Check Ingredient Statements on Halloween Candy

What You Need to Know About Food Labels to Remain Safe This Halloween

 

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) has greatly improved labeling for the 8 major allergens - milk, soy, egg, peanut, tree nut, wheat, fish, and crustacean shellfish. The law requires that all FDA regulated foods must list ingredients which contain one or more of the major food allergens in one of two ways:

1) The common or usual name of the major food allergen must be followed by the food source in parentheses in the list of the ingredients. This will occur the first time the major food allergen is listed and does not have to be repeated each time the name of the specific food allergen appears.
Examples: "lecithin (soy)," "flour (wheat)," and "whey (milk)"

2) There may be a section after or near the ingredient list called “Contains”. After the word “Contains”, there must be listed the name of the food source from which the major food allergen is derived.
Example: "Contains Wheat, Milk, and Soy."

 

The FDA does not require advisory statements, such as “may contain...” Any advisory statements you find on packaging is completely voluntary.

If you see an advisory statement on a package for the food allergens you manage, it’s safest to avoid those foods.  Studies have shown that there is a chance that foods with advisory statements can contain the food allergen and can cause an allergic reaction.

 

Some additional important points for checking Halloween candy:

 

  1. Always read the full label of every candy.
  2. Different sizes of the same product may have different ingredients.
  3. Re-bagged candy may have different labels than the candy made and sold directly by the company.

Following are some images of candy currently in the store which illustrate key points about the importance of reading labels for food allergens:

 

 

Snickers

 

Snickers® (above): The FALCPA law does not require that food packaging have a “Contains” section. The manufacturer may choose to solely list the major allergen(s) in the ingredient statement.

 

Note that this Snickers bar does not have a "Contains" statement.  The major allergens peanut, milk and egg are all listed within the ingredient statement itself.

 

If a "Contains" statement is present, be sure to read the contains statement and the full ingredient listing to identify all allergens. Manufacturers can list the major allergen(s) in either place on the package.

 

The advisory statement on this package indicates the product may contain almonds. Advisory statements are a voluntary labeling practice by this company and are not mandated by law to be present on packages.

 

 

 

Nerds

 

Nerds® (above): This voluntary advisory statement on Nerds indicates the product "may contain wheat and egg."

 

 

 

Peeps

 

Peeps® (above).  This voluntary advisory statement on Peeps indicates the product "may contain milk."

 

 

 

Large Laffy Taffy

 

Laffy Taffy®, large size (above).  This large size Laffy Taffy contains egg as an ingredient.

  

 

Small Laffy Taffy

 

Laffy Taffy®, small size (above).  A smaller size Laffy Taffy does not have egg on the ingredient statement. This is a prime example of how the same food made in different sizes may have different ingredients (and allergens). 

 

Brachs candy corn

 

Brach's Candy Corn® (above) contains sesame oil.

 

The allergen information statement is a voluntary advisory statement by this company to alert customers that its product may contain several of the major allergens.  Always check the front and back of packages for advisory statements.

 

 

Dumm Dumms Original Pops

 

Dum Dums® (above) uses a voluntary statement to tell consumers that it's free of the major allergens listed on the package. Be aware that during holidays, candies can be re-bagged into mixes of various candies.  For this reason, Dum Dums provides information about how to tell if your Dum Dums were bagged directly by Spangler or re-bagged by another company and may have a different allergen statement.

 

 

Smarties

 

Smarties® Candy Rolls (made by Smarties Candy Company, Union, NJ) features a voluntary statement to tell consumers that it's free of the major allergens listed on the package.

 

 

For more information on how to stay safe with food allergies this Halloween, visit KFA's resource library on holiday celebrations.

http://www.kidswithfoodallergi...c.php?topic=holidays

 

Kids With Food Allergies Foundation (KFA) is a growing national nonprofit organization of 25,000 individuals, families and businesses. Its rapid growth has been spurred by the unprecedented rise in food allergies, which affect about 1 in every 12 children.

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If whey were the only milk-derived ingredient in it, it would still have to list MILK either in parentheses after the word whey (milk) or in an "Contains: Milk" statement. 

 

However, in this case, the common name (plain English) word Milk has already appeared once in the label and FALCPA says that the allergen only need to be declared once and doesn't have to be repeated with each derivative.

 

 See #1 on our FAQ on FALCPA as a reference: http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/resourcespre.php?id=50&title=food_allergen_labeling_law

 

FALCPA can be confusing, which is why we are dedicated to sharing information about label reading because there are "loopholes" and exceptions that can be confusing.  I hope this helps!

Originally Posted by MACEMama:

I came across a funky one while going through DS' candy tonight.  I knew Tootsie Rolls have milk in them, but I was curiously reading the label while snacking on a lemon flavored one (habit ).  Ingredients are:

 

SUGAR, CORN SYRUP, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, CONDENSED SKIM MILK, WHEY, MALIC ACID, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SOYA LECITHIN, ARTIFICIAL COLOR (FD&C YELLOW 5).

While the condensed skim milk does meet the plain English requirement for FALCPA labeling, the whey in it would not (as it is not clearly listed as "milk.").  I wonder if it gets off on the technicality that it has another milk ingredient with the word milk in it.

Whey is only derived from milk, so listing it as whey is listing it in plain English. 

I came across a funky one while going through DS' candy tonight.  I knew Tootsie Rolls have milk in them, but I was curiously reading the label while snacking on a lemon flavored one (habit ).  Ingredients are:

 

SUGAR, CORN SYRUP, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, CONDENSED SKIM MILK, WHEY, MALIC ACID, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SOYA LECITHIN, ARTIFICIAL COLOR (FD&C YELLOW 5).

While the condensed skim milk does meet the plain English requirement for FALCPA labeling, the whey in it would not (as it is not clearly listed as "milk.").  I wonder if it gets off on the technicality that it has another milk ingredient with the word milk in it.

Hi Christine and

I live in the UK so not much help with you question, but Wanted to tell you to hang in there and Someone will get back to you.We potentially have a no of members having difficulty getting online on the East coast of the US right now with the storm, but we do have members in Canada too who may be able to advise you

Meanwhile have you looked at our starter guide yet ? There's a link at the end of my siggy

Originally Posted by Colleen English Ross: 
 
This is why I toss Dum Dums, Tootsie Rolls, and Smarties my daughter gets when trick-or-treating and replace them with the same candy I've reserved from what I've purchased.

 

Hi Colleen!  We do the same thing with all the candy that DS gets on Halloween.  Due to the issues with repackaging there's no way to know if the safe candy has residue on them (or whether the residue is from the various home owners that I see snacking on treats as they give out candy ), we usually just give all the candy away and we either trade it out via the "Switch Witch" or we weigh it and give DS money for it.  He's happy either way!   

 

Welcome to KFA , and hoping your loved ones have a safe and happy Halloween!!

Hi Colleen,

I believe we are talking about the same issue. We are aware of the re-bagging issue--we included it under the Dum Dums/Spangler photo (second to last photo) and highlighted it as #3 at the top of the blog post:

 

Quote:

Some additional important points for checking Halloween candy:

 

  1. Always read the full label of every candy.
  2. Different sizes of the same product may have different ingredients.
  3. Re-bagged candy may have different labels than the candy made and sold directly by the company.

 

Quote:

Dum Dums® (above) uses a voluntary statement to tell consumers that it's free of the major allergens listed on the package. Be aware that during holidays, candies can be re-bagged into mixes of various candies.  For this reason, Dum Dums provides information about how to tell if your Dum Dums were bagged directly by Spangler or re-bagged by another company and may have a different allergen statement.

 

How parents choose to deal with this issue may vary.  In our Halloween tips in other articles, we've shared ideas such as trading your child's bag of trick-or-treating candy for all safe candy, or for toys, etc.  The tradition is sometimes called the Switch Witch or the Great Pumpkin.  Kids leave out their bag of unsafe candy and it is replaced with something safe for them.

 

If parents are buying candy for their children with food allergies, they need to be aware of the various labeling and packaging issues that can be present, and that is what this blog post is hoping to share about.

 

Thanks!

Sorry, I think you misunderstood me.  What I was talking about is different than shared lines at a manufacturer's facility. I am talking about when a third party repackages a product like Dum Dums for a store such as Target, CVS, etc.  This is done separate from the manufacturer's facility.  Even though the candy may have been free of allergens when made and packaged in a manufacturer's facility.  These repackaged items, cross-contamination is introduced when the it is rebagged by a third-party.  See Spangler's information about rebagged items at the link below.

 

http://www.spanglercandy.com/f...allergen-information

 

This is why I toss Dum Dums, Tootsie Rolls, and Smarties my daughter gets when trick-or-treating and replace them with the same candy I've reserved from what I've purchased.

One thing not noted in the article is to take care with candies that are repackaged (such as Smarties, Tootsie Rolls).  Often, they are repackaged by third parties that also package items with common allergens, such as nuts.  This is technically a labelling issue, but it is something to be aware of with candy.

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