A recent report from recall management firm Stericycle Expert Solutions states that a staggering 50% of food recalls in the second quarter of 2014 were due to undeclared allergens. FSA & FDA research has also revealed that one third of all food recalls between 2009 and 2012 were down to undeclared allergens – a figure which is rising annually. QADEX is actively working with and helping food businesses label products correctly and make food recalls because of mislabelling a thing of the past.
There are a number of reasons why products end up being recalled for undeclared allergens – staff applying the wrong label is the main perpetrator. Non-specific descriptions and cross-contamination can also trigger recalls, but another huge failing factor is transferring allergen warnings on the ingredients to the final product.
Tracey Cranney, Operations Manager at QADEX, said, “These figures are no shock to us, as manufacturers have a huge amount of information to manage, and mistakes can be made. That’s why it’s a good idea to have all supplier and ingredient information collated in one place, so it’s at hand when you need it. Our dashboard just does that, and the allergen module captures all allergen information automatically so you don’t even need to think about it.”
Transferring allergen details to the label can become tricky if certificates of analysis for ingredients are sent to manufacturers separately from the ingredient itself; it could get misplaced or linked with the wrong product. Secondly, notifications and updates from ingredient suppliers can be left unopened or not read in time, causing problems if there is an addition or exchange of allergens.
Tracey added, “Cleverly, QADEX software cross examines all supplier site information and product information, which can flag up any issues. For example if a manufacturer doesn’t handle eggs on site but there are eggs in the raw material product, the system will flag up a potential issue. It’s a vital tool for reducing mislabelled and mis-declared allergens.”
An expert from the Institute of Food Safety and Health states that food businesses need to implement a specific allergen control plan to address the issue of product recalls – QADEX software is the simple solution.
To find out more about QADEX’s range of food safety and brand protection systems visit http://www.qadex.com/