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8. Management of allergens

Allergens are natural substances, harmless in principle, which can provoke an immune reaction among a very small minority of the population. It is estimated that around 2 to 3% of the adults and more than 5% of children have a food allergy. This percentage does however appear to be on the increase. Allergic reactions may occur upon exposure to even very small quantities. Symptoms are usually restricted to minor physical reactions like temporary skin disorders, tightness of the chest and/or vomiting. In a small number of cases, such reactions may be extremely severe and the sufferer may go into anaphylactic shock. Even death is a possibility. Allergens are therefore a serious issue in food safety!



8.1 Policy on allergens

The amended EU Labelling Directive made declaration of some 14 added allergens mandatory. In response to the Labelling Directive Sonneveld have developed a policy on allergens. This policy entails that we actively exclude a number of allergens from our production process. These are primarily allergens which are known to provoke extreme allergic reactions (peanuts, nuts, shellfish) and those which have frequently been involved in incidents (meat and fish). The categorisation employed is set out in the table below.

The specified allergens are permitted within the application centre, in the canteen and in trade products and products produced externally. On a regular bases personal receives instruction concerning allergens. Also there is extra consideration to avoid the cross contamination in our products. Because of the allergen policy there is now a separate storage of allergens. Also in the weigh kitchen and sample preparation the allergens are separately stored. 

We see this policy as an additional level of risk reduction for our customers and consumers.

In summary:


Allergens Actively excluded

Permitted

EU-Legislation
  • peanuts
  • nuts
  • shellfish and crustaceans
  • fish
  • sulphite (> 10 mg/kg as SO2)
  • molluscs
  • cellery
  • mustard
  • grains containing gluten
  • egg and eggproducts
  • milk and milkproducts
  • soy and soyproducts
  • sesame and sesameproducts
  • lupin

 

Other allergens from the ALBA list
  • beef
  • pork
  • chicken
  • maize
  • carrot
  • coriander
  • cocoa
  • glutaminate
  • legumes


Note: For all the specified allergens, products "based upon" or "derived from" these are also included.

 

Labelling

The 14 legislatively mandatory allergens, including "hidden" allergens are stated in the declaration of ingredients, immediately following the ingredients in question. A schematic representation of these allergens is also provided. Sonneveld will provide an Allergens Summary (based on ALBA) on request. This also indicates possible cross-contamination. For further explanation and interpretation, please refer to the product data sheets. All Sonneveld labels include a reference to the product data sheets for information relating to allergens.

Suppliers

Sonneveld expect their suppliers to have an allergen management system or policy in place. The allergens present must be indicated (+), as well as any possible trace ingredients and cross-contamination. Cross-contamination identified in these raw material specifications will be subjected by Sonneveld to a risk x severity analysis. This analysis will be used to decide whether the cross-contamination information must be communicated through the supply chain.


8.2 Cross-contamination

We are aware of the possibility of internal cross-contamination within Sonneveld. In principle, all allergens which are present within our production location might also appear in products. An exception to this is the cold mixing process used with certain release agents, which is a fully enclosed system.

There is no legal obligation to report allergens which might potentially be present as a consequence of cross-contamination (carryover). The decision to include supplementary labelling must be based on a risk assessment.

ALBA naturally also takes account of the possibility of cross-contamination, however cross-contamination is not required to be indicated with + or ?, because such an ingredient is not part of the recipe.

Nevertheless there is a legislatively determined duty of care. Sonneveld therefore also attempt to reduce cross-contamination to a minimum. A range of measures are taken to prevent carryover in the production process, including production sequencing, cleaning and changes to recipes. As well as determining the production arrangements, our allergen policy is also an element of the training of personnel. Allergens are an element of the food safety system, however they are not CCPs.

Despite all the measures taken, the presence of certain allergens in Sonneveld products cannot be excluded, and Sonneveld do not make any "free from" claims (that is to say there is no disclaimer). The use of such a claim is discouraged by various interpretative documents published within the sector.

Possible internal cross-contamination is indicated by Sonneveld on our product information sheets.

BRC Halal Kosher RSPO Skal

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