Monday, August 1, 2016: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
220-221 (America's Center - St. Louis)
Food allergens present a significant health hazard to millions of consumers around the world. Symptoms can range from mild illness to anaphylactic shock and death. Globally, it has been estimated that about 240 – 550 million people may suffer from food allergy, with up to 15 million in the United States alone. The prevalence of food allergy is greater among children and have increased as much as 50% in the last two decades. As food producers struggle to comply with labeling laws, mislabeled and undeclared allergens remain one of the most common reasons for food recalls. The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) was enacted in 2004 to enable the FDA to regulate both locally produced and imported food labels, and further strengthened in 2011 under the United States Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) with a provision for a preventive food allergen control program. While the United States recognizes 8 major food allergens, other countries may recognize up to 16 major allergens creating, even more, confusion for both producers and consumers. This symposium will feature industry experts who will outline the challenges and solutions from the retail, restaurant, consulting and laboratory perspectives. The speakers will discuss food production strategies on how to manage allergen risk, how to conduct efficient and effective recalls, and training for food workers in an industry with high turnover, controlling allergen risk from an international perspective, and the benefits and drawbacks of laboratory testing.
We are aware that the Hygiene and Sanitation PDG is also proposing an Allergen Symposium; from a cleaning and verification perspective. While we believe that the two symposia will work out well in tandem, we are also open to merging them into a single full symposium.