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7 Reasons to Read Labels Every Time Before You Eat!

Read Before You Eat!
This is a reminder that you must read the entire label before serving a food to your child with food allergies.

  • Foods regulated by the FDA are only required to list top 8 food allergens in plain English somewhere in the ingredient label. (Top 8 = milk, egg, soy, wheat, peanut, tree nut, fish, crustacean shellfish)
  • They are not required to bold the allergen. You must read the entire label to look for allergens.
  • Highly refined oils are not required to be treated as an allergen.
  • Sodium caseinate (a milk derivative) is not considered as dairy by the FDA, so foods can be labeled as "Dairy-Free" or "Non-Dairy" yet contain this milk item.

 

read-labels-peanut-oil

This product contains peanut oil, but doesn't bold or list peanut in the allergen information because peanut oil is not required to be listed as an allergen.
If you need to avoid peanut oil, be sure to read labels completely.
 
read-labels-sodium-caseinate

This product is labeled as dairy-free on the front, but contains a milk derivative in the ingredients. Milk is not bolded as an allergen (even though soy is bolded).
This product will be changing its label after one of our members contacted the company.

 

Some other examples that highlight the need to read a label EVERY TIME for EVERY PRODUCT. Allergens can be found in unexpected places, so don't assume something will be safe for you!:

  • Jolly Time 94% Fat Free Healthy Pop Butter Flavor contains egg (in addition to milk and soy).
  •  Trader Joe's Himalayan Pink Salt Crystals are made on equipment shared with wheat and soy.
  • Giant's store brand of olive oil cooking spray contains soy and may contain milk and wheat.



 

For more information on how to read labels for food allergy, visit KFA's Resources.  We have several articles, printable cards and more on label reading and product safety.

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Kids With Food Allergies (KFA) is a division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). AAFA is the largest and oldest nonprofit patient organization dedicated to asthma and allergies. KFA educates families and communities with practical food allergy management strategies to save lives and improve the quality of life for children and their families. Our online community includes public blogs. To post a comment, you will need to register or sign in. Registered members have access to additional specialized support forums for food allergies. Registration is free!

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This is a great reminder!  It's easy to forget how confusing labels can be, even now that we have FALCPA which requires clearer food labeling with regard to allergies.  

 

 

Laura (Northern NJ, USA)
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Me eczema, MTHFR ... DH Capable of managing two little girls in a single bound ... Margaret Ann (Oct 2004) Neocate graduate, passed egg, avoiding giraffes, NKA now ... Charlotte Ruth (April 2008) outgrew egg, dairy, soy, NKA now ... My journey blog

The stars next to my name mean I donate to support KFA’s work to keep children with food allergies safe and healthy.  Help KFA do more for families and their children by donating too!

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