FARRP-Sponsored Workshop Series
Please check back for future workshop postings.
Issues and Solutions
True food allergies affect a relatively small percentage of people nationwide. Food intolerances as well as consumers' false associations between food and illness are much more common than actual allergic reactions. Nevertheless, adverse physical reactions to food are of growing concern to both consumers and to food product manufacturers. Liability and recall issues, as well as recent changes to labeling laws, have had a significant impact on the way food manufacturers develop and process their products.
- Scientific aspects of food allergies
- Food allergies from the consumer's perspective
- Allergen recalls and labeling laws
- Industry issues and solutions
- Strategies for allergen control
Food Allergen Sanitation
Food allergies affect 3.5 - 4.0% of the U.S. population with symptoms ranging from comparatively mild to severe and life-threatening. Estimates suggest as many as 29,000 emergency room visits and 150 deaths each year result from food allergies. Consumers with food allergies must adhere to strict diets avoiding the allergenic food. These consumers rely upon the accuracy of ingredient statements to make appropriate product selections.
Sanitation is clearly one of the most important elements in an effective Allergen Control Program for a food company. Equipment and facilities are frequently shared between a formulation containing an allergenic food and a formulation that contains no such allergen or perhaps a different allergen. Effective SSOPs are needed to assure equipment and facilities can be cleaned between formulations. Sanitation failures can lead to consumer illness and product recalls.
- Challenges of sanitation
- Best practices in both wet and dry cleaning conditions
- Detection methods and their role in validation of sanitation programs
Food Allergen Methodologies
The Bureau of Chemical Safety in Health Canada's Food Directorate and the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program (FARRP) sponsored the Eighth Workshop on Food Allergen Methodologies May 5-8, 2014 in Vancouver, BC Canada. The next workshop is scheduled for Spring, 2016. The Workshop on Food Allergen Methodologies aims at gathering scientists, chemists, analysts and other representatives from government agencies, university, industry and consumer associations, to discuss issues related to detection, identification, characterization, and control of allergen residues in foods. Sample topics of discussion are:
- Approaches to regulation/control of food allergen
- Analytical method development/evaluation and validation/harmonization
- Risk assessment/risk management – Impact on methodology development
- Development of reference materials
- International approaches
- Gluten-Free: Regulatory Update and Analytical Challenges
- Impact of processing on food allergen detection
Tree Nut Webinar
The "Allergen Control and Safe Nut Processing Practices" is a free webinar that provides an introduction to allergen control tools that can assure prevention of cross-contact of tree nut allergens, practical information about food allergies and how to safely produce non-nut containing foods as well as nut-containing foods. We would like to acknowledge the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research and Education Foundation for underwriting this webinar.
Although in-person training is ideal, FARRP also has developed a video training package through a partnership with Silliker, Inc.:
On Site Consultation and Training
FARRP is known for its leadership in allergen awareness, testing and prevention. Let the FARRP experts help your company minimize the risk of allergen cross-contact in your production facility.
FARRP staff will provide in-plant troubleshooting to help assess and address clean-up issues and recall problems. Contact FARRP today to discuss consulting services and fees.
FARRP experts are available for many training opportunities. These include on-site training at manufacturer location by FARRP experts on a consulting fee basis. Subjects covered include: food allergens, allergen sanitation issues, allergen control strategies, safety of genetically-modified foods, and more.
For additional information contact:
Pat Gergen, FARRP
University of Nebraska
Updated 17 April, 2015