2014-2015 Undeclared Tree Nuts in Nut Free Products

Executive Summary

Targeted surveys provide information on potential food hazards that are not usually part of the CFIA's regular monitoring programs. These surveys provide data used to confirm the safety of the food supply, identify potential emerging hazards, and contribute new information and data to food categories where it may be limited or non-existent. They are used by the CFIA to focus surveillance on potential areas of highest risk. They can also help to identify any trends that are occurring and provide information about how manufactures comply with Canadian regulations.

Food allergies can affect people of all ages but are particularly common in children. Food allergens can represent a serious or life threatening health risk for allergic individuals. Allergens can be found in food due to their presence in the raw ingredients, or they can be accidentally introduced along the food production chain because of cross contamination. Regardless of the source of the allergens, industry must ensure that the food produced is safe for human consumption, either by complying with specific Canadian regulations where applicable, or by keeping the levels as low as reasonably possible.

Foods sampled in this survey included any prepackaged product with a tree nut free claim on the label and were tested for almonds and hazelnuts. Over 1000 samples were tested in this survey and only one sample was found to be positive and confirmed to contain almond protein. This result was forwarded to the Office of Food safety and Recall and a product recall from the marketplace was undertaken following a food safety investigation.

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