Environmental Monitoring for BRCGS: Allergen Management
Welcome to our Environmental Monitoring for BRC Global Standards for Food Safety (BRCGS) series. Download our free guide today.
Allergen management takes place at multiple points in production, starting with a raw material assessment, then production line and personnel cross contamination then through to end-product testing.
BRCGS 5.3 concerns allergen management and the systems in place to manage the allergenic materials and minimise the risk of contamination, with clause 5.3.8 specifically addressing allergen cleaning regimes.
As legislation requires that the presence of food allergens to be clearly labelled on the packaging, allergen management to eliminate and prevent cross-contamination is crucial.
Where there is risk on production lines of this happening risk assessments, line management and, management and monitoring plans must be in place.
Specific Allergen Testing
The use of specific allergen testing allows users to target and identify the proteins within the chosen allergenic food.
Antibody-based rapid lateral flow device (LFD) tests can be used for detection or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) tests to quantify proteins present on a surface.
Processing food can also affect the recognition of the target proteins, for example, the heat treatment of food. Where multiple allergens are handled on-site, different methods of detection, cleaning and validation may be required, and the effectiveness of cleaning procedures must be validated and documented.
Validation should be done by accredited testing methods and wherever possible quantifiable. Lateral flow tests and ATP testing can be used but are suitable for verification only.
As well as being used for environmental monitoring, many LFD allergen tests from Hygiena and 3M can be used on raw products, liquid and solid end-product and CIP rinse water to detect allergen residue.
Corrective action based on allergen testing results as part of environmental monitoring will depend on the company’s own risk assessment and planning, with identification of contamination sources and corrective action for cleaning methods and in line with product labelling.
Hygiena Alertox Sticks
Hygiena AlerTox Sticks are rapid tests for allergen detection in food, drinks, and on surfaces for internal Quality Control. They are designed specifically to help manufacturers keep their items free of antigens that may cause allergic reactions.
These user-friendly tests are for the detection and qualification of main food allergens without the need for lab equipment or scientific knowledge.
3M Allergen Protein Rapid Tests
3M Allergen Protein Rapid Kits utilizes a lateral flow device (LFD) that is an immunochromatographic test method utilizing antibodies which are for the detection of specific allergen proteins.
Designed to detect both processed and unprocessed allergen proteins, 3M Allergen Protein Tests can accommodate environmental swab, CIP rinse water and food samples.
How Can We Help?
At Gem Scientific, we understand that environmental monitoring is a rigorous and multipronged methodology that requires diligent and well thought out management plans.
We are proud to provide a personal service that’s tailored entirely around your business. Our team work with companies to understand their unique requirements, then offer bespoke solutions to suit you.
Contact us today to discuss how we can help you work towards your environmental monitoring goals:
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