Many different foods and ingredients can cause life-threatening reactions in individuals with food sensitivities. Allergens, including peanuts, treenuts and some naturally occurring substances including  sulphites and gluten are considered high-risk chemical hazards. As such, food processing facilities must consider their handling during their hazard analysis and when establishing preventive control measures.

Quantum Food Solutions can help you develop and maintain handling and hazard plans that prevent the possibility of cross-contamination. Our safety consultancy services will identify weaknesses and make sure your products stay safe!

How Cross-Contamination Can Happen

If handling or processing standards are not in place or followed, allergens can easily contaminate ingredients, products in process, and finished food products. Common allergens like dry milk, sesame and gluten can travel through the air and get on high-touch surfaces, too. The most common ways undeclared allergens enter food products are: 

  • Ingredients are transported in incompatible loads (allergens with non-allergens nearby)
  • Cross-contamination of an ingredient with an allergen before or after it is received at the facility
  • Accidentally adding allergens to products that do not usually contain them
  • Mislabelling of ingredients and finished products (label omits subcomponent that is an allergen)
  • Improper sanitation during product changeovers
  • Improper storage practices (allergens are stored above non-allergens)
  • Cross-contamination from a different production line

Cross-contamination is one of the most likely sources of allergen contamination. It can come from improper hygiene like sub-par handwashing procedures, dirty sleeves, soiled coats and other Personal Protective Equipment. It can even occur through something as small as an employee not washing their hands after finishing their lunch.  

It can also occur when receiving ingredient shipments in bulk, or during storage which is why it is important to have the proper documentation in place for traceability.


Quantum Food Solutions Food Safety Validation

To minimize this risk, a tight allergen program and safety validation must be put in place. Quantum Food Solution's team of food safety consultants have the knowledge and skills to implement an effective allergen program in your facility. Call or email us today for a free consultation, and we'll help make your facility and the work process safe for all.


Preventing Cross-Contamination In Your Food Processing Facility

Undeclared allergens, gluten and added sulphites are a leading cause of food recall in Canada. Preventing cross-contamination in a food processing facility starts with identifying the allergens that enter the facility. In Canada, the most common food allergies and related disorders are:

  1. Peanuts and tree nuts like almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachio nuts and walnuts
  2. Sesame
  3. Milk and dairy
  4. Eggs
  5. Seafood like fish, crustaceans and molluscs
  6. Soy
  7. Wheat gluten and triticale
  8. Mustard
  9. Sulphites

The presence of allergens, gluten and added sulphites cannot be eliminated or reduced by thermal treatment or any post-processing steps. Preventive control measures are essential during the preparation steps to stop any allergens from contaminating food in which they are not an intentional ingredient. 

Correctly declaring ingredients on the food label is necessary to notify consumers that may be sensitive to a food allergen, gluten or added sulphites, so they can avoid that product.


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Dinesh Chinnaswamy
Director, Quality Assurance and Food Safety, Sofina Foods Inc., Markham, ON

"We have hired Renzo Gomez from Quantum Food Solutions as an independent third party to evaluate our cooking and cooling processes (smokehouses, spiral oven, chillers) in some of our plants. This work has enabled us to demonstrate product safety to our clients and CFIA. We were also able to improve product quality while gaining process efficiencies. We highly recommend their services, and we look forward to working with them again."

Margaret P. Morris
President, Glengarry Cheesemaking Inc., Glengarry Fine Cheese, Lancaster, On

"We have since a few months received our federal (CFIA) dairy processing permit. This would not have happened without your guiding hand. You brought us through the process very readily and logically and now we continue to follow the programs and feel very confident with the HACCP program that was designed for our plant. We would highly recommend your services to other artisan cheese making plants, as it gives a lot more scope for marketing which is so important for any food processor."

Daniel Dorigiola
Co-Owner / QA Manager, Venetian Meat and Salami Co. Ltd., Hamilton, Ontario

“We have used the services from Quantum Food Solutions for a number of years to help us manage our written food safety program and validate our food safety controls (e.g., cooking, cooling, fermented/dry-cured products). We are very pleased with their practical approach to resolving issues and finding opportunities for process improvement. We certainly appreciate the high level of service they continue to provide our company and highly recommend their services”.

Pawel Zwerello
General Manager, Sikorski Sausages, London, Ontario

“Renzo is very knowledgeable in Food Sciences, and we hired him as a process authority to help us approve a custom process, which received ‘no objection’ from CFIA. Renzo works in an efficient, professional and timely manner. We look forward to working with Renzo in the future, and have no reservations on recommending him to others looking to improve their processes and take their Food Safety to the next level. Thanks Quantum!”

Marius Kamerbeek
Plant Manager, Erie Meats, Listowel, Ontario

“We manufacture cooked meat and poultry products at our federal facility. We hired Quantum to evaluate our cooking processes including our smokehouses and spiral oven. We appreciate their high quality of service that has enabled us to comply with CFIA and FSIS requirements. We certainly recommend their services.”

Pete Holowachuk
Quality Manager, Winkler Meats Ltd., Winkler, Manitoba.

“We are a CFIA inspected plant certificated to the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety. Renzo came to us highly recommended and we have contracted him on multiple occasions to validate our cooking and chilling processes. He uses a practical approach and specialized tools that allow him to provide a fairly comprehensive service. We look forward to working with him again and definitely recommend him to anyone looking for a robust, yet affordable food safety service.”

Stefan Cartmale
General Manager, Bright Cheese Ltd., Bright, Ontario.

“Thank you Quantum for all of the work to help us attain BRC certification. It has been one of the most rewarding achievements of my lifetime and I am so proud that we were able to achieve the BRC AA rating! By doing so, it has opened many new doors for us and also enable us to expand and continue to grow our business. We definitely recommend Quantum’s food safety services."

Ramon Eberle
Plant Manager, Stonetown Artisan Cheese Ltd., St. Marys, Ontario.

"This is to acknowledge that Renzo Gomez from Quantum Food Solutions facilitated the
installation of a solid HACCP plan, which allowed us to reach our goal of becoming federally licensed with CFIA. Thanks to our upgraded food safety standards, we were able to get in to business with Farm Boy and sell our product in new markets outside of Ontario. His service is affordably priced, very streamlined and his communication is honest and straight forward. It was a pleasure to work with Renzo Gomez and we are looking forward to work with him again in the future”

Julia Banton
Vice President of Operations, Kitchen Partners Limited, Edmonton, Alberta.

“Renzo has a wealth of knowledge, whilst maintaining a logical and common sense outlook to the tasks ahead. His approach is unique to that of other consultants I have worked with, in that he is pragmatic and makes light work of global codes/standards. We definitely look forward to continuing to work together and highly recommend Quantum to anyone looking to upgrade their food safety and quality systems.”

Roma Bathi
Quality Assurance Director, Golden Valley Farms Inc.

"We contracted Quantum Food Solutions to evaluate our cooking procedures. This work enabled us to gain a greater understanding of our cooking process and provided a baseline to make further process improvements."

Yashwini Murali
Quality Systems Project Lead, FGF Brands

"We hired Quantum Food Solutions to help us analyze some of our baking ovens. Renzo was able to quickly and effectively come up with the best solution to uncover opportunities within our baking equipment. We certainly recommend Quantum for their thermal process knowledge and versatility."