Information for manufacturers and importers of flavour packets

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Ottawa, July 8, 2013: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is reminding manufacturers and importers of flavour packets that they are responsible for identifying food allergens, gluten sources and added sulphites on the labels of their products that they manufacture, import and or/sell in Canada.

Flavour packets are pre-mixed packages of herbs and/or spices that, when blended with other foods, infuse or enhance the taste of the finished food. Some examples include soup bases, sauce mixes and seasoning packets.

In 2010-2011, the CFIA conducted a survey, Undeclared Allergens in Flavour Packets, which led to the recall of three products due to undeclared allergens.

The CFIA routinely conducts targeted surveys of various food products for specific hazards to determine if they pose a potential health risk to consumers. If a human health risk is found, a public recall notice is issued immediately.

While most of the products sampled in the 2010-2011 survey had no detectable levels of undeclared allergens and gluten, manufacturers and importers of flavour packets are reminded that they are expected to take appropriate steps to ensure that the foods they manufacture, import and/or sell comply with Canadian regulations, including the new allergen regulations.

In 2014-2015, the CFIA will be conducting a follow-up survey. As with the 2010-2011 survey, any findings of undeclared allergens from the 2014-2015 survey may be considered to be in violation of Section 5(1) of the Food and Drugs Act if allergens are added and not declared. That could result in enforcement action, which may include product detention and recall. In addition, the CFIA may carry out random sampling, and sampling in response to investigations, prior to the planned 2014-2015 survey.

To assist industry Food Allergens, Gluten and Added Sulphites information is available.

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