When you run a company which produces snacks which are free from the top 14 allergens – you have to really walk the walk and not just talk the talk.
This is not a claim to make lightly. Anyone who has food allergies or intolerances will know how painstaking you have to be, even in your own kitchen, to protect yourself or your loved one from consuming an allergen which could kill them.
Only someone who has to take those daily steps around foods, or other allergens, will know what it’s like to worry constantly that you are not inadvertently consuming, or coming into contact with something that’s dangerous for you.
For those not affected, it may seem an easy problem to solve. You simply don’t buy or eat the ‘things’ which trigger your allergies or an anaphylactic episode. Yet it’s far from simple.
Some people have allergies so severe, they cannot even be within metres of a peanut, they cannot brush up against a trigger food or substance. I’m one of those people. I once ended up in intensive care after breathing in my own father’s aftershave!
Therefore when I was thinking about buying Creative Nature back in 2012, the manufacturing process had to be right and safe from the start. It’s not a case of choosing any old factory and getting them to make your products between this hour and that hour – and then they can make any other food product at any other time.
For allergen free products like our’s it simply has to be much, much safer than that. The risks around cross contamination are huge. This could be from the manufacturing of other products for different brands, it could be from the food that others bring into the factory to eat themselves or even from a canteen, café or vending machine on site. The whole eco-system of the factory and its team must be considered in its entirety.
Here’s what I focused on then and still focus on now:
The machinery my team uses is always tested for traces of any of the #Top14 allergens before we make our products. They always come back clear, but we always test anyway, complacency in my world can have catastrophic consequences. #CreativeNature products are only ever manufactured after the machines undergo a full clean down, and our factory does not handle any peanuts, tree nuts or #sesame on site. ⠀
After each batch of products are made, we send a sample off for independent testing of #gluten, #casein, #treenuts, #peanuts, #dairy and #egg. These tests cost hundreds of pounds each time, and although they have always come back clear, we still continue do this as we would never release a batch on to the market which had any contamination. We want our customers to be totally confident that someone like me, who has multiple serious allergies, can eat our products without fear. Believe me, if I can eat them, you can.
And as if the endless other tests aren’t enough, we also carry out random tests for peanuts and tree nuts. Just to be extra safe.
Cross Contamination Measures:
We have very strict measures in place to avoid contamination of all ingredients, allergens or not. The staff in our wonderful factory are experts and are highly trained to understand the dangers of allergens and cross contamination.
We have different coloured clothing, equipment & utensils for any time our products are being made. Our ingredients are stored in a specific top 14 allergen free area.
Cleaning is a frequent practice and that was before Covid19! Our factory is also trusted by schools and hospitals to create allergen free products.⠀
Nut free zone:
Last but certainly not least, our factory has a very strict no nuts policy. No peanuts or tree nuts or sesame are allowed on site. No one is allowed to consume nuts, bring any nuts in or take any risks whatsoever around this key allergen.
When I visit the factory, it makes me feel so safe to see the “nut free zone” signs up, something that the average person probably wouldn’t even notice yet for someone like me, it’s so important.
That feeling of safety is one which I want every one of our customers who have allergies or anaphylaxis to experience when they purchase our products – or when they gift our products to someone they know who also has allergies or anaphylaxis. I really do walk in their shoes!