Advisory to Those Preparing Holiday Meals for Guests with Food Allergies

Thanksgiving Meal

Preparing meals for guests with food allergies is especially difficult due to lax US labeling requirements. Though the FDA mandates that the “Top 8” allergens be listed as ingredients, manufacturers are not required to disclose whether they process these allergens on the same equipment or in the same facility as the product is made. In fact, many manufacturers choose not to disclose how allergens are processed or disclose the processing of some allergens and not others.

Many allergic individuals avoid products manufactured on equipment or in facilities that process their allergens of concern for good reason: even minute traces of an allergen can trigger anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction. That’s why it’s important to determine your allergic guest’s comfort level with such products prior to planning and preparing their meal.

If the label indicates the allergen of concern is processed on the same equipment or in the same facility, don’t serve it to the allergic individual. If the label doesn’t explicitly state how the allergen is processed, there’s only one way to know whether it is for sure: contact the manufacturer and ask them. Even then, you might not get a straight answer, indicating you should move on to a different product.

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The problem is compounded by the fact that few outside the allergic community understand the danger of cross-contact, the term used when trace of an allergen that is not an ingredient finds its way into a product causing the potential for a reaction. As such, it is imperative that organizations and businesses that serve the allergic community take the initiative to fully vet the products they recommend with their respective manufacturers. To do otherwise is to put the community risk.

We are especially concerned about guides that purport to help you find “allergy-friendly” products but are not adequately researched to determine the opportunity for cross-contact. The casual reader may assume the recommendations in these guides are appropriate for all food allergy sufferers when in fact they are not.

The source of allergy-friendly recommendations that we most often receive inquiries about other than our own is the Spokin App, about which we have reported before. Spokin does not contact manufacturers to determine the danger of cross-contact prior to recommending products as “allergy-friendly” in their guides.

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Though we do not advocate the use of Spokin’s guides, we have taken the opportunity to annotate their most recent guide entitled “42 Allergy-Friendly Thanksgiving Products” below for those that choose to rely on their recommendations. We do so to illustrate how such guides often omit information that is critical for the allergic community to determine whether a product is indeed safe for consumption.

For the record, we do not believe guides recommending products that are not fully vetted with the manufacturer should be promulgated. As such, PLEASE NOTE THAT OUR ANNOTATIONS BELOW ARE NOT ENDORSEMENTS FOR THE USE OF THESE PRODUCTS FOR ANY ALLERGIC INDIVIDUAL, they are included to warn the reader that the potential for cross-contact with specific allergens has not been investigated.

IF YOU ARE PREPARING A MEAL FOR AN ALLERGIC INDIVIDUAL CONCERNED WITH CROSS-CONTACT WITH ALLERGENS (AS WE BELIEVE ALL SHOULD BE), WE URGE YOU NOT TO RELY ON THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THE BELOW GUIDE AND INSTEAD CONTACT THE MANUFACTURER DIRECTLY TO DETERMINE THE SUITABILITY OF THE PRODUCT.


CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF 7 OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, soy, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF 7 OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, soy, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF 7 OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY 7 OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, soy, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF 7 OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF 7 OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF 7 OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF 4 OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: soy, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF 4 OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: soy, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF 7 OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, milk, eggs, soy, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS COCONUT DESPITE “Ingredients Do Not Contain” STATEMENT.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF 4 OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF 6 OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF 7 OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF 7 OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, milk, eggs, soy, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF 7 OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF 4 OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: wheat, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF 7 OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, milk, eggs, soy, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, soy, wheat, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
CONTAINS or MAY BE PROCESSED ON THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS ANY OF THE TOP 8 ALLERGENS
Note: The information provided in the following recommendation WAS NOT vetted with the manufacturer. Based on current FDA labeling regulations, it is impossible to know whether the following allergens are processed in the same line as this product is manufactured: peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, soy, wheat, fish, crustacean shellfish. If you are concerned for the potential for cross-contact with these allergens, please call the manufacturer directly.
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ACAAI: Don’t Let Hidden Holiday Allergies Ruin Your Good Cheer
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