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Food Allergen Labeling & Consumer Protection Act

Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act


People do no always understand that just because a food does not contain “peanuts” as an ingredient, that the food is safe for my ana peanut allergy daughter, Bean.  Allergy labeling helped with that though.  She cannot have anything labeled with the warning of “made on the same equipment as peanuts” or “may contain traces of peanuts”.  All products that go into a recipe need to have the ingredients checked, including the allergen warnings.  Even if one ingredient “may contain” or is “made on the same equipment”, that will contaminate the entire recipe for her, and she cannot have it.  Also it is my understanding that if the allergen is listed as an ingredient, they do not have to put it below in the allergen warning.  We got a box of chocolate one time that said nothing about containing peanuts, but peanuts were #3 in the ingredients list.  Although allergen warning labels are a quick check, don’t depend on it.  Always read the full ingredients list.

“The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), which took effect January 1, 2006, mandates that the labels of foods containing major food allergens (milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat and soy) declare the allergen in plain language, either in the ingredient list or via:

  • the word “Contains” followed by the name of the major food allergen – for example, “Contains milk, wheat” – or
  • a parenthetical statement in the list of ingredients – for example, “albumin (egg)”

Such ingredients must be listed if they are present in any amount, even in colors, flavors, or spice blends. Additionally, manufacturers must list the specific nut (e.g., almond, walnut, cashew) or seafood (e.g., tuna, salmon, shrimp, lobster) that is used.

Although FALCPA has made label reading easier for the millions of Americans living with food allergies, please continue to read all labels on all packages carefully.

To file a FALCPA complaint, you may email the FDA at:

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