The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USDA) has issued new allergen guidelines for food producers. Most of the new guidelines are aimed towards producers of meat and processed egg products, which were not included in many earlier labeling requirements.
The new USDA labeling requirements emphasize training workers in handling allergens and in working with ingredient suppliers and producers to ensure that allergens are declared. There is an eight-step process for handling and cross-checking labels for allergens that must be followed.
Aimed at meat, poultry, and egg producers.
The new guidelines are specifically meant for producers of meat, poultry, and processed egg products. The USDA says that a recent uptick in the number of product recalls in these categories now that regulators have begun watching them more closely. Feedback from inspectors lead to the recognition of common mistakes in processes that can introduce an allergen unintentionally.
Allergens such as soy, gluten, and peanuts are those most associated with poultry and meat products. The USDA hopes that the new guidelines will reduce the number of label recalls associated with meat and poultry.