The purpose of the SOPs and SSOPs is
to provide enough detail so employees
can perform tasks correctly by reading
the procedure without any additional
Adequate training for all staff, in-
cluding seasonal or temporary employ-
ees, should introduce them to SOPs
and SSOPs. Employees at every level
also should receive general training on
allergen awareness and control, with
specific training to particular employees
as dictated by their job responsibilities.
In all training, employees should learn
why these procedures are required and
the very serious potential consequences
should the plan not be followed. Per-
sonnel should understand why proper
hygiene, handwashing, glove use, clean
outer garments and movement through
the facility are all important.
Equipment cleaning: Adequate time
must be allowed for proper cleaning,
and all equipment should be inspected
after cleaning and before use. Special
attention should be given to:
• Food contact surfaces that have
What about Gluten?
More consumers are requesting “gluten-free” foods, but what is gluten? Gluten is the protein in wheat, rye and barley that provides the properties that hold
dough together and to which some people develop hypersensitivity. An abnormal
response to gluten can lead to the development of either a wheat allergy or celiac disease, which damages the small intestine. Both are immunologic responses.
Many products today are advertised as gluten-free, and some companies advertise a product as gluten-free as a marketing ploy as well as out of concern for
the sensitivities of their customers. Sometimes, food products are advertised as
gluten-free, even if they would not logically include gluten.
The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) permits
the voluntary use of the term “gluten-free” (GF) on food labels. If a food manufacturer chooses to use the GF label, the product must contain less than 20 parts
per million (ppm) of gluten. The 20-ppm threshold applies only to the GF label.
Under FALCPA, any product that contains wheat (one of the Big Eight allergens)
also must declare “wheat” on the label.
FALCPA regulations on GF labeling include other members of the
Triticum family, such as spelt, kamut,
triticale and durum, as well as common wheat. Although not considered
among the Big Eight in the U.S., rye
and barley also contain gluten, so a
product must contain no more than
20 ppm of rye or barley to earn the
GF label. Oats do not contain gluten. A product may contain a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to remove gluten, like wheat
Micro Bio • 1925 W. Maple Road • Troy, MI 48084
(248) 288-6098 • www.microbiollc.com
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