Food allergen management resources
In 2020, a unique multi-stakeholder collaboration on food allergen management involving representatives from the food industry, consumers, academia, health care and government was launched in Canada, funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's AgriAssurance program. This collaboration resulted in the development of consensus guidelines for industry on allergen risk management and the use of PALs. This work was led by Food Allergy Canada, the Platform for Excellence in Food Risk Analysis and Regulation (PARERA) at Laval University, and Maple Leaf Foods, and included broad representation from the Canadian food manufacturing sector. The guidance documents developed are intended to help manufacturers implement effective allergen control plans, including the responsible use of PAL, to better meet the needs of Canadians managing food allergies.
To keep up to date on any changes to the guidelines and associated resources, and to learn about other initiatives related to allergen management, please register with Food Allergy Canada – click here
Food allergen risk assessment evaluates whether the allergen dose expected to be found in a food may pose a risk to allergic consumers. It relies on a structured process where different scenarios considering allergen concentration, food consumption and allergen eliciting doses are statistically simulated. For food manufacturers, instances that may benefit from this approach include allergen cross-contact assessment, validation of cleaning procedures, formulation changes, process deviation or incident management, etc.
PARERA’s food allergens laboratory is located at Université Laval’s INAF. Services provided to food manufacturers include validation of allergen analytical methods for specific products and processes; analysis of in-process and/or finished product samples for validation of cleaning procedures, cross-contact assessment, or incidence management; assessment of the effect of novel processing technologies on food allergens; and other company-specific requests.
On-site or virtual trainings are offered on Allergen Management Guidelines for Food Manufacturers (general or sector-specific) and food allergen risk assessment. Other allergen-related trainings may be developed per request.
Resources from international organizations
- Codex Alimentarius. 2020. Code of Practice on Food Allergen Management for Food Business Operators
- Codex Alimentarius. 2022. Risk assessment of food allergens – Part 1: Review and validation of Codex Alimentarius priority allergens list through risk assessment. Full report.
- Codex Alimentarius. 2021. Ad hoc Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on Risk Assessment of Food Allergens - Part 1: Review and validation of Codex Alimentarius priority allergens list through risk assessment. Summary and Conclusions.
- Codex Alimentarius. 2021. Ad hoc Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on Risk Assessment of Food Allergens - Part 2: Review and establish threshold levels in foods of the priority allergens. Summary and Conclusions.
- Codex Alimentarius. 2021. Ad hoc Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on Risk Assessment of Food Allergens - Part 3: Review and establish precautionary allergen labelling in foods of the priority allergens. Summary and Conclusions.