Safe Snack Guide
The Safe Snack Guide is intended as an aid for parents, teachers, school officials, club organizers… anyone responsible for people with allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs or sesame seeds. When there is an occasion when snacks may be brought in, distribute the Snack Guide and instruct your group to restrict their selections to those found specifically on the list.
Remember, even when snack items appear in this guide, their individual ingredient lists must always be checked to ensure that ingredients or manufacturing processes have not changed since the guide was published!
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.
We include three dates on the cover of the Safe Snack Guide:
- “Last Updated” Date – The date the content for your copy was last updated.
- “Downloaded” Date – The date your copy was downloaded from the site.
- “Discard” Date – The date you should discard your copy and download a fresh copy.
As manufacturers often change their manufacturing processes, we include these dates to make sure you never rely on an out-of-date copy of the guide that may not include recent updates and product advisories.
The Snack Guide steers clear of products that contain the following common food allergens:
- Tree nuts
We rely on the ingredient lists for each specific product contained in the guide. These ingredient lists are collected in one of two principal ways:
- We visit supermarkets and food stores in our area (Northern New Jersey) and photograph/catalog the ingredient lists directly;
- We obtain feeds of ingredient lists from participating manufacturers.
We also rely on manufacturers’ statements as advertised on their products, in print/on the web, or in writing directly to us.
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 or a protein from a major food allergen must declare the presence of the allergen in the prescribed manner
The FALCPA took effect on January 1, 2006.
This Act was passed to make it easier for consumers to identify and avoid foods that contain major food allergens.
FALCPA identifies eight food groups as the major food allergens:
- Fish (e.g., bass, flounder, cod)
- Crustacean Shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, shrimp)
- Tree Nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts, pecans)
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.
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