Food Allergens and their Importance in Cake Making

Recent  EU legislation regarding food allergens and the appropriate labelling of foods was a topic that crossed my doorstep earlier this week, following a visit for my local Health Officer.  As I regard this matter with considerable importance I felt it appropriate to share with you the main issues regarding food allergens particularly when it comes to cake baking..

The visit along with the usual box ticking formalities focused primarily on the 14 most common registered food allergens that feature widely in our food chain.  For many of us foodies the 14 suspects on this list will be common knowledge, but nevertheless it never does any of us any harm to refresh and refocus on foodstuffs we may use on a daily basis that could be potentially lethal if not handled correctly.

The Important 14 and where to find them.  On the list below have indicated ingredients applicable to cake makers as follows. ** = Food allergens popular in cake making;  * Food allergens less popular in cake making

  1. ** Wheat flour and wheat based products – everyday wheat flour, and processed foods and sauces.

2.) Celery – can be found in processed foods and possibly ready meals.

3.) Crustaceans – prawns, crab, lobster

4.) **Eggs

5.) Fish

6.)  *Lupin Beans – found in processed foods and possibly pre-mixes

7.)  ** Milk

8.) Shell fish

9.) Mustard

10.) * Cashew nuts

11.) * Peanuts

12.) * Sesame – found in seeds and oil

13.) Soya – commonly found in processed foods such as stews, soups & sauces

14.)  ** Sulphites commonly found in alcoholic beverages, jams and preserves

So remember it is of the utmost importance to:-

  • store and label raw ingredients correctly
  • Operate a thorough wash, rinse & sanitise routine in your kitchen
  • Maintain a high standard of personal hygiene at all times
  • Package the cake or end product carefully & correctly
  • Notify the customer of any food allergen ingredients in the finished product

I realise in many cases I am preaching to the converted but nonetheless feel this is an important issue that as food handlers we should all be very aware of.

Thank you for reading x