The Importance of Cleaning Validation in Allergen Management

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The majority of food manufacturers would accept that cleaning is a vital function within food processing, especially with respect to issues of hygiene. However, cleaning is also a defining process in the changeover from recipes that contain an allergen to those, which do not, in facilities where both products are manufactured on common lines and shared equipment.

As such, it is important to know that cleaning procedures are effective and sufficient to remove all traces of allergen from the lines and equipment, in order that food manufacturers can confidently avoid the use of 'may contains' statements on products which do not contain an allergen as a constituent ingredient.

Cleaning validation is therefore a process to determine whether cleaning practices are sufficient to minimise the risk of cross contact, and perhaps to determine where improvements need to be made, or where it is neither feasible nor practicable to clean to the prerequisite level due to equipment or infrastructural issues, that precautionary labelling is used.

 

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