One of the biggest issues concerning the food manufacturing industry is allergen control – one errant peanut or shellfish fragment caught in a mixed use machine could cause major health risks for thousands of people living with severe food allergies. In an effort to cut down on unnecessary allergen cross-contamination, UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is renewing its focus on allergen management with a new course at Sainsbury’s Technical Management Academy in conjunction with training specialists Campden BRI.
Sainsbury’s Technical Management Academy was launched five years ago in an attempt to educate colleagues and suppliers of Sainsbury’s Own Brand products on principles Sainsbury’s supermarkets hold valuable, teaching courses in important subjects including labeling legislation, food hygiene, and brand standards. According to a press release from Sainsbury’s supermarkets, the Sainsbury’s Technical Management Academy will now be offering a two day allergen management training course featuring an overview of Sainsbury’s allergen cross-contamination control policies. The interactive, practicum-based course will mainly focus on evaluating and assessing manufacturing environments for proper allergen control.
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“Allergen management is a critical area for food manufacturers and retailers, requiring a hands-on, proactive approach,” noted Campden BRI Head-of-Training Bertrand Emond in the press release. “Between one and two in every 100 people in the UK have food allergies and many more have food intolerances, while children are perceived to have an even greater incidence of allergies.
“Legislation requires that certain food allergens are declared on pack when included as an ingredient in products but even with strict controls there is the chance that a product can be cross-contaminated due to the manufacturing environment. This new training module covers all aspects of the production process from the sourcing of raw materials, through production, assessment of the risks of cross contamination and the storage and testing of final products.”