Food Allergy Awareness: Warnings on Food Labels Are Voluntary

Did you know?

The U.S. Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 requires food labels (on foods regulated by the FDA) to list which of the eight major food allergens (milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, and crustacean shellfish) are present as ingredients in prepared foods.

However, the law does not require or suggest wording for warning labels, such as “may contain trace amounts of nuts” or “may be prepared in a facility that also uses nuts.” The inclusion of these warning labels is voluntary.

Source: NIH Publication, Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States: Summary for Patients, Families, and Caregivers.

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Are you referring to products that "may contain" traces of the top 8 food allergens due to shared equipment issues?  The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) that went into effect in 2006 does not require manufacturers to list common allergenic ingredients resulting from shared equipment and cross contamination issues. It still remains the responsibility of consumers to read labels carefully and call manufacturers to be sure that each food is safe for their unique allergy issues.

that makles me mad because i will travel to Miami from Montreal this summer and we buy our food and will not know about the may contain... plus my son has allergies to sesame.. and it is not labeled if I read this carefully. In Canada, sesame is always labeled....