The Anaphylaxis Campaign’s allergen control standard will be resurrected by standards and certification body BSI (the British Standards Industry).
Originally launched in November 2007, it was the first third-party accreditation standard dedicated to allergen management, but was axed less than two years later after failing to achieve sufficient buy-in from the trade.
While the standard itself was well-respected and more comprehensive than the British Retail Consortium (BRC) global standard in terms of allergen management, many manufacturers were reluctant to spend extra cash on training and accreditation, while the logo associated with it also proved controversial.
However, a BSI spokesman confirmed that “BSI is taking this on”. He said: “We feel that it’s a good standard to build on rather than creating a new standard from scratch and it fits well with our existing food safety work. We are currently sorting out the transition process with The Anaphylaxis Campaign.”
Allergen management tool
Delegates at Food Manufacture’s allergen management conference, which was held in London last week, said the standard was an important tool to help manufacturers improve allergen controls and reassure customers. However, displaying a logo on packaging was a less popular idea, given the potential PR and legal disaster that could ensue if a consumer was to suffer a severe reaction to a product sporting the logo.
As manufacturers are already subject to multiple audits, many delegates also felt that having another accreditation scheme was “just too much”, added one.
Training and accreditation
While the cost of training and accreditation for the new standard proved difficult for a charity such as the Anaphylaxis Campaign to support, creating it had not been a waste of time, chief executive Lynne Regent told Food Manufacture last year: “There is clear evidence that this programme has resulted in improved understanding of allergen management by food retailers and manufacturers.”
The Anaphylaxis Campaign is a registered charity that was set up in 1994 to provide support and information to people suffering from severe food allergy.
For full coverage of Food Manufacture’s allergens conference, see the March issue of Food Manufacture.