Allergies are an important concern for you and your family. That’s why the Almond Board is committed to providing the most up-to-date allergy information for almond lovers.
There is currently no published Australian data available on how many Australians have medically diagnosed nut allergies, but studies are underway.
A survey of parents in the Australian Capital Territory found that over 1 in 50 children are estimated to have diagnostic test-confirmed peanut sensitisation with nearly half avoiding eating peanuts. Data from the United States indicates that around 1% of adults has a self reported peanut or tree nut allergy and rates for children have doubled to around 2% from 2003 to 2010.
If you have a known allergy to one variety of nut, you may be allergic to others and it is recommended that you avoid all nuts until a carefully administered medical food challenge test can determine if you are allergic to other nuts. *Nuts for Life – Nuts and allergy brochure 2012
Other Food Safety Matters
Food safety is a top priority for the Almond Board of Australia as we want our consumers to have an enjoyable eating experience every time almonds are snacked on or cooked with. However, natural or raw almonds, as with other raw products such as fruit and vegetables, do have a small inherent risk of contamination.
All Australian almond industry processors maintain high standards of Quality Assurance, including HACCP and Safe Quality Foods (SQF2000) accreditation. Facilities are regularly audited to ensure they meet or exceed food safety standards. In addition to extensive internal testing, all almond products are rigorously tested for both quality and food safety by third party laboratories accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities Australia. Despite this on rare occasions it has been necessary to recall product.
To minimise bacterial risk, almond processors within Australia are progressing with plans to offer customers pasteurised almonds. Foods such as milk, juice, eggs and canned foods are also pasteurised, and pasteurisation has been proven to reduce the presence of harmful bacteria such as Salmonella. US research shows that commercial pasteurisation processes used for raw almonds do not impact on the taste, quality or nutritional value of natural almonds.
Roasting is a recognised way of pasteurising food products, and almonds are no exception.