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Risk Assessment of Food Allergens. Part 1: Review and validation of Codex Alimentarius priority allergen list through risk assessment

Meeting report












FAO and WHO. 2022. Risk Assessment of Food Allergens. Part 1 – Review and validation of Codex Alimentarius priority allergen list through risk assessment. Meeting Report. Food Safety and Quality Series No. 14. Rome. 





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    The Codex Committee on Food Labelling (CCFL) requested scientific advice as to whether certain foods and ingredients, such as highly refined foods and ingredients, that are derived from the list of foods known to cause hypersensitivity can be exempted from mandatory declaration. The objective of this fourth meeting was to expand on the recommendations from the first meeting concerning derivatives of food allergens and establish a framework for evaluating exemptions for food allergens.A pro forma process has been developed and tested against allergen derivatives previously granted exemptions in various countries or regions and found to be effective for consideration in future exemption decisions. The Expert Committee recommends that the process outlined in the pro forma process be used to guide any future development and evaluation of derivative exemptions. Establishment of safety based upon this weight of evidence approach is dependent upon consideration of data quality, outcome of the exposure assessment for all intended ingredient uses (specified for exemption) and review by competent authorities (as needed). When safety is established, exemption can be justified.
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    Book (series)
    Risk Assessment of Food Allergens. Part 2: Review and establish threshold levels in foods for the priority allergens 2022
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    Knowledge of thresholds constitutes a critical requirement to assessing the risk from allergens, as they are a characteristic of the hazard that allergens present to the food-allergic population. FAO and WHO reconvened the Ad hoc Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on Risk Assessment of Food Allergens for a second meeting to provide scientific advice on review and establish threshold levels in foods for the priority allergens. The expert committee concurred that the benchmark dose/probabilistic hazard assessment approach aligned most closely with the requests of the Codex Committees. After extensive discussion, the expert committee reached a consensus on reference doses (RfD) for priority allergenic foods, meeting the criterion for HBGV that they should reflect a range of exposure without appreciable health risk.
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    Booklet
    Food allergies – Leaving no one behind
    Food safety technical toolkit for Asia and the Pacific No. 4
    2021
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    Food allergies may impact only parts of the world’s population, but that impact can be lethal. It is, therefore, extremely important that food labels contain sufficient information to enable allergic people to avoid the risks of allergic reactions. National contexts can differ in terms of predominance of food allergies and, thus, investigation is necessary within countries to understand what foods should be labelled, and determine the allowable quantities of food allergens, including those that are considered dangerous, that may unintentionally be present in foods. International standards have been developed by the Codex Alimentarius which include a list of allergens that should always be included on the label; however, the food allergens recognized by Codex may not necessarily cover the whole list of food allergens that have an impact on different populations. This document illustrates some examples of current practices to establish labelling regulations for food allergens, with a focus on the Japanese case, which was the first country to establish a national regulation to address the topic. The process of establishing the list of food allergens that require labelling, as well as the process to establish the maximum limits of undesired allergens tolerated in pre-packaged foods, is provided as an introductory example.

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