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  • Writer's pictureMeyrick Consulting

The Food Industry is pressurised .

In truth The Food Industry is under tremendous pressure at every turn.

Trends, expectations, costs and innovation move at the speed of light. Food manufacturers are facing considerable challenges in the market place. The cost of raw materials and the need to have something new to launch to satiate fickle taste are just some of them. However, there’s another much bigger challenge that affects all of us. Aside from climate change it seems allergies are on the rise.

Food allergy Incidents are on the rise

Dr Alexandra Santos, a Senior Clinical Lecturer at the Department of Paediatric Allergy, King's College London wrote a piece on allergiesfor the BBC outlining the massive increases experienced. Apparently UK children’s allergies are up 7% but within Australia it is 9%. That represents a massive number of children who are actually in danger of a significant allergic reaction to certain foodstuffs.

Do you really know what’s in your food?

With such complex food manufacture and our desire for multi-ingredient foods it can be very difficult to be 100% certain that a purchased sandwich or meal is without potentially triggering trace elements. Just four months ago a six year old girl lost her life as a consequence of a dairy allergy. This is an extreme case but food intolerances and allergies can impact dramatically on lives. Dietary restrictions can have a profound impact on the way people live their lives. Monitoring children can be extremely stressful. I wrote a few weeks aback about the British teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse who died after consuming a baguette containing sesame seeds. If you are in stressful and busy environment such as an airport the opportunity to grab a sandwich is significant. If labeling is inadequate then it’s very difficult to know exactly what a foodstuff contains.

Perhaps you are dismissive reading this especially as it is difficult to pinpoint exactly why the incidences of food intolerance and allergies are rising so fast. Some symptoms are relatively minor and can cause skin to redden or erupt in hives or swellings. However, it can be so much more than this. Food allergies can cause vomiting, diarrhea. It can eventually lead to sever difficulties when trying to breathe and sadly anaphylactic shock and death.

The answers may be in the environment

Researchers and scientists are beginning to form the opinion that environmental factors are causing the spike in food allergies. Since the 1980s there has been a marked increase in allergies especially within highly industrialised areas. The frequency of food allergy has increased over the past 30 years, particularly in industrialised societies. Exactly how great the increase is depends on the food and where the patient lives. The way we live our lives and the fact so many of us live in urban areas with its associated pollution and stressful environments. However, our focus on hygiene may also be a factor in the allergy increase. Migrants moving from rural areas to industrialised areas often see a significant increase in asthma.

Pertinently we might well want to review our approach to hygiene.

With youngsters experiencing far fewer infections than in the past and having a much cleaner environment. Perhaps we are not doing our kids a favour by keeping the microbes at bay. Dr. Alexandra Santos says that when we experience a parasitic infection we use the same mechanisms that are utilised in fighting allergies. Interestingly as there are fewer parasitic adversaries to dual with our immune system picks fights with foodstuffs that should be harmless.

The Food Industry is such a high tech, high volume niche it needs the highest standards from its employees right across the board.

In fact, the Food Industry has a number of challenges to overcome therefore the need for agile, flexible and well-qualified staff has never been so urgent. Legislation and regulations are being developed and consumers are even more demanding. By working within the recruitment sector within the Food Industry we have seen the difficulties many companies face in recruiting the highest calibre staff without specialist help. We are here to ensure you find the best fit for your specific needs. Why not contact us now and see how we can help you find the perfect fit for your specific needs.

Why not message me on LinkedIn? Let's connect it would be great to talk with you.


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