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Validation of cleaning to remove food allergens 2009


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Ensure that the cleaning procedure you use to remove food allergens is effective

The number of people with a genuine food allergy is significant - it is now believed to be as many as 1-2% of adults and 5-8% of children. Avoidance of allergen-containing foods by the individuals affected is the only reliable way to prevent an allergic reaction. Therefore, preventing cross-contamination of an 'allergen-free' food is essential. In factories where the allergen is present in some formulations but not others, this means ensuring that processing lines are properly and effectively cleaned between runs.

This guideline looks at the steps that have to be taken to demonstrate that the cleaning mechanisms used are effective - it does not discuss cleaning per se, but looks at what tests need to be done after the cleaning to show that the allergen has been removed. It looks at what can be tested and the techniques that can be used. It also discusses the limitations of what can be done, bearing in mind that there is no lower limit known for levels of allergen that can provoke a response in sensitive individuals; This guideline is also available as an e-book from

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