Manufacturing premises, equipment and processes
The ideal approach to avoid cross contact with allergens is to dedicate production facilities to specific allergenic products. This is however not always an option particularly in small businesses. The key to manage cross contact with allergens in such a situation is to find ways to separate the production of allergen-containing products from those that do not contain the allergen. Some questions that you may consider are:
- Is it possible to store ingredients with different allergens in clearly identified areas?
- Is it possible to have dedicated production lines or areas?
- Is it possible to erect physical barriers and/or separate the air supply between production lines or areas?
- Is it possible to minimise the movement of material and personnel between production lines or areas?
- Is it possible to dedicate utensils and equipment?
- Is it possible to design equipment to minimise cross contact?
- Is it possible to schedule production runs to minimise possible cross contact (allergen after non-allergen)?
- Is it possible to clean between production runs with allergens and non-allergens?
- Is it possible to manage re-work that contains an allergen to ensure that it is only re-worked into a product that already contains the allergen?
- Is it possible to label held-over products and unused packaging material in a suitable way?
If it is not possible to separate products with and without allergens adequately you need to assess the risk of allergen cross contact and if appropriate use advisory labelling.