Butcher Westy visits butchers The Meat Joint in Essex for a demo full of inspiration about fresh ready-meal concepts and traybakes.
Developments in preventative labelling of cross-contamination
Listing any possible cross-contamination with allergens on food product labels, also known as Precautionary Allergen Labelling or PAL, is not mandatory. Although European countries do apply fixed guidelines in respect of sulphites and gluten, the way Precautionary Allergen Labelling is handled varies from one country to another. This sometimes poses challenges. For example, in the Czech Republic the precautionary allergen labels show a lower limit and an upper limit, while in the Netherlands they give a reference value.
PAL was one of a wide and varied range of food-industry-related topics discussed during the conference programme of the Free From Food Expo held in RAI Amsterdam on 21 and 22 November 2023. The Expo also included an exhibition in which a number of companies presented their ‘free from’, ‘plant-based’, ‘vegan’, ‘healthy’, ‘organic’ and ‘functional’ products.
When may you use a PAL label?
A PAL label may only be used if the (possible) presence of an allergen is unintentional. In other words, when there is a risk an allergen can enter a product accidentally before, during or after the production process. If an allergen is added intentionally it should be included in the list of ingredients. To ascertain whether the use of a precautionary allergen label is necessary a Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) is conducted. A QRA compares the quantity of allergen protein with the reference value –the value that represents the maximum acceptable amount of this allergen for consumers with an allergy. The reference values are scientifically substantiated and drawn-up by the World Health Organization (WHO).
A need for international guidelines
Because the regulations related to PAL usage vary considerably from one country to another, the need for internationally-established standards is high. Codex Alimentarius, the Commission that develops international standards for food products, has asked the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the WHO for advice regarding determining priority allergens, threshold values and reference values, and on establishing guidelines for the use of PAL. It may also be necessary to put a PAL label on products that are not packaged.
Fewer allergens in food with seasonings from Dutch Spices
Would you like more certainty regarding the listing of intentional and accidental inclusion of allergens in your food products? This is possible if you use Dutch Spices’ seasonings. Our herb & spices mixes, sauces and marinades only include ingredients that comply with the allergen safety, vegan and halal guidelines, with a BRC and Halal certification. We also ensure no cross-contamination with allergens in conformance with the VITAL-standard. So, when you use our seasonings you enable everyone to enjoy your products with no worries. In a nutshell: Dutch Spices means ‘Freedom of Taste’.
If you would like to know more about reducing the allergens in your food products please feel free to ask our advice.
Source: Alea publishers
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During a successful demo-day at Surrey Hills Butchers, Butcher Westy put Dutch Spices’ sauces and marinades in the spotlight
Butcher Westy gave a demonstration at Clark’s Family Butchers. The aim was to work together to develop concepts that meet the needs and wishes of a rejuvenated neighbourhood.