Food Allergy Dos and Don’ts for Reading Food Labels


Labeling laws in the U.S. only make food companies label the top eight most common allergens: milk, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish. But there are loopholes that can be confusing. These label reading tips will help prevent accidents.

check-iconDo check every label, every time. If you can’t read the label, don’t eat the food.

check-iconDo be wary about precautionary advisory labels (allergy warning statements). Statements like “may contain” or “processed in a facility with...” may not be accurate or consistent. They are not always a good measure of whether a food contains your allergen.

check-iconDo check labels on every package of the same food. They may have different ingredients or advisory labels.

x-iconDon’t only look for bold. Companies are not required to use bolded font on all food allergens. You must always read the entire ingredients label!

x-iconDon’t expect a safe food to always be safe. Food companies can change ingredients and processes at any time. You must always read the entire ingredients label!

x-iconDon’t rely on terms like “allergy safe,” “classroom safe” or “allergy free.” The food may still contain your allergen. You must always read the entire ingredients label!

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Kids With Food Allergies
A Division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
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