Types of food-related issues
The term food allergies refer to the type of food related issues which is increasing day after day. Over millions of people are getting affected by the food they are consuming. Several kinds of symptoms such as fever, abdominal pain or vomiting are experienced by the people due to the consumption of the contaminated food (Jia and Evans). Apart from those, since the last decade the rate of the hospitalization related to allergies is increasing which is becoming a major concern for the allergen management or food industry.
Food allergies are a kind of response to the immune system of a human body which may occur to be in contact with certain types of food. There are certain types of substance which are present in the food, those are called allergens. For most of the cases the allergen foods are not harmful to the population, but a few from them have suffered on a high note. Among the population, the most commonly found allergens are milk or lactose and peanuts (Soon). Several cases have revealed how the substances can have mild effects as well as life taking effect on the population.
Since the last two decades, the food allergy and incidents related to it which can especially be found among children, has increased the concern of the food industry about the allergens present in the food. The management related to the food allergens has already taken the responsibility about the safety of the consumers, the agencies led by the government and lastly the food industries who are involved in serving over millions of people (Stein). By keeping the main focus of the food issue, several rules and regulations also have been proposed for the national and international food industry platform to make them aware of the allergens and the effect of it. The food industry, manufacturers as well are bound to abide by the rules and regulations for labeling food. For example, it can be said that it is necessary for the companies to mention the allergens which are present in the preparation of the food to maintain the clarity in the food preparation and that will also increase the well being of the consumers.
Based on the international standards ISO 22000:2007 the food safety management has been able to emphasize the presence of allergens that are food safety hazards (De Martinis et al.). And according to the standards all kinds of organizations are requested to abide by the rules and regulations to put control on the food safety hazards, which might also include the allergens as well in order to make sure the food that has been served to the consumers, are very much safe to consume.
Food allergies and immune response
In recent times, food safety management and allergen management has become the first priority for the food industry. Food businesses have already started their implementation by maintaining the alignment with ISO 22000 which helps in taking actions against the food hazards due to the presence of allergens. Also the international standard ISO 22002:2009 has proposed a requirement of a program which might help with the risk management related to the allergen management program (De Martinis et al.). The main purpose of the program would be to provide proper training and education related to the food allergen and hazards. They also need to be informed about the communication with the food providers. As for the food manufacturers it is necessary to do the proper labeling to avoid the miscommunication with the consumer about the ingredients of the food.
With the help of the public health departments, the food industry is very much able to boost up their efforts about the maintenance of food allergens and also to develop organizations which might help with the food safety management in order to serve the consumers with good and safe food to keep them healthy and sound.
After the completion of the unit, myself reflection is, according to me, the food industry should always put their main focus on hygiene and allergen to serve the consumers with good quality healthy food. The rules and regulations are not always the main factors that are needed to maintain the food safety or allergen management. Proper communication and coordination, education about the allergen is also necessary to remember while preparing the food for the consumers. It is important to remember that allergies cannot be eliminated at a go, so it is our responsibility to keep the food preparation stalls clean, abide by all kinds of rules and regulations and involve ourselves in research which might help with the right preparation of food. Lastly it is important for the food industry to develop the right type of management system which will involve themselves in the awareness about the allergens in order to solve every type of queries about the same from the consumer end.
De Martinis M, Sirufo MM, Suppa M, Ginaldi L. New perspectives in food allergy. International journal of molecular sciences. 2020 Jan;21(4):1474.
Gargano D, Appanna R, Santonicola A, De Bartolomeis F, Stellato C, Cianferoni A, Casolaro V, Iovino P. Food allergy and intolerance: A narrative review on nutritional concerns. Nutrients. 2021 May;13(5):1638.
Jia L, Evans S. Improving food allergen management in food manufacturing: An incentive-based approach. Food Control. 2021 Nov 1;129:108246.
Soon JM. ‘No nuts please’: Food allergen management in takeaways. Food Control. 2018 Sep 1;91:349-56.
Stein K. Effective allergen management practices to reduce allergens in food. InHandbook of food allergen detection and control 2015 Jan 1 (pp. 103-131). Woodhead Publishing.