- Establish and Implement a Food Allergen Program. The guidance document explains how to establish and implement a food allergen program that ensures protection of food from major food allergen cross-contact and that the finished food is properly labeled with respect to the major food allergens.
- Allergen Controls. The guidance provides many examples of ways to significantly minimize or prevent allergen cross-contact and undeclared allergens using CGMPs and preventive controls.
- Label Controls. Labeling errors are the cause of most FDA food allergen recalls. This guidance includes information on how to monitor or verify that the food allergens are properly declared as required and the correct label is used for the product.
- Training. Successful control of food allergens depends on the involvement of all personnel in all phases of product development, ingredient procurement/sourcing, receiving, production and distribution of foods. The guidance document details some examples of training topics, based on an employee’s position and responsibilities.
|Personnel Functions||Training Topics|
|Purchasing||Awareness that food allergen hazards may require supply-chain controls with associated supplier approval and verification activities|
|Receiving||Procedures for receipt, handling, and storage of allergen-containing raw materials and other ingredients to ensure that they are appropriately identified and stored|
|Production operations||The food allergen control measures employed during production, including the preventive measures, corrective actions, and records applicable to each employee’s position|
|Management of WIP and rework||Awareness of the importance of controlling WIP and rework to prevent allergen cross-contact|
|Maintenance||Measures to prevent allergen cross-contact (e.g., through maintenance tools) between production lines|
|Cleaning operations||Awareness of the key role of cleaning procedures in preventing allergen cross-contact|
|Supervision||The plant’s food allergen program applicable to the supervisory responsibilities|
In the meantime, a thorough review of your allergen management and control programs may be warranted so that you will be able to quickly understand the current FDA thinking and pivot to meet these new expectations. If you have questions regarding this new guidance material or would like assistance in conducting an Allergen Gap Assessment, please contact EAS Consulting Group.