Industry News | March 19, 2009

How to Deal with Increasingly Prevalent Food Allergies

The Food Allergy Research and Resource Program (FARRP) at the University of Nebraska (UNL) Department of Food Science and Technology has launched a free training Webinar for food processors and handlers entitled, “Food Allergy and Safe Nut Processing.”

The one-hour training program is geared toward food workers and provides an introduction to food allergies, with special attention on tree nuts and the importance of allergen controls within food-processing plants. It is intended to increase knowledge about the seriousness of tree nut allergy by discussing methods of allergen control that can prevent inadvertent exposure and reduce food safety hazards in the food supply.

Steve Taylor, Ph.D., of the Department of Food Science and Technology at UNL and head of FARRP, provided the technical guidance for the Webinar. “Some studies show the incidence of food allergy is increasing,” he says, “and this Webinar is intended to help food processors train their staff and assure their processing operations are free of cross-contamination for tree-nut allergen.”

According to Sam Cunningham, Ph.D., an expert on tree nuts, “Many consumers enjoy tree nuts and tree nut-containing products. With the right knowledge and careful planning, food processors can safely produce both non-nut containing foods and nut- containing foods. Understanding allergy and implementation of effective allergen control programs results in safer food.”

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