Allergen Control is at the Core of Our Business
We are deeply aware of how food affects a person’s well-being and quality of life. Our team is passionate about treating our bodies well, and just like you, we manage allergy issues in our own lives. Thus, we employ systematic testing, processing, and storage methods, and use only the highest quality ingredients. We create food that is delicious and safe for those who are allergic or sensitive to certain ingredients, so we can all treat our bodies well.
Of the 8 big allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, soy, milk, egg, wheat, fish and shellfish), we process 2 in our facility: peanuts and tree nuts. We have been able to manage this complex portfolio of allergens because of our rigorous allergen control program. At Ona, we even consider grains to be allergens, since we market our foods as “grain free.” Preservatives, artificial colors, and artificial flavors have no place in our products, and are never used.
Allergen Control Program
Allergens are controlled through ingredient receiving and storage, processing, verification of cleaning effectiveness, label verification, color-coding, new product development, and training. Here is a little bit more about each process:
Ingredient Receiving and Storage
Upon receiving any ingredient containing an allergen, we put it into a dedicated storage location to prevent allergen cross contamination. Allergens are always stored on the bottom of racking, and never stacked on top of raw materials that do not contain the allergen. Organic and non-organic and GMO and non-GMO ingredients also remain separate from each other upon receiving.
We make our non-allergenic products first, before making any products with allergens. All containers and utensils are color-coded for each allergen, and cleaned and sanitized after they are emptied. We complete a full wash-down whenever there is a change in allergens. Equipment and utensils are inspected prior to making any non-allergen containing food.
Verification of Cleaning Effectiveness for Allergens
After cleaning, allergen removal is verified by conducting a pre-operation sanitation verification test. If the test comes back positive with an allergen, we rewash our equipment and repeat the test until the results are acceptable. We test for the presence of the major allergens, even those not in our facility, to ensure our product is free of milk, soy, peanut, tree nuts, egg and gluten on product contact and non-product contact surfaces. This procedure is a part of our allergen control program. We are audited annually for Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Organic, and FSSC 22000 food safety certifications to ensure our product is safe for you and your family.
We conduct label verification at the beginning, middle and end of each shift for allergen containing products. If any incorrect label or packaging is discovered, all products proceeding the last acceptable check are inspected. All mislabeled product are repacked or destroyed.
New Product Development
We identify all allergen sources when developing new products or when changing the formulation of our existing food. We verify this information through supplier approval documentation, which requires a statement of allergen declaration from each raw material supplier. Finally, when we finish a product label, our management team ensures that all sub-ingredients are included in the finished product label.
All employees are trained on allergen control as part of initial employee training and as a part of our annual food safety training.
If you have any questions about our allergen control program, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org! We are happy to answer your questions, to keep you and your family safe and well.