Food allergy risk: lupin must now be identified in meals
Hospitals and aged-care facilities providing meals to patients should be aware that Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has changed the Food Standards Code to require lupin to be declared when present in a food as an ingredient, or component of ingredients, including food additives and processing aids.
As at 26 May 2018, all foods must comply with the new requirement of declaring lupin in food.
Lupin is a high protein legume which is (GM-free and gluten-free) like soy and peanut and has the potential to be an allergen. Some people who are allergic to peanuts may also be allergic to lupin.
Lupin has not been commonly used in Australian or New Zealand foods. However, it can be found in a wide range of food products including bread, bakery and pasta products, sauces, beverages and meat-based products such as burgers and sausages. Gluten-free or soy-free products may sometimes contain lupin.
FSANZ advises that even if the food is not in a package, allergen information must be displayed in connection with the food or provided to the purchaser if requested.
An integrated strategy is required for controlling food allergens to ensure you are managing your business risk. It goes beyond checking simple storage and handling practices. It should include:
- reviewing food safety practices and updating the Food Safety Management System
- training all employees in food allergen management and associated risks
- providing clear and accurate information on demand.
In light of the Victorian Coroner’s recent findings in regard to the death of Louis Tate, this is an issue all food service managers and chefs should be on top off and is discussed in the Winter Edition of the Australian Hospital + Healthcare Bulletin.
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