Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Italian Home Bakery

Italian Home Bakery

Has changed it's Allergy warning despite no increased risk to allergic consumers.

New Warning: "IHB used ingredients which contain wheat or it's derivatives, and soy or it's derivatives. Some products may also contain sesame seeds and / or milk or it's derivatives.

I E-mailed them about their new warning, response:

Thank you for writing us with your concern. All of our products are made on milk and dairy-free lines (this is because our plant is Kosher). Our production for cheese buns is separate and isolated to prevent cross contamination. Our advisory label is on our packaging as it is mandated from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency – Labeling division because we have a milk product in our plant.

Please rest assured that our breads are milk and dairy free unless otherwise noted.

Thank you again for writing us and please let us know if you have any further questions.

Dennis Rossetti
President, Chief Operations Officer
Italian Home Bakery Ltd

MY Response

I attended an allergy convention where a representative from Health Canada spoke "may contain statements" are not mandated by Health Canada, and even if the new labelling law passes in Canada "may contain statements" at most will be an amendment to be added later to a law that has not passed.

Please consider rewriting your Allergy Advisory stating that milk is used in a separate area if you really want to include may contain milk in your advisory.

More notes:
Also note not all Kosher plants keep their lines separate. See also Dairy Free Bread

Canadian Food Inspection Agency:
Questions and Answers regarding the labelling of food allergens and the use of precationary statements


Dennis R said...

This was just recently brought to my attention by one of our staff. Just to clarify, Health Canada proposes legislation to Parliament in the form of a bill which then is ruled on and then if passed, legislate it. It is the responsibility of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to oversee the law and thereby mandate the laws to food manufacturers through their Fair Labelling Department. Our label is set up and reviewed by the CFIA and has been approved as such. When and if the law ever changes, we will adjust accordingly. The CFIA has the right to police product and thereby remove it from the retailer's shelf, Health Canada does not.

Dennis Rossetti
Italian Home Bakery LTD

Karen said...

Dennis R your labeling before and after adding "may contain" was legal but why add "may contain milk" when Italian Home Bakery claimed that it does not effect the milk allergic?

The bill you speek of passed, and does not mandate that you add a may contain statement.

My understanding is that before the "may contain" statement was added, milk products were produced in a separate area. After the "may contain" statement was added the products containing milk were made in separate area. SO why add the statement with out saying the risk?

There are lots of Kosher items produced on the same line as milk so that means little to the milk allergy community.