CFIA Tests Food Samples for Undeclared Allergens in Flavour Packets

June 14, 2012, Ottawa: A study released today by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) found that most flavour packets tested had no detectable levels of undeclared allergens or gluten. Three products were recalled demonstrating the strength of the Canadian food safety system in detecting potential risks to Canadian consumers and removing those products from the market.

Flavour packets are premixed packages of herbs and/or spices that enhance the flavour of finished food (e.g. sauce mixes, drink mixes, seasoning mixes, soup bases and spice mixes).

The CFIA study included 100 samples taken from retail stores in 2010-2011. Products were analyzed for seven allergens (soy, milk, egg, peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts and sesame) and gluten. Of the 25 samples containing detectable levels, three were recalled and the rest were determined by Health Canada to be safe for consumers, including those with allergies.

The most common undeclared allergens detected were soy, milk and gluten. There were no undeclared peanuts, almonds or hazelnuts in any of the samples.

The CFIA routinely conducts targeted surveys of various food products for specific hazards to determine if they pose a potential health risk to consumers. If a human health risk is found, a public recall notice is issued immediately.

Further information on this survey report is available on the CFIA website.

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