Unit 2 Lesson 9c – Recognise the main risks to food safety from contamination and cross-contamination from Allergens. Copy


Some people develop sensitivities to food that will remain with them. The level of reaction can range from mild to severe, but special consideration and attention need to be paid to ensuring that food is prepared in a way that takes this into account.

Seafood is one of the 10 most common allergens and it is of utmost importance to follow the labelling requirements outlined by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural affairs. Information on labelling can be found at https://www.gov.uk/food-labelling-and-packaging

Knowing what allergens are present in your facility will help to avoid cross-contamination with other products. The idea is to eliminate cross-over between allergenic and non-allergenic products. A major cause of food recalls is undeclared allergens, where an allergen cross-contaminates another product that it is not supposed to be in, or
where the labelling does not truly reflect the ingredients in that particular product.


Sometimes foreign material can enter into food products and cause injury to the consumer. The contamination can happen before the food has even entered the establishment, like in delivery for instance.

Food items may have materials like bone, plastic, metal, stone, wood, glass, or packaging pieces in them. The hazards to the consumer might be choking or being cut by the foreign material, or even breaking a tooth depending on the type and size of the item.

Even minor physical contaminants like hair can be serious because they can lead to complaints and loss of customers which is costly to the business. The food safety plan should look to remove the potential for cross-contamination, like a workflow diagram for example.

Sometimes cross-contamination can happen from an isolated incident but sometimes the problem can run deeper and might be due to bad safety processes and maybe a lack of solid cleaning procedures being enacted.