Manufacturing

The control of allergens during manufacture and packing is a critical area. HACCP must be used at each stage of the manufacturing process itself to ascertain key areas of risk. Additionally, all equipment associated with plants that manufacture products containing allergens must be controlled to ensure there is no risk of transfer of allergens on brushes, spatulas and other items. A colour coding system is the best way of easily identifying equipment associated with a particular plant. One colour can be used for all items associated with that product such as trays, moulds, brushes and rework containers.

Manufacturing plants are often complex with many different parts that are capable of harbouring allergens. HACCP studies will identify the key areas of risk and appropriate controls can be introduced, as discussed earlier. It is essential that all staff are briefed on the importance of the controls introduced and take responsibility themselves for the quality control of the products they are manufacturing. Routine sensory evaluation undertaken on newly manufactured products is a useful tool to monitor quality control. Trained panels who are expert assessors on a particular product are an excellent resource to confirm that a given production run meets the specification for that product. They are also capable of identifying problems with a product and may pick up a problem associated with cross-contamination of allergens.

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