Declaring traces of allergens on food labels is illegal 6:00 am, August 15, 2019 in Allergens I often come across products whose allergen labeling features the word traits. “May contain traces of gluten”, “Contains traces of egg”, and so on … These are not isolated cases unfortunately. But be careful: declaring traits is illegal!
The rules for the declaration of allergens are described in RDC 26/15 by Anvisa and we have already presented them here on the blog, with practical examples, but as I have seen that this topic still persists as a doubt in food companies, I bring the subject again.
And why are they still labeling traits?
According to RDC 26/15, the declaration of cross contamination with allergenic foods or their derivatives must be made through the warning: ALLERGIC: MAY CONTAIN (COMMON NAME OF THE ALLERGENIC FOOD) See that there is no option for dashes! It’s just: MAY CONTAIN + ALLERGENIC And why are they still labeling traits? Where did this practice come from? Come on… What are dashes? They are particles of an allergen that were not intentionally added to the product.
This means that this transfer occurs as a result of cross contamination (examples: failure to clean equipment, sharing utensils or lines, environmental contamination, failure in packaging, among many other cases). (Source: ANVISA Questions and Answers). But if they are particles, do I have to worry? Yes, because very small amounts of the allergens can be enough to trigger a serious allergic reaction in very sensitive allergens.
Why in the past was it declared “traits”? In Brazil, a few years ago, there was no regulation on how allergens should be declared in food (in fact, there was no obligation). Thus, some companies, either on their own initiative or following guidelines from their headquarters (when multinationals, for example), labeled allergens according to their own declaration pattern or based on regulations from other countries that already had this theme consolidated and implemented.
It was determined that for cases of cross
Therefore, the word “dashes” was commonly used at that time, for cases of cross contamination. And why is it now wrong to use this term? In 2015, in our country, with the publication of the Collegiate Board Resolution – RDC N ° 26, of July 2, 2015, the rules for the labeling of allergens were established! It was determined that for cases of cross-contamination, the legal and correct form must be as follows: ALLERGIC: MAY CONTAIN (COMMON NAME OF THE ALLERGENIC FOOD) We conclude, then, that the term “contains traits or” may contain traits “is not provided for in our so it is wrong.
RECALL CAUSED BY CONTAMINATIONS IN THE FOOD INDUSTRYby Neoprospecta | Oct 22, 2017 | Food Safety, Microbiology, Shelf LifeRecall caused by contamination in the food industryPAPER OF SAC AND RECALL IN CONTAMINATIONS IN THE FOOD INDUSTRYWhat they are, what they exist for and why they are an essential part of any company In recent years, several situations involving contamination and irregularities in food have gained featured in the media.
Concomitantly, terms like Recall and SAC (Customer Service) emerge in reports and official notes. Such terms refer, in general, to consumer protection measures. Its importance is closely associated with the company-customer relationship, which has a direct impact on sales, company visibility and customer satisfaction.With the increase in competitiveness both nationally and internationally, companies had to develop resources to stand out and conquer the consumer market. A close relationship with your customers, whether listening to complaints or compiling suggestions, creates an essential company-consumer bridge for adapting to today’s competitive market.
HOW RECALLS AND SACSO ARE MADE
Recall consists of the removal of a product from the market by the supplier, and it is established in the Consumer Protection Code. Its main objective is to protect and preserve the health and safety of the consumer, as well as to avoid and reduce material and moral damages and to guarantee the safety of the food. The first action to be taken during the execution of a recall is a communication to the authorities – Department of Consumer Protection and Defense (DPDC), the National Consumer Secretariat of the Ministry of Justice (Senacom / MJ) and other consumer protection agencies, such as PROCON – and consumers through information on social networks, newspapers from wide circulation and television.
Department of Consumer Protection and Defense
A periodic survey of the effectiveness of the measures adopted during the campaign should also be maintained. Also in this context, according to Ordinance No. 477/2012, products must be sent to the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA ).
A recall campaign must always be accompanied by a wide structure of service to consumers, so that through this can be done monitoring and sending periodic reports to accompany the recall call to DPDC and other competent authorities. This support to the customer is carried out through the Customer Service (SAC ). The SAC is the channel through which the customer establishes direct contact with the company, and is not limited to the ombudsman mechanism.
- This tool has rules delimited by DECREE No. 6,523, of July 31, 2008, which regulates Law No. 8,078, of September 11, 1990. To assist in standardization, the Brazilian Association of Food Industries (ABIA) developed a document with recommendations aimed at the food industry, containing provisions on the types of services and how to do them via telephone, internet and social networks.
- In addition, rules were established for consumer response, product replacement and training of service channel operators.RECALL AT THE NATIONAL SCENARIOIn Brazil, the number of recalls has increased, reaching its maximum value in 2016, with 9,651,519 affected products in 138 recall campaigns, 2.9% of which were the responsibility of the food industry.
According to the national consumer secretariat, this is due to greater institutionalization and more strategic monitoring of the process . Evolution of recall procedures in Brazil. 2003-2016 – Boletim Recall 2016. Available at: <http://www.justica.gov.br/noticias/ministerio-da-justica-lanca-balanco-de-recalls-em-2016/boletim-recall-2016. pdf> In the food industry, numerous recall campaigns have been carried out, many of them involving renowned entities and with great media impact.