Allergen Management Survey: Industry Survey Respondent Results
With an increased focus on risk aversion, the use of allergen advisory labeling has become more common, even on products that should not contain an allergen.
Deloitte & Touche LLP conducted an industry survey in early 2011 related to current Allergen Management practices which confirmed that many companies are adhering to the same allergen management practices, though there are several areas of opportunity for enhanced allergen control. Two of the largest areas of opportunity identified through this survey are related to verification of ingredients that are received from suppliers and the prevention of cross-contamination. As manufacturers continually increase their reliance on supplier-provided records to comply with regulations, these records are often taken at face value without further verification.
The 2011 Deloitte & Touche Allergen Management Survey assesses the allergen management practices of both U.S. manufacturers and retailers and identifies opportunities to improve Allergen Management. Deloitte & Touche has characterized the survey responses received and compiled the findings following the guidance framework for Allergen Management Programs provided by Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FARRP) at the University of Nebraska.
The topics covered in the survey results include:
- Product design (Research & development)
- Prevention of cross-contact during processing
- Segregation of allergenic foods or ingredients during receiving, storage, handling and processing
- Supplier control programs for ingredients and labels
- Product label review, label/packaging usage and control
- Validation of allergen cleaning programs
- Staff training and education
About this survey
The Allergen Management Survey was conducted in January 2011 by the Food and Product Safety Group within Deloitte & Touche. The survey was designed to understand current and common practices related to allergen management in the food manufacturing industry and identify opportunities for enhanced allergen control. The survey focused on numerous aspects of allergen management including product development, receiving, equipment, processing, final product testing, labeling, and exporting.
Deloitte & Touche received 20 replies to 27 (74%) invitations to complete the Deloitte & Touche Allergen Management Survey. The survey respondents were a mix of both public and private companies, with multiple Fortune 500 public companies participating.