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The Seriousness of Allergens and Allergies

Updated: Aug 17, 2021

What Are Food Allergies?

The immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that normally defends the body against pathogens and infections. Although normally we come into contact with near 60,000 different pathogens every day, and our adaptive and innate immune system help keep the dangerous pathogens from causing harm to us.

Occasionally though, the seemingly 'harmless' pathogens cause massive immune responses in some people. Why? Well, hen a person gets exposed to a certain substance, most of the time, nothing happens, but occasionally the immune response begins sensitisation. This involves many parts including mast cells, immunoglobulin and dendritic cells.

What Are The Food Allergens?

The Food Supplements Agency (FSA) require 14 different allergens to be listed by law:

This includes: celery, cereals containing gluten (such as barley and oats), crustaceans (such as prawns, crabs and lobsters), eggs, fish, lupin, milk, molluscs (such as mussels and oysters), mustard, peanuts, sesame, soybeans, sulphur dioxide and sulphites (if they are at a concentration of more than ten parts per million) and tree nuts (such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts).

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How Can You Protect Your Customers?

Having your supplements manufactured by an accredited company is the first step to reducing the risk of cross contamination, and increasing the safety of your product. At Arena Health we have a multitude of controls in place to minimise the potential for allergen cross contamination between products which include:

✓ physical segregation within the warehouse

✓ immediate cleaning of spillages

✓ robust cleaning procedures and formalised schedules after each production run

✓ running non allergenic products first

✓ documented pre start-up checks are in place

✓ hand washing

✓ ensuring controls are operational during the receipt, storage, handling and distribution of food ingredients; vehicle inspections, rejection of damaged materials and appropriate waste handling etc.

✓ where allergens or derivatives are present as part of the raw material details, these will be included on the product label

✓ checks include verification of labels to ensure those applied are consistent with product handled

✓ obtaining full details of any potential allergen content of raw material from our supplier periodically

✓ reviewing allergen information and labelling every three years

✓ maintaining standards consistent with SALSA and by operating to a quality management system satisfying the requirements of an effective food safety control system based on HACCP principles

✓ all employees are trained in handling allergens and have the appropriate understanding of allergen management, including any specific business procedures.

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