Food coatings manufacturer Witwood Food Products has started building a new allergen plant in a bid to avoid accidental cross-contamination as new allergen labelling regulations come in.
The company has invested £500,000 in a 250 metres squared facility at its Banbury headquarters.
"Every product containing allergens will be manufactured at the new plant, which will be housed in a sealed unit within the factory, totally eliminating the risk of airbourne cross-contamination during the manufacturing process," said the company.
There are currently no regulations governing the labelling of possible allergen cross-contamination, but the transitional period for adhering to last year's deadline for labelling deliberate allergenic ingredients is only two months away. The rules could be problematic for beer producers as many use wheat flour in their products.
Ingredients that make up less than 25% of alcoholic beverages above 1.2% abv do not currently need to feature on the product's label, but this will change when the cut-off date for labelling amendments comes into force on November 25.
The Food Standards Agency has begun consultation on best practice guidance for controlling food allergens. The Agency has developed a set of guidelines on how small and medium sized businesses can avoid cross-contamination and label products appropriately. The consultation will run until December 6.