Sarah is an active little girl who is hungry all the time! But even when her mom makes her favourite food, eating is no longer fun. Sarah suffers from several severe food allergies.
Just a few weeks ago, Sarah was rushed to the hospital and almost died. Simply because she had eaten something containing an allergen that was not included in the ingredient list. Each and every day,
Sarah literally puts her life in the hands of food manufacturers. But like thousands of other Canadians, what other choice does she have?
A food allergy is an adverse immune response to an ingested food. Sadly, the number of people in Canada with food allergies is on the rise: An estimated 2.5 million Canadians now claim to suffer from this ailment.
Approximately 40% of recalls in Canada are due to the presence of undeclared allergens in finished products. The presence of allergens in food products is generally due to three causes: ignorance (such as a production area contaminated by the previous production), an undeclared ingredient, or food fraud. Given that allergic reactions can be triggered by just minute amounts of an allergen, it’s easy to understand why vigilance is so vital in food production.
Many people continue to confuse food intolerances with allergies. A food intolerance typically causes side effects such as digestive problems or stomachaches.
In contrast, people who come into contact with a substance they are allergic to can experience a rapid and strong immune response which in some cases can be lethal. Since even trace amounts of allergens can trigger severe reactions, they must be completely eliminated from the person’s diet.
People can develop food allergies to all sorts of products. However, most develop allergies to a fairly restricted list.
Here in Canada, Health Canada and the CFIA have identified 10 priority food allergens: peanuts, wheat, seafood (fish and shellfish), milk, mustard, nuts, eggs, sesame, soy and sulphites. With the exception of sulphites, all food allergies are caused by the presence of specific proteins in these ingredients.
A number of companies now specialize in producing allergen-free food.
The identification of such products is carefully regulated, and an extensive series of processes must be put in place to ensure their integrity. Everything from the base ingredients to the finished products is strictly controlled.
In some cases, all potential allergens are systematically removed from the production site. In others, dedicated allergen-free production lines are used. Still other manufacturers may rearrange their production schedules to prevent surface contamination.
There are also a number of detection tools that all food manufacturers can use to ensure the absence of allergens in their food products.
To guarantee the quality of their food products, manufacturers also have to use the right cleaning products and methods. To help our partner customers make the right choices, Sani Marc has extensively tested a wide range of products to determine their ability to remove allergens from surfaces. The products we have selected have shown superior decontamination efficiency in laboratory testing. Their formulations contain synergistic mixtures that enable them to better dislodge and/or degrade contaminants. They also have an optimized surfactant system for better wetting of contaminants. These formulations have also been specifically developed to optimize the emulsification of dirt and to make rinsing surfaces easier.
Our efforts to create various formulations of proven efficacy make it easy to identify which products will best meet your needs.
When used according to our recommendations and with the correct work methods, these products will allow you to eliminate allergens and optimize operations. Adopting adequate quality control practices is also essential to ensure that all surfaces are free of deposits.
Food manufacturers have access to all the tools they need to keep surfaces free of allergens and protect the lives of consumers. All it takes is the right protocols and products, combined with meticulous work methods and quality control practices.
Want to know more? See the following sites:
Health Canada website on food allergies: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/securit/allerg/fa-aa/index-eng.php
Association of Allergists and Immunologists of Quebec website: http://allerg.qc.ca/Information_allergique/3_1_aliments_en.html