Food Allergy

Improving the assessment and management of food allergen risks to protect people with food allergies

Task Force Information

Objectives and list of Task Force members

Contact Information

Contact details in case you have specific questions

Activity Overview

Overview of ongoing and upcoming activities

Expert Groups

Objectives, output and list of experts involved in each activity

Publications

List of publications of this
Task Force

Multimedia

Links to Task Force related documents, recordings and much more...

Completed Expert Groups

Details including experts involved of each activity

Task Force Information

Objectives

The Task Force aims at fostering an international evidence-based consensus on how to assess the risk from allergenic foods. Once identified the agreed method, the Task Force envisage developing tools to help manage the risks and protect all consumers.

Task Force Members

* Scientific Advisors

Contact Information

For more detailed information, please contact Torben Koenig at tkoenig@ilsieurope.be or Toula Aslanidis at taslanidis@ilsieurope.be

Activity Overview

Allergen Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA): The Development and Integration of Methodology to Link Emerging Tools with Risk Management Actions across the Supply Chain, including Precautionary Labelling - Ongoing -

Objectives

The project will identify and agree the methodological aspects that should be applied to allergen risk assessment within complex supply chains in real food production situations, to do this it will build on recently available work. The objective is to gain a consensus on how risk assessment should be conducted and translated into risk management measures and become a part of allergen management planning.

Allergenicity Assessment of New Protein-Containing Sources and Ingredients - Ongoing -

Objectives

The project should facilitate the introduction of novel protein sources by promoting the tools for a clearer regulatory environment, supported by better alignment between scientific test methodologies and risk management objectives.

Criteria for unintended allergen presence compatible with PAL - Upcoming -

Objectives

The aim of this activity is to establish the most effective risk management and risk communication practices to ensure that consumers with food allergies are further protected. This would include consideration of allergen management that is practicable for different types of production, purchasing behaviours of consumers with allergies, their attitude to PAL and permissible risk communication options within different regulatory jurisdictions.

Expert Groups

Allergen Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA): The Development and Integration of Methodology to Link Emerging Tools with Risk Management Actions across the Supply Chain, including Precautionary Labelling

Background and Objectives

There is a global and increasing interest in integrating risk assessment as a part of allergen management, including it in decisions on precautionary allergen labelling (PAL). This project aims to define consensus on the methodologies needed for quantitative risk assessment. The consensual approach will better protect public health and improve the trust of allergic consumers in packaged foods by including the labelling in this approach.

Output

Through a series of stakeholder workshops, this project will define consensus on the methodologies needed for quantitative risk assessment by food business operators, and their implementation. The EG intends to deliver a peer-reviewed publication and a practical guidance (Black and White Report).

Expert Group Members

Allergenicity Assessment of New Protein-Containing Sources and Ingredients

Background and Objectives

The introduction of novel food products could expose the population to new dietary proteins. Assessing the potential allergenicity of these proteins is essential to their safe introduction, but remains a challenge.
The activity is focusing on establishing the way different types of methodologies can be deployed to achieve a quantitative or semi-quantitative assessment of the risk posed by protein sources. The recently developed Adverse Outcome Pathway, for IgE-mediated sensitisation in particular, is considered.

Output

The aim of this activity is to facilitate the introduction of novel protein sources by promoting the tools for a clearer regulatory environment, supported by better alignment between scientific test methodologies and risk management objectives. The outcome of the Expert Group could be a toolbox for all involved in the risk assessment process for novel foods and ingredients, and should include how best to communicate effectively with non-technical stakeholders.

Expert Group Members

Criteria for unintended allergen presence compatible with precautionary allergen labelling.

Background and Objectives

There is a known and increasing proportion of allergic consumers that disregard precautionary allergen labelling (PAL), which may reflect the assumption that PAL indicates a low and infrequent presence of allergen (UAP). In some instances, despite best efforts and application of good manufacturing practice, UAP can be high compared to published reference doses.
This project aims to establish the most effective risk management and risk communication practices to ensure that consumers with food allergies are further protected. This includes consideration of allergen management that is practicable for different types of production, purchasing behaviours of consumers with allergies, their attitude to PAL and permissible risk communication options within different regulatory jurisdictions..

Output

The expert group will publish a narrative review on the most effective method of risk management and how this can be translated into risk communication measures.
In a second step, more detailed elaboration including worked examples will be published and disseminated, e.g. Black & White report.

Expert Group Members

*New affiliation as of mid-August 2017: Rene Crevel Consulting

Publications

All Publications

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Citation: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6651934

Allergen cross-contact and unintended allergen presence (UAP) are a significant challenge for food operators.

The aim of this document is to translate the findings of the Expert Group on 'Food Allergen Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA)' into a Guidance document which provides tools and approaches to help harmonize the data gathering process for food allergen risk assessments and therefore aid with their implementation. This Guidance aims to promote consistency in documentation, decision making and the application of allergen QRA.

The purpose of this Guidance is not to take an allergen labelling or risk management decision for the user, but rather is intended to help them decide when allergen QRA is appropriate or necessary, and how to decide if it can actually be performed and, if it is to be undertaken, what is the most suitable methodology.

The intended audience is mainly industry wishing to understand and conduct food allergen risk assessments, and potentially QRA. However, it should be noted, that this guide could also be useful for others, including official control agencies.

Watch the webinar here.

ILSI Europe Guidance Report Series: download here.

Tools and documents developed for use with the Guidance

  • Cross-contact / Contamination estimate calculator: A practical calculator to estimate the UAP in a product can be found here. This tool was initially developed by the EU project iFAAM and is kindly provided by TNO. It can be used for free after initial registration.
  • QRA calculation worksheet v4.4: download here.
  • Incidents form: For download here. See Chapter 4 of the Guidance for more information.
  • Sampling & Analysis form: download here.

Training videos for this Guidance

  • Management of Operations: to be published soon
  • Incidents: to be published soon

For more information about the Food Allergy Task Force click here.

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Food Allergy Task Force

NEW APPROACHES FOR FOOD SAFETY

Quantitative risk assessment (QRA) for allergens exists in many different forms with different requirements placed on the risk assessor depending on the question that needs to be answered. An electronic workshop held in October 2020 and comprising representatives from a wide range of food allergy and allergen stakeholder groups identified that a summary of current best in class guidance, identified gaps, potential improvements & harmonization of allergen QRA arising largely from cross contact would be very beneficial. The current manuscript provides an introduction to allergen QRA and an overview of inputs potentially needed for different QRA methods, when deemed feasible and necessary. It also introduces the European branch of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI Europe) Expert Group (EG), created to attempt to achieve consensus on the methodologies needed for allergen QRAs by food business operators, and their implementation. Areas of focus include proactive assessments for food production under normal conditions, both in the upstream supply chain and in food production facilities, and reactive assessments as part of an allergen incident response. As a follow-up report to the October 2020 electronic workshop, the current manuscript provides an overview of allergen QRA and insights into the guidance being developed. This manuscript will itself be followed by more detailed guidance for allergen QRA published open access as an ILSI Europe report.

Link to download the full-text

Keywords Expand

Allergens; Quantitative risk assessment (QRA); Supply chain; Incidents; Cross-contact; Precautionary allergen labelling (PAL)

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Citation: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6651934

Allergen cross-contact and unintended allergen presence (UAP) are a significant challenge for food operators.

The aim of this document is to translate the findings of the Expert Group on 'Food Allergen Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA)' into a Guidance document which provides tools and approaches to help harmonize the data gathering process for food allergen risk assessments and therefore aid with their implementation. This Guidance aims to promote consistency in documentation, decision making and the application of allergen QRA.

The purpose of this Guidance is not to take an allergen labelling or risk management decision for the user, but rather is intended to help them decide when allergen QRA is appropriate or necessary, and how to decide if it can actually be performed and, if it is to be undertaken, what is the most suitable methodology.

The intended audience is mainly industry wishing to understand and conduct food allergen risk assessments, and potentially QRA. However, it should be noted, that this guide could also be useful for others, including official control agencies.

Watch the webinar here.

ILSI Europe Guidance Report Series: download here.

Tools and documents developed for use with the Guidance

  • Cross-contact / Contamination estimate calculator: A practical calculator to estimate the UAP in a product can be found here. This tool was initially developed by the EU project iFAAM and is kindly provided by TNO. It can be used for free after initial registration.
  • QRA calculation worksheet v4.4: download here.
  • Incidents form: For download here. See Chapter 4 of the Guidance for more information.
  • Sampling & Analysis form: download here.

Training videos for this Guidance

  • Management of Operations: to be published soon
  • Incidents: to be published soon

For more information about the Food Allergy Task Force click here.

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Multimedia

Introductory video

 

 

'Practical Guidance on the Application of Food Allergen Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA)'
Watch the Webinar
'Introduction to the New ILSI Europe Activity on Food Allergen Quantitative Risk Assessment'
Watch the Webinar

Completed Expert Groups