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Seed purity standards and allergen thresholds

At a recent Anaphylaxis Campaign conference I listened to an excellent presentation from Rachel Ward of r.ward consultancy limited.

Rachel’s presentation was titled “Perspectives on thresholds: where are we now?”

Whilst I have been an avid follower of the likely emergence of allergen thresholds and  the VITAL allergen system there were a couple of observations which Rachel made which made me sit up an take notice.

Firstly Rachel indicated that likely legislation changes made it possible that if intentionally added that all of the 160 likely allergens need to be labelled on packaging.

Knowing that many food businesses are struggling to manage allergen risk assessment and allergen declarations for the 14 allergens using their existing raw material specifications, extending this to 160 likely allergens would be nigh on impossible.

Secondly Rachel raised the issue of seed purity standards which usually allow up to 2% of other seeds within a certified seed batch. This allied to crop rotation practices within farming which result in cross contamination risks between allergen bearing and non allergen bearing crops raises another set of challenges to manage.

Allergen Management looks to be getting more complex over the coming years.

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