OUR FOOD ALLERGY SAFETY SYSTEM
Our facility is allergy friendly
We make our delicious snacks for you in a facility that is free of the top 14 most common allergens, including peanuts, tree nuts except coconut, dairy, soy, gluten, oats, and sesame. We source our coconut from a nut-free supplier.
We test each batch for cross contact
ZEGO is the only company testing each batch for cross contact & giving you easy access to results. Scroll down to see test results for your bar.
Why Is Allergy and Gluten Batch Testing and Reporting Important to our Food Allergy Safety System?
The Center for Disease Control reports that hospitalizations for food allergy reactions increased 265% in its most recent study.
Every year people are rushed to the hospital with allergic reactions to food, like peanuts or dairy. Sometimes, they don’t even know they have a food allergy or had no idea their allergy could be life-threatening. Not all these reactions are due to packaged foods, but the companies making packaged foods need to do their part to protect their customers better and decrease this hospitalization rate.
Gluten sensitive people and celiacs are also exposed to unnecessary levels of gluten that can lead to severe symptoms that can last for many days after exposure. The FDA allows companies to label their products “gluten free” if they have up to 20PPM of known gluten cross contact. For some, this threshold is too high and so they cannot rely on products labelled gluten free to be safe for them to eat. Also, companies are only required to periodically check, so cross contact is often not discovered until many consumers contact the company with complaints about a particular product.
We think the standard for food safety has to change to reflect the reality that cross contamination can happen at any time, anywhere from field to factory, and it has to take advantage of testing capability and packaging technology. Currently, most companies rely on voluntarily spot testing ingredients every few months or relying on the legal proxy of having a dedicated facility to measure allergy safety. The problem with this proxy is that most contamination comes in mixed into other allergy friendly ingredients you purchase. For example, a bag of pumpkin seeds might have wheat grains scattered in it.
We aim to lead a sea-change in our industry by setting this new gold standard in allergen and gluten safety: we test every batch of our products for cross contact, and make the results available to the consumer in real time by linking the results to the QR Code (“Z-Code”) on every ZEGO package. But we don’t stop there, we encourage consumers to ask other companies to use this new safety gold standard. Working together, we can decrease the number of food allergy reactions to packaged food. And, as we work with our suppliers to trace down cross contact, we will in turn do our part to clean the entire food chain.
Allergen Test Results By Batch
Just Fruit Bars
Raising the standard. Starting in December of 2015, all ZEGO bars will be made in a facility that is free of the top allergen groups except coconut (peanut, tree nuts, soy, milk, egg, wheat, sesame, sulfites and corn as well as fish and shellfish). In addition, we are very careful to source ingredients from suppliers that minimize the risk of cross contact (you can never truly eliminate the risk). Until now, these precautions are what companies and allergic consumers have relied on for assessing whether a product is safe for them to eat.
Why the standard should change. But in an age when you can wear a computer on your wrist and allergen testing has become accessible and more reliable, we believe it is unacceptable for companies to ask consumers to assume a product is safe simply because it is made in a dedicated facility.
Our new gold standard. At ZEGO we test every batch for residual levels of major food allergens and gluten. And, we give you access to the results for the batch from which the bar you are considering purchasing or eating was made. All you have to do is scan the QR code on the package with a QR scanner app on your smart phone.
Leading the industry. We hope not just to provide this for you, but to lead the industry to a point where every company will systematically batch test for allergens and gluten and report the data through their packaging technology.
About our testing. It’s important to note that testing is not a guarantee of safety, but we give you this additional information to help you decide if ZEGO bars are right for you to eat. Here is how it works.
We send a random sample of each batch (a batch is a production day) to the University of Nebraska’s Food Allergy Resource and Research Project. The processing takes about ten days. We test for the most common food allergens and gluten. The allergy tests can measure cross contact starting at 2.5PPM and gluten at 5PPM. Amounts less than that are not measurable. To evaluate these levels and your risk further, we suggest you consult your doctor. You may also want to consult the European Union EU-Vital website as well as the FDA data on clinical reaction levels for specific allergens.
It is important to note that it is mathematically impossible to design a test that would give a 100% guarantee of accuracy or safety. The confidence level of our test results is 95%. For more information, please contact us at email@example.com.