Using reference doses for precautionary allergen labelling

4.00 Hour/s

CPD Hours: 4


This half day online course, led by one of our expert consultants, will delve into the use of reference doses (e.g. VITAL) and consider how they can be used when deciding whether to display precautionary allergen labelling.

We will explore the different situations in which this approach can be adopted and consider some of the common stumbling blocks we see businesses encounter. We discuss the legal requirements for allergen labelling and the key aspects of allergen risk analysis, highlighting when the use of precautionary labelling should be considered.

Delegates will then be invited to apply their new knowledge during an interactive exercise designed to help cement the learnings from the course.

This course is ideal for those involved in allergen risk analysis and in the decision-making process around whether precautionary allergen labelling should be used. This course is also beneficial to those who may need to review how other businesses have taken decisions to apply precautionary labelling, such as suppliers.

The course includes the following topics:

  • Setting the scene
    • Introduce reference doses
  • Food hypersensitivity
    • Food allergy, intolerance and Coeliac disease
    • Regulated allergens
  • Clinical thresholds
    • Different types of reference doses and the clinical data used
  • Allergen labelling – the legal requirements
    • Labelling regulations
    • How reference doses fit into the regulation
  • Allergen Risk Analysis in production environments
    • Introduction to Risk Analysis
    • Residual risk and PAL
  • Applying VITAL reference doses
    • Sampling and testing
    • Challenges and mistakes
  • Worked examples
    • Looking at three different scenarios and working through examples
  • Interactive exercise
    • Working in groups to complete an additional scenario

    By the end of this course, you will:

    • Know the legal requirements around allergen labelling
    • Be aware of the basics of allergen risk analysis and how this links to precautionary allergen labelling
    • Understand how reference doses such as VITAL can be used to support decisions about precautionary labelling
    • Know the different situations in which using reference doses are appropriate
    • Be aware of the challenges and be able to avoid the common errors made when using the approach
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Meet the tutors

Barbara Hirst

Barbara Hirst is widely recognised as an expert in the field of allergen management. Her extensive analytical background coupled with more than 20 years of experience working with food manufacturers and retailers allows her to provide support to food businesses in all aspects of allergen management, from risk assessment to implementation of the controls required to manage those risks.

Jessica Sage

Jessica Sage started her career in the laboratory where she gained extensive experience in advising on appropriate testing methods for allergens. She now has more than 15 years’ experience of working with food businesses, and a solid understanding of different manufacturing environments which she uses to advise businesses on how to manage allergens effectively.

Leyla Collins

Leyla Collins has 10 years’ experience of supporting food businesses and is well versed in advising on allergen risk analysis and effective allergen management. Leyla is skilled in recommending the best testing approaches and advising on how to collect the evidence required to demonstrate that allergens are being managed effectively.

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