One question we often field generally reads something like this:
This product has a statement that says “Contains: Wheat” but doesn’t mention anything about the peanut oil listed as an ingredient! If I wasn’t such a careful label reader I would have missed it entirely! Should I report them?
Irate in Indiana
To answer questions like Irate’s, we need to take a close look at a clause in Section 203 of the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 – often referred to as FALCPA, the law that mandates how food products must be labeled with regard to allergens.
Here’s the clause in question (with the emphasis ours):
The term `major food allergen’ means any of the following:
(1) Milk, egg, fish (e.g., bass, flounder, or cod), Crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, or shrimp), tree nuts (e.g., almonds, pecans, or walnuts), wheat, peanuts, and soybeans.
(2) A food ingredient that contains protein derived from a food specified in paragraph (1), except the following:
(A) Any highly refined oil derived from a food specified in paragraph (1) and any ingredient derived from such highly refined oil.
(B) A food ingredient that is exempt under paragraph (6) or (7) of section 403(w).”.
So highly refined oils are exempt from the allergen labeling regulations mandated by FALCPA.
Well, we know the Dowager Countess of Grantham (our favorite character from Downton Abbey) is highly refined, but what exactly are highly refined oils and why are they treated differently from the foods from which they are derived?
In a nutshell, highly refined oils are edible oils “resulting from a process that involves de-gumming, neutralizing, bleaching, and deodorizing the oils extracted from plant-based starting materials such as soybeans and peanuts.”
Continue reading »
Continue reading »
The label… although it provides important nutritional data, it’s wholly unreliable as a source of potential allergen information due to lax, ineffectual FALCPA labeling guidelines.
Complete disclosure of the potential for allergen cross-contact is a necessity for the millions of Americans suffering with food allergies and celiac disease. But in light of FALCPA’s shortcomings, assembling that kind of information means ignoring the label, rolling up our sleeves, and working directly with responsible manufacturers who are as concerned for the food allergy community as we are.
That’s why we established the SnackSafely.com Manufacturer Partnership. We’ve assembled more than 40 manufacturers that provide us with detailed information regarding the processing of 11 allergens and 4 industry recognized certifications, and we provide that information to you in turn via Allergence, a free service.
Here’s an example listing of a peanut butter alternative from Don’t Go Nuts, one of our featured partners:
Earlier this week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a consumer update entitled “Finding Food Allergens Where They Shouldn’t Be“, a must read if you have food allergies or care for someone who does. (Click here to see the publication.)
The update warns that “undeclared allergens” – allergens that are not listed on the label as an ingredient but should be – are the leading cause of food recalls initiated by the FDA.
As the start of the school year approaches, we receive many inquiries about the Safe Snack Guide from parents, teachers, school nurses and PTA organizations as they search for solutions to help implement nut-free classroom policies.
Here follows a collection of the most frequently asked questions complete with answers.
On June 9, a limited edition Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oreo is scheduled to hit the shelves of a store near you. Many of you contacted us with concerns about how (and where) these cookies are made, especially as they relate to the varieties of Oreos that are listed in the Safe Snack Guide.
As Mondelēz is not (yet) a member of our Manufacturer Partnership Program, we went through their traditional consumer channel and were greeted with the standard “Check the label – we label for possible peanut/tree nut cross contamination.” Once we explained that SnackSafely.com represents tens of thousands of consumers with food allergies, our request for more information was escalated through internal channels.
Please note that we have removed a number of products from the Safe Snack Guide:
- Shoprite ABC Cookie Squares – removed due to changes in manufacture/labeling/disclosure.
- Righteously Raw Products – removed due to change in disclosure: manufactured on lines where coconut is also processed.
Manufacturers Join SnackSafely.com in Drive for Greater Transparency in Food Allergen Disclosures
Tootsie Roll Industries, Enjoy Life Foods among 20 manufacturers to join program’s launch
New York, NY (PRWEB) February 11, 2014
The publisher of the Safe Snack Guide, a snack list used by thousands of schools, camps, youth sports leagues, and scouting groups nationwide to help implement nut-free policies, is now working directly with food manufacturers to provide greater transparency regarding the potential for allergens in their products.
Manufacturers participating in the SnackSafely.com program access a proprietary portal to submit information about their products, including processing information for 11 allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish (the “top 8”) as well as sesame, mustard, and gluten.
Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new labeling standards for foods claiming to be “Gluten-Free”. The standards are intended to help protect the estimated 3 million sufferers of celiac disease, a serious auto-immune disorder triggered by ingestion of the gluten protein found in wheat, barley and rye.
Subscribe via E-MailSubscribe for 2-3 email updates per month and never miss an advisory! Unsubscribe at any time. We pledge never to share your address.
Articles by Category
Articles by TagAllergence allergen safe snack list Allergic Living anaphylaxis auto-injector child classroom clinical study cross-contamination death donate egg free emergency action plan epinephrine FALCPA FARE flyer food allergies food allergy statistics food bans food labels kindergarten legislation major food allergens Manufacturer Partnership Program nurse parenting strategy peanut butter ban peanut free peanuts petition preschool principal Safe Snack Guide school School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act school policies SnackSafely.com stock epinephrine legislation study Take 2 Campaign teacher tragedy tree nut free update
Articles by Month