and ensure your allergen prevention methods are hitting the mark, please contact us at

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