Frequently Asked Questions

Safe Snack Guide

The Safe Snack Guide is a frequently updated list of products free of peanuts, tree nuts and eggs. It provides an easy means of excluding these allergens from the home and complying with peanut and tree nut exclusion policies being adopted by schools, camps, youth sports leagues and other organizations nationwide in response to the explosion in the number of people suffering with food allergies.

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The Safe Snack Guide is intended as an aid for parents, teachers, school nurses and administrators, club organizers… anyone responsible for people with allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, or eggs in an environment where food may be consumed in their presence.

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The Snack Guide steers clear of products that contain the following common food allergens:

  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Eggs

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You can subscribe to our mailing list by clicking here. We will notify you whenever we add products, issue a product advisory, or change the list content for any reason.

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We include three dates on the cover of the Safe Snack Guide:

  1. “Last Updated” Date – The date the content for your copy was last updated.
  2. “Downloaded” Date – The date your copy was downloaded from the site.
  3. “Discard” Date – The date you should discard your copy and download a fresh one.

As manufacturers often change their manufacturing processes, we include these dates to help remind you to keep your copy up to date.

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We have changed the way the Safe Snack Guide is vetted. We previously relied upon periodic product surveys where we would read individual product labels and call manufacturers’ consumer information lines to confirm details. While this served us well initially, we wanted access to much more timely information regarding the opportunity for cross-contamination than is mandated by the FDA and generally available on the label.

In February, 2014, we announced the SnackSafely.com Manufacturer Partnership Program, where manufacturers disclose details of their products manufacture regarding 11 allergens directly to us via our Portal.

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Sorry, but we cannot comment on products that are not listed in the Safe Snack Guide because we do not have an established relationship with the manufacturer.

In order to have their products vetted and listed in the Guide, the manufacturer must join our Manufacturer Partnership Program and provide us with information regarding the manufacture of their products via our Portal. Once they do, we’ll list all qualifying products in the Guide at no cost to the manufacturer.

If you would like to see a specific product listed, please contact the manufacturer and ask them to join our program.

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There are many products appropriate for the Safe Snack Guide that aren’t listed. It doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t safe;  it just means their manufacturer hasn’t established a relationship with us yet.

In order to have their products vetted and listed in the Guide, the manufacturer must join our Manufacturer Partnership Program and provide us with information regarding the manufacture of their products via our Portal. Once they do, we’ll list all qualifying products in the Guide at no cost to the manufacturer.

If you would like to see a specific product listed, please contact the manufacturer and ask them to join our program.

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In order to have a product vetted and listed in the Guide, the manufacturer must join our Manufacturer Partnership Program and provide us with information regarding the manufacture of their products via our Portal. Once they do, we’ll list all their qualifying products in the Guide for free.

If you would like to see a specific product listed, please contact the manufacturer and ask them to join our program.

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Manufacturer Partnership Program

The SnackSafely.com Manufacturer Partnership Program is program designed to foster greater transparency in the disclosure of possible sources of allergen cross-contamination during the manufacture of food products. The program is intended to fill the gaps left by the FALCPA labeling regime that leave consumers with food allergies vulnerable.

Manufacturers join the program by registering with the Manufacturers’ Product Portal and entering details of their products for inclusion in the Safe Snack Guide and Allergence, our interactive product screening service.

Manufacturer provide detailed information for each product specifying how they process the 11 allergens we track (the FALCPA “Top 8” – peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk, soy, wheat, fish and crustacean shellfish – as well as sesame, mustard and gluten.

Click here for a press release describing the program.

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SnackSafely.com has developed a platform that will allow us to engage directly with manufacturers to learn much more about how their products are produced. The Manufacturers’ Product Portal provides an easy way for manufacturers to submit their products for inclusion in the Safe Snack Guide while collecting information regarding the processing of the 8 major FALCPA allergens as well as sesame, mustard and gluten.

The Portal, currently in beta test, is a simple website where manufacturers can register, enter their product details and provide ingredient and allergen processing information using simple, standardized drop downs.

Once the data passes our editorial process and is approved, the products are added to the Safe Snack Guide.

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Food Labeling in the US

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) of 2004 is an amendment to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.  It requires the label of a food containing an ingredient with protein from a major food allergen declare the presence of the allergen in a prescribed manner.

FALCPA took effect on January 1, 2006.

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This Act was passed to make it easier for consumers to identify and avoid foods that contain major food allergens.

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FALCPA identifies eight food groups as the major food allergens:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Fish (e.g., bass, flounder, cod)
  • Crustacean Shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, shrimp)
  • Tree Nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts, pecans)
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat
  • Soybeans

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Over 160 foods have been identified to cause food allergies. That said, the eight major food allergens covered by FALCPA account for over 90 percent of all documented food allergies in the US and represent foods most likely to result in severe or life-threatening reactions.

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FALCPA requires food manufacturers to label food products that contain an ingredient that is or contains protein from a major food allergen in one of two ways.

The first option for food manufacturers is to include the name of the food source in parenthesis following the common name of the major food allergen in the list of ingredients in instances when the name of the food source of the major allergen does not appear elsewhere in the ingredient statement. For example:

Ingredients: Enriched flour (wheat flour, malted barley, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), sugar, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, and/or cottonseed oil, high fructose corn syrup, whey (milk), eggs, vanilla, natural and artificial flavoring) salt, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, monocalcium phosphate), lecithin (soy), mono-and diglycerides (emulsifier)

The second option is to place the word “Contains” followed by the name of the food source from which the major food allergen is derived, immediately after or adjacent to the list of ingredients, in type size that is no smaller than the type size used for the list of ingredients. For example:

Contains Wheat, Milk, Egg, and Soy

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