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Open Access Action Levels for Food Allergens: An Approach for Official Food Control in Germany

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Official food control laboratories in Germany have established internal action values for the assessment of analytical results of food allergens especially obtained from samples without declaration of the specified allergen. A pragmatic approach was chosen considering the current situation for European food information legislation. Accordingly, when a positive result is obtained for an unlabeled allergen, it is not necessarily an irregularity if it can be demonstrated that the result was caused by cross-contamination. Action values take into account current analytical experiences as well as published allergologic reference doses. They are considered as internal de minimis thresholds by food control authorities that are used to support laboratories in the decision-making process and when a written expert opinion is requested by an enforcement authority. If only minor traces are detected at concentrations below the action values, further investigation of the issue and inspections at the location of manufacture can be abandoned. The present report includes a collection of results from official food control laboratories in Germany that have been evaluated in line with the aforementioned system of action levels.
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Document Type: Editorial

Affiliations: 1: Chemisches und Veterinäruntersuchungsamt Freiburg, Bissierstrasse 5, 79114 Freiburg, Germany 2: Bayerisches Landesamt für Gesundheit und Lebensmittelsicherheit, Eggenreuther Weg 43, 91058 Erlangen, Germany

Publication date: January 1, 2018

This article was made available online on December 5, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Action Levels for Food Allergens: An Approach for Official Food Control in Germany".

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  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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