8 Major Ingredients and Allergens Every Food Entrepreneur Needs to Know About Now
8 Major Ingredients and Allergens Every Food Entrepreneur Need to Know About Now
These eight foods or food groups are:
Fish (e.g., bass, flounder, cod),
Crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, shrimp),
Tree nuts (e.g., almonds, pecans, walnuts),
More than 160 foods have been identified in studies as triggering food allergies. The F.D.A. limited the labeling requirements to the eight “major food allergens,” which account for 90% of all food allergies in the United States.
Almost 30% of the food products recalled by the FDA involve the mislabeling of allergens on a food label. These recalls are on the rise. Manufacturers must be aware of the proper allergen labeling requirements.
There are approximately 15 million Americans with food allergies. They are counting on you to have allergens identified properly on your food product. A food allergy is a medical condition in which exposure to a food triggers a harmful immune response. The immune response, called an allergic reaction, occurs because the immune system attacks proteins in the food that are normally harmless. The proteins that trigger the reaction are called allergens.
The symptoms of an allergic reaction to food can range from mild (itchy mouth, a few hives) to severe (throat tightening, difficulty breathing). Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that is sudden in onset and can cause death.
Two Options for Proper Labeling of Allergens
Product Example: Almond Butter
Contains Statement- The word "Contains" is followed by the name of the major food allergen. This statement is listed immediately after or next to the list of ingredients, in type size that is no smaller than the type size used for the list of ingredients. For example,
Ingredients: Almond, Salt
Contains: Tree Nut (almonds)
Parenthetical Listing: The second option is to within the ingredient statement, following the usual name of the ingredient to include in parenthesis the major allergen For example:
Almond Butter Ingredients: Almonds (Tree Nut), Salt
Your product labeling, when properly prepared, communicates to inspectors and your customers that your company is credible, trustworthy and professional. Non-disclosure of ingredients and allergens may leave your company open to regulatory action or product recall and worst of all the loss of your customer’s confidence. Your label information matters and we are here to help you get it right.