How safe is your food?

Recent food recall events have again heightened the awareness for food safety. Every country has their own regulations on food allergen declarations and acceptable mycotoxin levels to safeguard the safety of their consumers.

Food manufacturers looking to export their products to these countries should be mindful of the regulatory limits to ensure protect their brand image and profitability.

Food Allergens: A Growing Concern

Food allergies have become a topic of major consumer concern over the last few years. As diagnosed cases of food allergy rise, both awareness of the problem and the need to better inform allergic consumers who are on a restricted diet have increased. In addition, with the increasing food exports from Asia-pacific to the rest of the world, manufacturers are subjected to the importing countries’ regulations on food allergens, hence the growing importance of knowledge in food allergies.

Regulators in the Asia-Pacific region have also increasingly mandated that food manufacturers and importers label for mandatory allergens in their markets. Recently, the declaration of individual tree nuts became mandatory in Australia. This benefits the allergic population in that the allergen identification is now specific. The feedback to this new regulation has been positive as it provides an improvement to the quality of life of allergic consumers, allowing them to enjoy wider food options.

It also pushes food manufacturers to implement measures in their allergen risk management programmes to eliminate cross-contaminations of allergens as a blanket allergen declaration is now insufficient. Food allergies can be fatal and we should all take allergen management seriously to ensure that food is safe to enjoy for different groups of people.

Role of Testing in Effective Allergen Management

Besides training and putting in place policies and measures, the process of validation and testing is also essential in ensuring that the allergen management system is effective. Equipment and production lines should be tested regularly for food allergens to ensure that cleaning has been thoroughly carried out. Testing can be done in-house using allergen test kits (e.g. ELISA kits or swab kits). Samples should also be sent to accredited service laboratories for testing to validate the past results obtained.

Looking for an analytical service lab for food allergens and mycotoxins?

Romer Labs Singapore provides dedicated service to our Asia-pacific customers in close proximity.

    • Fully ISO 17025-accredited laboratory
    • Fast turnaround time of 3 to 5 working days for food allergen tests
    • Provides accredited and affordable food allergen and mycotoxin testing

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