Get comfortable with food allergen label reading with a few fast and easy to read resources. As humans, we have the tendency to consume the same foods. Therefore, you might spend more time in the beginning researching new and interesting products that will match your dietary needs. Never be afraid to pick up the phone and give a quick call to a manufacturer and always discuss your dietary choices and plans with your physician.
Helpful links for Food Allergy Labeling…
- Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) – Food and Drug Administration
- Laws and Regulation: Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) – explained by Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) in simple understandable terms.
- How to Read a Label – free download from FARE
- Label Reading 1-2-3 Poster – free download from Food Allergy Consultant Gina Mennett Lee, M.Ed
- Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about FALCPA article – posted by FARE
Sign up to receive allergen recall alerts via email
- Food And Drug Administration (FDA) Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alert Sign-up – FDA regulates all foods except meat, poultry and eggs
- FDA on Flickr
- United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA) Sign-up – USDA regulates meat, poultry and eggs
Tips Calling a Manufacturer
Note: contacting companies that are you familiar with is important as recipes and/or protocol can change. If you are managing allergens that are not part of the eight major allergens, calling a company is very important to confirm if allergens are present.
- Call or email the company with the exact name or barcode or the product.
- Share the list of allergens you are avoiding.
- Ask if there is a risk of cross contact with your allergens during the manufacturing process.
- Inquire if your allergens are managed within the facility.
- If your allergens have a cross contact risk or are used within the facility, ask about their policy to segregate those items. Some companies have very strict allergen management protocol. Which might work for your family.
- Follow your gut. If you feel the data is not clear enough or accurate, then avoid that product.
- If a company does not share may contain, cross contact or made in the same facility information, share with them that you would appreciate this data as it helps you in your purchase choices.
Major Food Allergens by Country
Note: Policies change from time to time, please look to each source to confirm changes in regulated food allergens for food labeling requirements.
United States: Peanut, Tree Nut, Dairy, Egg, Soy, Wheat, Fish and Crustacean Shellfish – Source: Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Canada: Peanut, Tree Nut, Dairy, Egg, Soy, Wheat, Fish, Crustacean Shellfish, Mustard, Sulfite and Sesame – Source: Health Canada
England: Cereals including gluten (wheat, rye, barley, oats), Crustacean, Egg, Soybean, Peanut, Tree Nuts, Dairy, Celery, Mustard, Sesame, Sulphur Dioxide/Sulfites, Lupin, Molluscs – Source: Food Standards Agency
Australia/New Zealand: Peanut, Tree Nut, Dairy, Egg, Soy, Wheat, Fish, Crustacean Shellfish, and Sesame – Source: Food Standards Australia/New Zealand
Cumin Recall of 2014/15…
Special Report: Investigating Motive and Spice Safety in the Big Peanut-Tainted Cumin Recalls from Allergic Living Magazine