Quality Assurance professionals are expected to be experts in dozens of food safety topics, including allergen management. While others may create the recipes, source the ingredients or design the packaging and marketing, it is arguably the QA team that holds the biggest responsibility: keeping customers safe and healthy.
Between FSMA and FALCPA, manufacturers are required to take an extremely active role in evaluating the risk of common food allergens. And for good reason; more than 25% of Americans are impacted by food allergies and intolerances.
Because allergens are only one of many hazards a QA team must monitor for, it’s no surprise that many companies feel uncertain of how best to handle their own allergen management program. While the requirements may be obvious for some facilities, most of the time a facility will need a great deal of research and evaluation to come up with a strategy. A good allergen management plan will consist of a mix of smart facility design, deliberate processes for ingredient storage and handling, validated cleaning procedures and allergen testing on location as well as at a third-party lab. Plus, of course, employee training, vendor screening, record keeping and more. It’s a lot!
That’s why it’s so crucial for a QA team to surround itself with people who get it, and people who care. At Emport LLC, we consider ourselves partners, not vendors. We get it: Our team has been assisting gluten-free and allergen-free manufacturers since 2011. And, we care: We’re here to connect our customers to whatever they might need to keep their foods free of gluten and unexpected allergens.
At Emport LLC, we offer rapid onsite test kits like GlutenTox, AlerTox and AllerSnap — and also the training, advising and trouble-shooting that comes along with testing for gluten and allergens on site. We want to ensure that our customers are using the right kits, for the right items, at the right times, in the right ways. Anything less is a dangerous waste of money.
Additionally, Emport LLC is proud to carry a variety of supplementary materials that factor into a robust allergen management plan: proficiency tests, reference standards, lab consumables and more. We’re also thrilled to put our decade of experience to work for our customers. Whether it’s questions for a third-party lab, a food safety consultant or even a food safety certification scheme — if we don’t know the answer, we know someone who does, and we’ll make the introduction.
If you’re reading this and feeling unsure about any element of your allergen control plan, give us a call at 412-447-1888 or visit emportllc.com. We’d love to chat. After all, that’s one way we live our motto: More safe food, more happy people.