Stack of cardboard boxes on pallet at distribution warehouse

Undeclared Allergens: Potential Failure Point 2: Receiving

Denis Storey
May 18, 2020

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Another critical point in the food production process that, if not handled properly, could lead to undeclared allergens in the marketplace is at receiving. The receiving component is critical to ensure that accurate labels are coming into the warehouse. What makes it so significant? What’s the best practice receiving personnel can employ to minimize risk?

Stephanie Lopez, Vice President, Food Safety Services Innovation, AIB International, shared her expertise on three potential failure points – purchasing, receiving, and packing. This article will highlight possible failure point No. 2: Receiving.

At receiving, in addition to inspecting the materials, it’s also essential to make sure the ingredient statement matches what’s on the specification.

What can go wrong?

With all of the elements needing verification, it can be challenging to verify that every word – regardless of language – is accurate and accounted for, which could ultimately result in an undeclared allergen making it to the marketplace.

Best Practice Tip: Acetate

Companies can create an acetate with just the ingredient statement. They then take the acetate and overlay it onto the ingredient statement coming in.

“This helps minimizes the need to read every single word. You overlay the acetate, and if all of the words align, you know it meets the requirement,” Lopez explained.

“If you’re exporting a product outside of the United States that requires packaging in a language other than English, the pre-printed acetate will allow you to confirm that the specifications and packaging have the same declaration, even if you’re not familiar with that language,” Lopez added.

Depending on how the product is received, receiving or quality control personnel can do this.

Next up: Potential Failure Point No. 3: Packing.