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Risk management on the food production line

Eric Smith, Head of Food Safety for crisis management assistance company red24, describes risks in the food safety production line and steps that food manufacturers can take prevent them

From microbiological problems to accidental contamination and malicious product tamper – food manufacture has always been a risky business. However, allergens, which are now being widely used to influence taste, bulk up products, and extend shelf-life, have rapidly become the number one food safety risk for manufacturers.

Statistics show that allergens caused 44% of all food recalls in Europe in 2012 and they are believed to be largely responsible for a 33% rise in product recalls in the US alone this year.

Most allergen-related product recalls and withdrawals stem from cross-contamination and labelling errors.  Greater awareness, education, and communication are needed to prevent deaths and improve quality of life for food allergic consumers.

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