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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 (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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Kids With Food Allergies
A Division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
1235 South Clark Street Suite 305, Arlington, VA 22202
Phone: 1-800-7-ASTHMA (1.800.727.8462)
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