Member Event - Optimising Food Allergen Management – Through Risk Management and Risk Communication

Member Event - Optimising Food Allergen Management – Through Risk Management and Risk Communication

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Presentations available to download for members only. See programme to download presentations.


This event will focus on risk management and risk communication to ensure effective process controls are in place for safe food and will include expert speakers who will cover the latest developments regarding managing food allergens. In particular, we will be examining sharing concepts and newer techniques used in other industries to visualise and better communicate risk, provision of information throughout the supply chain and developments around precautionary allergen labelling and information.

Who should attend

This is a member-only event that will be well suited to Quality, Technical and Food Safety Managers and Directors.

Benefits of attending

  • The latest information and thinking regarding food allergen management
  • Focus on risk management and risk communication for ensuring safe food
  • On-site networking
  • Focussed agenda
  • Special guest presenters
  • Site tours

Provisional programme

Time Presentation
09:30 Coffee, networking and optional site tours
10:30 Welcome, introduction and housekeeping
René Crevel, René Crevel Consulting and Neil Buck, General Mills
10:40 The FAO/WHO expert consultation on risk assessment allergens: making global allergen management fit for the 21st Century
René Crevel, René Crevel Consulting
The FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on Risk Assessment of Allergens, which took place between late 2020 and early 2023, was tasked by Codex with an ambitious agenda. In response it proposed a comprehensive overhaul of the way allergens are managed globally, based on the most recent knowledge and understanding. Starting with a review of the criteria for priority allergens and the current list, it identified Reference Doses for those allergens, guided by a clear and transparent food safety objective and following a defined scientific analysis. The Consultation then addressed the application of those Reference Doses in the management of allergens, with an emphasis on Precautionary Allergen Labelling, but also considering how they could help the definition of exemptions from allergen labelling. This presentation will distil the main conclusions and implications of the Expert Consultation’s work.

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11:05 Practical guidance on the application of food allergen Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA)
Neil Buck, General Mills
Allergen quantitative risk assessment (QRA) can provide insight into the risk presented to allergic consumers by cross-contact within supply chains, and therefore improve decision making on the use of precautionary allergen labelling (PAL). Moreover, as the implementation of allergen QRA requires a good understanding of the circumstances that may cause cross-contact within supply chains, its implementation can drive improvement in identifying opportunities to mitigate allergen presence. Due to these benefits, allergen QRA techniques have increased in maturity and the expectation by stakeholders is that they should be applied. However, to apply allergen QRA it is necessary to understand how the technique best fits within allergen control plans, and how to make decisions on variables needed to calculate exposure and risk. Unless there is a consistent approach across food operators, the benefit to consumers in terms of an improvement in risk-based decision-making underlying PAL across the products they purchase, will not be realised. For this reason a guidance document has been constructed based on feedback from a wide stakeholder community that covers methods and decision making on the implementation of allergen QRA across both upstream supply chains, and in-house site operations, it also provides an approach to allergen QRA in the case of allergen incidents. An introduction to the guidance will be provided.

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11:30 Networking break and refreshments
11:50 Update on the FSA’s work on food hypersensitivity
Ben Rayner, Food Standards Agency
An overview of the FSAs recent work looking at how to improve the flow of information between consumers and food businesses in the out-of-home sector and precautionary allergen labelling, including the finding of latest research and next steps for the workstream

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12:15 Cleaning to remove food allergens and its validation and verification: results of an international literature review conducted for the FSA
Helen Arrowsmith, Campden BRI
Cleaning to remove food allergens is part of a holistic food safety management system. The purpose is to control allergen cross-contact that can pose a risk to people with food hypersensitivity. Food businesses need to understand how effective their cleaning is at removing food allergens, in order to provide accurate information about food allergens that could be unintentionally present in their food. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) commissioned a review, under their Food Hypersensitivity programme, on the food allergen cleaning literature and guidance available internationally. Campden BRI were selected to conduct the review, and our report will support the FSA in determining how best to take allergen cleaning guidance development forward, which will support the precautionary allergen labelling policy area. The findings from the review will be discussed, including the principles understood to be important when undertaking allergen cleaning validation studies and subsequent verification activities, which were identified from the literature and are collated in the report.

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12:40 Networking lunch
13:25 A holistic approach to food allergen risk management and risk communication using Bowtie
Andrew Collins, Campden BRI
Learnings from how other industries manage hazards and risk, and how they communicate them to key stake holders using bow tie, and looking at how the bow tie approach can be applied in the management of allergen in the food industry.

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13:45 Managing communication throughout your supply chain: what to ask, when and why
Nicola Smith, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP
Nicola Smith will discuss the importance of managing information through the supply chain in making sure that allergen information and labelling is accurate, including consideration of the legal obligation on suppliers to provide information for pre-packed and non-prepacked foods and in the context of recent new guidance on allergen change labelling from FDF and an update to best practice guidance from the FSA, also referencing the ILSI Europe practical guidance on the application of food allergen quantitative risk assessment.

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14:05 Panel Q&A
Andrew Collins, Campden BRI and Nicola Smith, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP
14:15 Networking break and refreshments
14:35 At the courthouse door
Kate Lingley, DAC Beachcroft
A whistle stop tour of the regulatory criminal justice system's approach to prosecution and sentence

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14:55 Preparing to fail: the winner’s guide
Julia Johnson and Jen Upton, Instinctif Partners
In this uncertain, unrelenting and unforgiving era, how can an organisation safeguard its reputation - as well as the health of consumers - when things go wrong? Through a combination of case studies, best practice and decades-worth of experience, Instinctif Partners will share the Why, What and How of building resilience in challenging environments.

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15:15 Panel Q&A
Kate Lingley, DAC Beachcroft, Julia Johnson, Instinctif Partners, and Jen Upton, Instinctif Partners
15:25 Closing remarks
René Crevel, René Crevel Consulting and Neil Buck, General Mills
15:30 Coffee, networking and optional site tours


Helen Arrowsmith, Campden BRI

After her PhD, Helen joined Campden BRI in 2004 when she spent a year as Technical Support Officer in the Food Composition Section. The next nine years were spent in the Biochemistry Section, where Helen managed the provision of technical contract services in the area of food allergen detection, provided interpretation of testing results, consultancy, information and advice on food allergen testing.

In 2014, Helen moved to our Regulatory team where she has gained comprehensive understanding and experience of food law, not just relating to food allergens.

Helen now uses her knowledge and expertise to provide advice on all aspects of UK and harmonised EU legislation, including relating to food allergens. Helen presents on scheduled and tailored training courses on food law and food allergens, and oversees the production of our Food Law Alert.

Helen has managed various research projects; in 2023 she supervised and contributed to a Review of the literature and guidance on food allergen cleaning for the Food Standards Agency . Helen has also co-authored two guidance documents for the food industry on ‘Validation of cleaning to remove food allergens’ (Campden BRI Guideline 59) and ‘Food allergens: practical risk analysis, testing and action levels’ (Campden BRI Guideline 71).

René Crevel, Director, René Crevel Consulting Limited.

René Crevel runs a consultancy centred on food allergens and their management, and wider aspects of allergenicity as related to food safety. This followed a career at Unilever, where he was responsible for advice and guidance on food allergy and allergen risk assessment and management to Unilever, and for leading Unilever’s food allergy research programme. He holds appointments at the Universities of Manchester (UK) and Nebraska-Lincoln and served on the UK’s Committee on Toxicity (COT). He is Scientific Advisor to ILSI-Europe’s Food Allergy Task Force and has been a member of the FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on Allergens, chairing its 2nd meeting on establishing thresholds for allergens.

Neil Buck, Global Toxicology and Ecotoxicology Expert, General Mills

Neil began his working life as a food microbiologist before returning to academia to study toxicology first gaining an MSc and subsequently a PhD working with the US flavour association on risk assessment processes. For the subsequent 20+ years Neil has worked in both Regulatory Affairs and Product Safety in the FMCG sector, most notably supplements and foods. A theme running across Neil’s working life has been technical regulatory topics especially bringing new ingredients to market. He is involved in various fora in both the US and EU wherein the shared stakeholder objective is continuous improvement in consumer protection.

Andrew Collins, Campden BRI

Andrew is currently the Global Safety Lead. He joined Campden BRI at the beginning of 2009 and with over 30-years’ experience in a wide range of food businesses (including catering), his current role focusses on the practical application of food safety management and good hygiene principles, including HACCP. This involves consultancy, training and auditing.

He is a certified BowTie XP practitioner, using BowTie methodology barrier risk-based thinking for food businesses. The approach enables businesses to better communicate and understand process safety risks.

Andrew also works on supply chain management, agriculture, animal feed and traceability. He’s also part of the team that manages hygiene and allergen management.

His experience has allowed him to become a published author, having written and contributed to several Campden BRI guideline documents including: ‘HACCP: A practical guide - G42’, ‘Food safety plans: principles and basic system requirements - G76’ and ‘Risk evaluation and management of raw materials - G65’.

He has been involved with training projects of competent authorities’ officials for the EU Better Training for Safer Food and FSA on HACCP Auditing. He was a member of the GFSI Technical Working Group for Food Service and is a Lead Instructor for Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) training.

Nicola Smith, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP

Nicola Smith specialises in regulatory compliance and her expertise covers food and feed law and safety and recall, including food contact materials. She provides training to clients on food law requirements, including in relation to allergen laws, product recalls and Brexit-related labelling and compliance issues. She has provided training to a global catering company on EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation and Food Safety Laws and, recently, to members of the Food and Drink Federation, on the legal impact of Food Safety Culture. She advised on reporting obligations and due diligence procedures following a meat scandal, has advised on the requirements for notification and recall of food and drink products and regularly advises on labelling requirements, including Natasha’s Law, origin indications, health and nutrition claims and food business operator details in the EU and the UK post-Brexit. She has also advised on potential enforcement action by local authorities for various breaches of food laws. Nicola is heavily involved with Squire Patton Boggs’ EU and UK food special interest group and is a professional affiliate member of the Food and Drink Federation.

Kate Lingley, Senior Solicitor – Safety, Health and Environment, DAC Beachcroft

Kate qualified as a solicitor in 2009 after working in London and Cardiff and is now based in the Bristol office of DAC Beachcroft as part of a UK wide team.

Kate advises on all aspects of Regulatory and Criminal Law; including Health and Safety Executive investigations and prosecutions, Trading Standards, Local Authority, CPS and HMRC matters. She provides advice from the initial investigation/interview stage through to Court Proceedings in the Magistrates', Crown and Appeal Court's as required.

Kate conducts preparatory work and advocacy for a full range of Inquest matters on behalf of interested parties throughout the UK. She is a confident and experienced advocate, having frequently conducted her own Trials, Inquests and all manner of preparatory hearings in the Criminal and Coroners Courts.

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