Allergens in food are sneaky and unwelcome for anyone who is even the slightest bit allergic to them. It doesn't matter if the person has mild reactions only; they're still experiencing adverse effects that they shouldn't have to go through. As a food producer, you should already know that allergen testing is necessary, but if you want a great reputation among the food allergy community, you'll want to do more than just the basic minimum of testing. Make allergen testing a more frequent event so that you can keep a very close eye on just what's getting into your products.
Liability and Lawsuits
If you let allergens slip into foods that aren't supposed to contain that ingredient, and someone has a reaction, you'll face a potential lawsuit. You may get lucky and not have to cover anything, but you could also be ordered to cover the person's medical bills if they needed treatment. With frequent testing for allergens, you can spot those products that are contaminated and pull them before too many of them reach the stores. Any recalls will be small, and the chances that people with allergies bought the contaminated products are minuscule.
If you do have to recall products, you want to make it as small a recall as possible. If you wait a long time to repeat food allergen testing, you could find that many of your products have to be recalled, and that is a lot of money gone. Hopefully you have insurance to cover a business interruption like that, but if you don't, you lose a lot of profit and time. All that can be mostly avoided by doing more frequent allergen testing. Chances are that you'll have to deal with recalls at least once in your business if you produce a lot of food or many brands, but you can keep those recalls limited to small amounts.
Production Halts and Remediation
When you do find an allergen contaminating some of your products, you not only have potential recalls if the products have shipped out, but you have to halt part of your production, clean machinery, go back over your production processes, start things up again, and then test products in that line before you send them back out to stores. That's so time-consuming and terrible for your business if you have to stop for a long time.
Keeping your production facility as clean as possible should help you avoid accidental contamination. But testing is the only way to be sure allergens that aren't supposed to be in those products have not gotten into them.Share
13 January 2023
Hello, my name is Marta. I grew up on a family farm, and as a girl, I knew that I was not the front runner for inheriting the farm. I thought my parents would err on the side of tradition and give the farm to my brother. However, as we grew up together – weeding gardens, giving horseback riding lessons and driving the tractor – we found that we really enjoyed working together. We also found that we loved working with our cousins who lived on the farm next door. Ultimately, when our parents decided to retire, we all decided to share the farm. Through that experience, we learned a lot, and I want to share that here in this blog. Please, explore, enjoy and learn through our adventures in agriculture.