Calling time on allergen mislabelling

Product recallIn the UK food and drink industry, product recall figures due to the mislabelling of food allergens,  rose by 62% in 2015/16; according to a report by RPC. The start of this year has also seen high levels of recalls in the UK due to incorrect allergen labelling. The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) published in 2006, a guidance document for allergen control and labelling with recommendations for voluntary advisory ‘may contain’ labelling if justifiable cross-contamination may occur between allergenic and non-allergenic ingredients. These activities are part of its overall responsibilities for food safety and food hygiene, and need to be managed in a context of the UK Government facing increasing pressure on resources. The FSA’s Regulating Our Future programme aims to create a more robust, proportionate and sustainable model to keep pace with the complexity of the global food supply system. There is a need to do more with less and at a time when food allergy prevalence is rising; local authorities face ever-tightening budgets for enforcement and decreases in annual sampling; the National Food Crime Unit maintains that it needs more funding if it is to take on additional investigatory powers. These issues are not confined to the UK; following a critical review in 2017 by the Office of Inspector General in the US. the FDA is under increasing pressure to act faster and with greater transparency when processing product recalls. Draft guidance published by the FDA following the review, lists key circumstances where recalls may present serious hazards to health and public warnings should be issued. With Brexit approaching on the 29th  March 2019, there has never been a more pressing time for the UK to ensure the integrity of its food supply chain; documented evidence is required to demonstrate the allergen-free status of raw ingredients and finished food products. Testing doesn’t need to be unduly complicated, for example Bio-Check’s Gluten R5 FlowThrough tests offer reliable, fast and flexible testing suitable for a variety of food products or for environmental surfaces (for cleaning verification). The tests use the (Mendez) R5 monoclonal antibody, the same as that used in the Codex recommended laboratory method; the tests’ limit of detection limit is below the regulatory threshold of 20mg/kg in foods, when validated appropriately. Bio-Check also offers a range of Allergen-Check ELISAs to confirm initial findings using laboratory analysis – please contact us to discuss your plans.

Easter holidays

easter eggOur offices will be closed on Friday 30th March (Good Friday) and Monday 2nd April (Easter Monday).

Customers are advised to ensure they have sufficient stocks of our test kits to cover this period.

Horizon Scanning

MC900299701Some of the information tweeted @BioCheckUK in January:





  • Top 10 UK Food trends for 2018
  • FDA food recall process too slow
  • India’s FSSAI chief slams auditor’s report
  • Mycotoxin control in pet food
  • Two men appear in court over nut allergy death
  • Bugs may be causing a common crop mould to produce a deadly toxin
  • Food & drink recalls more than double in 2015/2016
  • Food Crime Unit needs up to £5m more to investigate fraud
  • 1 in 10 manufacturers? experienced high losses due to food fraud
  • 2018 is the year of NGS technology in food safety labs
  • A global perspective: the future of artificial intelligence
  • How does allergen dose impact on the severity of food-induced allergic reactions?
  • 2017 maize mycotoxin survey for Poland
  • Majority of labs pass mycotoxin proficiency tests
  • Meat crisis: Wetherspoon steak recall alert
  • Emerging pollutants: a growing concern for our oceans
  • FSA update on Russell Hume
  • The genetics of food allergy
  • Retailers and suppliers recall products due to allergens
  • China infant formula: safety rating hit 99.5% in 2017


Follow us on Twitter to receive timely information about food adulteration and food contaminant issues that could be important to your business.



Christmas & New Year

christmas-tree-3Please note our Christmas & New Year holiday arrangements:

Our offices will be closed on 25th & 26th December and 1st January

Our last day before Christmas for despatch of:

  • International orders is Friday 15th December
  • UK orders is Tuesday 19th December

Our office will re-open on Tuesday 2nd January

Despatch of all orders will begin again on Wednesday 3rd January 2018


Enjoy your holidays !




New products on show

Come and see our new products at the following events:

For keeping up to date with market news follow us @BioCheckUK

Allergen Management, 10th January 2017

The Four Food Groups SOFHT Breakfast Club meeting:

Time: 9.00am—12.30pm

Venue: SOFHT Training Room, The Granary, Middleton House Farm,
Tamworth Road, Middleton, Staffordshire, B78 2BD



With its growing prevalence food allergy and the requirement for allergen
control is becoming an increasingly important issue for food companies in
every area of this industry. Learn more about the severe impact of food
allergies from Lynne Regent, Chief Executive of the Anaphylaxis Campaign;
and about management strategies to control food allergens in the food
production environment from Peter Littleton, Technical Director of
Klenzan. Bio-Check (UK) will also be available to discuss the use of allergen
tests in your allergen control plans.

Christmas & New Year

Please note our Christmas & New Year holiday arrangements:

  • Our offices will be closed on 26th & 27th December and 2nd January
  • Our last day before Christmas for despatch of international orders is Friday 16th December
  • Our last day before Christmas for despatch of UK orders is Monday 19th December
  • Our office will be open for despatch of orders on Tuesday 3rd January 2017

Urgent enquiries should be made using our web site or by contacting individual staff directly.




We wish you our best wishes
for Christmas and for 2017 !

Public holiday

Our office will be closed for the UK public holiday:

Monday 29th August 2016.

Urgent enquiries should be sent through our web site or by contacting individual staff directly. We would like to take this opportunity to remind customers to ensure they have sufficient stock to cover this period.

Enjoy your summer holiday

White Paper on Mycotoxins in Petfood

jack the dog 2The global pet food market is projected to expand at 4.20% CAGR until 2017 (Transparency Market Rsearch, 2015), this driven by consumers wanting the very best for their pets. This means high-quality nutritious food coupled with manufacturing and safety standards equivalent to those for human food. The issue of mycotoxins in raw materials has risen to the top of petfood manufacturers priorities list. The prevention of mycotoxin contamination in the grain components of animal diets is not only an essential goal, but also an immense challenge that requires the combined efforts of pet food manufacturers, their supply chain partners, and the laboratories that test their products. To help support an understanding of this challenge, Vicam have published a White paper on the topic (click here).

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