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Food businesses are obliged to comply with the general hygiene requirements in Annex II of the food hygiene regulation. They are also obliged to implement procedures to prevent unsafe foods according to Article 5 in the same regulation.

According to the general hygiene requirements it is good food hygiene practice to protect foods from contamination. Such a contamination could be represented by excessive amounts of cross-contact allergens. The regulation defines indeed a contamination as the presence or introduction of a hazard.

Current best practice favours the integration of allergen management into general food safety management rather than the development of a separate system for the management of food allergens. The regulation requires food businesses to implement procedures based on the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles in order to manage food safety. The idea of the HACCP principles is to identify potential hazards (for example the presence of allergens) and critical control points, to establish procedures to control the hazards, and to document the work done. The regulation allows the HACCP principles to be implemented with flexibility to ensure that they can be applied in all situations.

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Food hygiene legislation: