DECEMBER 2016 n JANUARY 2017 67
come into contact with an allergen at
• Totes, pails, etc., used to transport
allergens, if not dedicated.
• All cleaning utensils used to clean
production equipment that has come
into contact with an allergen, such as
brushes, rags, scrubbers and dust collectors, if not dedicated.
• All sampling devices used to draw
samples from a run containing an
• Any push-through product used for
clean-out prior to running a product
containing an allergen.
• All rework (if not from a like
• Final clean-in-place rinse.
The nature of the allergen, the product and the processing equipment will
dictate appropriate cleaning protocols.
Depending on the product, the choice
of cleaning method might be wet cleaning, dry cleaning or use of sanitizing
Product changeover: Product changeover, when a manufacturing line transitions from creating one product to
creating another product, is a time when
cross-contact may occur. It is important
that enough time be allowed between
processes to allow for proper cleaning.
Labels should be monitored, documented and verified at all changeovers
as they occur.
Whenever possible, products with
similar allergens should be made on the
same equipment. For production lines
with crossover points, prevent allergenic
foods from falling onto nonallergenic
production lines. When processing lines
are in close proximity, adding physical
barriers to separate allergenic and nonallergenic production lines may mitigate
the risk of allergen cross-contact.
It would be best if personnel working
on processing lines containing allergenic
ingredients did not work on nonaller-
genic production lines, because they
may carry allergenic residues on their
clothing or hands. Employees working
on a line that contains allergens may be
identified with a different-color uniform
or some other visual cue.
Scheduling of processing runs: If possible, segregate production areas for
allergenic and nonallergenic products.
Otherwise, schedule manufacturing of
nonallergenic foods before processing
of foods with allergens, because proper
scheduling of processing runs may help
minimize allergen cross-contact. For
example, long runs of products containing allergenic ingredients should be
scheduled to minimize changeovers.
When product design permits, add allergenic ingredients as late in the process
as possible. If necessary, run times should
be lengthened and changeover minimized. Cleaning should be scheduled
immediately after production of foods
containing allergenic ingredients. n
Jacqueline White Kochak is with the Auburn University Food Systems Institute.
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