March 31, 2015

31/03/2015: R-Biopharm Rhône allergen test helps food businesses meet strict new EU labelling rules

R-Biopharm Rhône, one of Scotland's most successful scientific exporters, has responded to new EU food information rules with a test which will efficiently help restaurants, food producers and institutions comply with the law.

The Glasgow-based company is gearing up its sales force to roll out rapid and sensitive swab tests for allergens to help the food industry stay on the right side of the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulations, which came into effect in December last year.

The new rules require food businesses to provide allergy information on food sold unpackaged, in for example catering outlets, deli counters, bakeries and sandwich bars. As an example, a cafe making up rolls from loose food and wrapping them in cling film would have to provide information about the contents.

The R-Biopharm swab tests allow them to check if their food preparation areas have been suitably decontaminated of food allergens, such as gluten, nuts, dairy and eggs, which could trigger allergic reactions.
  

http://www.r-biopharm.com/

Joanna Wilkie (above), Product Specialist at R-Biopharm Rhône, said: "If food is being sold in a restaurant as gluten-free, it has to be prepared in a separate part of the kitchen in order to avoid cross contamination. These simple tests will ensure that the cleaned prep area is free of any gluten traces."

Ms Wilkie said that the swab tests had been immediately attractive to major food producers and companies with large and complex processing lines. One large milk producer in the UK is already using the tests as a matter of course.

The swabs mean that when the processing lines are taken apart for a regular clean-down, all the parts - even previously difficult to access ones - can be thoroughly checked and decontaminated.

This prevents having to close the line for several days while waiting for results to
 be returned from external lab facilities. The swab tests provide a definitive analysis of any potential issues within 10 minutes.

Ms Wilkie said: "The new food information rules affect thousands of businesses and organisations across the UK. All consumers now have to be made aware that products contain any of the 14 listed allergens that the EU has listed.

"It is an issue for restaurants, hotels, delis, takeaways, bars, wherever food is produced. But it also affects institutional organisations such as schools, hospitals and care homes - even airlines, where there is no product information at present."

R-Biopharm Rhône is one of Scotland's most successful exporters of diagnostic test kits, selling more than 75 percent of its output to major international names outside the UK.

It has been at the forefront of food safety in the UK in recent years, particularly during the horsemeat scandal of 2012 and more recently in scares involving cheap fish being passed off as more expensive varieties and the dangers of potentially fatal nuts being found in spices.


Visit the website HERE.
 

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