According to the NHS, two in ten people in the UK have a food allergy, with more still having a food intolerance. In some cases, these allergies lead to fairly mild reactions. In others, the reactions are severe and can lead to anaphylactic shock and death, making it vital that food manufacturers store and prepare their food safely.
Challenges faced by food manufacturers
One of the biggest challenges facing food manufacturers is how to manage the variety of ingredients needed to satisfy today’s consumer, at the same time as keeping costs low and minimising waste without impacting quality. With 170 known allergens including eggs, shellfish, nuts, wheat and soya, it’s not an easy task, especially when set against strict regulatory controls within the UK, across Europe and around the world.
One of the things that groups like the World Health Organisation are advocating is for manufacturers to be able to trace their ingredients back through the food chain to the field. However, it is manufacturers that hold ultimate responsibility for products sold and any contamination found when not declared on the packaging. While the risk of contamination can’t be completely avoided, it can be mitigated by carefully controlling ingredients during the food production process and one of the ways to do this is to choose the right industrial packaging to store dry food products
The benefits of using bulk bags for food safety
The best industrial packaging for storing food safely is bulk bags produced specifically for the keeping and transporting of food products. These bags are produced in sterile environments that adhere to strict safety standards to keep them free of contaminants and ensure full production traceability.
Once in your warehouse, the bags will also need to be kept in separate rooms from any known allergens, something which can be tricky if you are producing large batches of a product to help keep costs low or reduce machinery downtime. This is one of the most common mistakes that food manufacturers make and it can easily be avoided with careful planning. If your storage options are limited, you may need to consider producing goods in smaller quantities to avoid risk of contamination.
One of the main benefits of using bulk bags is that they build flexibility into your production process, allowing you to move from making large volumes of products in advance to making items to order. By holding dry goods in this way, you are better able to maintain the integrity of your products and store them safely.
Other health and safety considerations
Outside of bulk bags, there are other things you can do to reduce the risk of allergens making it into your products, where you don’t want them. They are making sure:
– raw materials are clearly labelled
– equipment is properly maintained
– staff receive and follow, training in good hygiene
– your company has robust quality control procedures
– you have an approved provider process
– you segregate stock intake and storage