Food Allergen Requirements

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The rate of people having food allergies has increased dramatically over the years. Even though some food allergies provoke mild side effects, most of them cause serious reactions and may pose life-threatening consequences. As a consequence, it is the job of the manufacturer’s to be mindful of every cross-contamination that may take place during the manufacturing process, that the 14 major food allergens are displayed prominently on the product’s label, also to make sure allergen production system. It is legally mandated for food corporations and catering services to give correct guidelines to customers about the 14 main food allergens.

raspberry, berry, summer
Daria-Yakovleva (CC0), Pixabay

The UK is known to be among the world’s safest food systems, but there has been a rapid increase in the number of items recalls annually. But now, the supply chain is more complex, with improved technology, it has made it possible for businesses to take a safety approach first. When a person is allergic to something, it usually means either he/she is allergic to the product, or the proteins in it. As of now, food allergies have no cure. However, strict measures are taken by companies to regulate the proper management of food allergic reactions, so it can prevent severe health effects.

Food Allergens: What to Look Out For?

So what exactly are the food allergens requirements? Why should you look for on the label of products that contain allergens? According to the law related to labeling, manufactures are responsible for providing the customer with allergens advice on both pre-packaged food, beverages stating the incorporation of the major food allergens.

Cereals That Have Gluten

Cereals like wheat, barley, oats, and rye are typically found in products, such as cakes, pastry, flour, pasta, couscous, and fried foods. So, what you need to look for is wheat, semolina, next to the ingredients.

Shellfish

Crustaceans are crab, lobsters, prawns, and crawfish, among many others. Usually, people are allergic to the protein inside them, so they should be able to identify the main food allergens to avoid an allergic reaction. As the shrimp paste is an allergen that is popularly used in South-eat Asian cuisine, so it is better to be aware of it first.

Eggs

Cake, mayonnaise, pasta, different sauces, pastries contain eggs. Even during cooking certain food products are egg washed.

Fish

In pizza, salad dressings, chicken stock, fish sauces are frequently found. Even if people are allergic to one kind of type, they are prone to have an allergic reaction to other kinds of fish as well.

Peanuts

Peanut allergies can be severe, even when consumed in tiny portions. They can be found in sauces, curries, biscuits, and other ingredients.

Soya

Every person’s body reacts differently to the main 14 food allergens. Soya can be found in tofu, beans, miso pates, as it is a major ingredient in Asian cooking.

Milk

A lot of food items include milk, and they can easily be identified in dairy products, including cheese, yogurt, cheese, and butter.

Nuts

If anybody is allergic to one kind of nut, they would also be allergic to other kinds of nuts. Nuts include hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts, and many more.

Celery

Celery is used in a variety of food products, such as salads, vegetable/chicken stock, and meat.

Mustard

People tend to have allergic reactions to mustard, whether it is in the form of powder, seeds, or liquid.

Sesame Oil

Sesame is typically sprinkled on buns, breadsticks, chicken, or it is included in the form of sesame oil or tahini sauce.

Sulfites

Meat products, fruits that are dried, beverages, beer commonly contain sulfites. So, it is important the sulfates used in the food products are mentioned on the label.

Lupin

Lupin flour is made by crushing the lupin seeds. It is commonly used as a replacement for traditional flour.

Molluscs/Shellfish

Allergic reactions to mollusks vary significantly from person to person, but they can be life-threatening as well. Mollusks are shellfish like snails, mussels, etc.

Bottom Line

So, it is mandated by the law for food companies to put labels to identify the names of all main food allergens used for making the products. The food manufacturers are meant to meet this requirement by placing the common ingredient name, such as buttermilk, which is the main food allergen classifies the name of the food source that is the milk. So, it can be mentioned either in parenthesis, where the ingredient is followed by the food source. This way, customers are aware of what they are consuming by reading the label.

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