These Four Changes Would Make Food Labeling MUCH Safer for the Allergic Community


According to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), over 32 million Americans suffer from food allergies comprising 8% of all children and 11% of adults. And make no mistake about it: a mere trace of an allergen consumed by an allergic individual can result in a severe, sometimes life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.

Unfortunately, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is failing when it comes to protecting American food allergy sufferers from allergens that could cause them serious harm. Where the FDA mandates certain ingredient disclosures on the label, they confuse matters by allowing multiple ways of doing so. Where the FDA has abrogated their responsibility entirely, manufacturers have stepped in with a hodgepodge of advisory warnings that confuse allergic consumers and give them a false sense of security their food products are free of their allergens of concern.

In working with hundreds of food manufacturers since we established in 2011, we’ve learned that much of what goes on behind the scenes in food manufacturing is not disclosed on the label.

Looking back with the benefit of that experience, we’ve come up with four relatively easy-to-implement changes that would strengthen allergen labeling regulations and make shopping for consumer packaged goods easier, safer, and far less confusing for the allergic community.

Next: Mandate the “Contains” statement

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Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom is CEO and "Blogger in Chief" of

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  1. How about including “Gluten” in the list? I have celiac disease, and while it is not an allergy, consumption of gluten causes me to be sick, miss several days to a week of work, and not recover completely for at least a few weeks. Damage also occurs to my small intestine. It is not only wheat that does this — rye, triticale, etc., and flavorings, colorings, and other substances added to food, seasonings, dressings, etc., needs to be disclosed.


  2. What is the FDA doing for the community of people that have Alpha Gal? There is mammalian byproducts in so many things. It is hidden ingredients and the food companies don’t have to put anything in the label. If I were to eat a bag is salted peanuts, I would be in the hospital, right after I used my EpiPen, because the soultion the nuts are put in to keep the salt attached has mammalian byproducts in it. The same goes for McDonald’s french fries.

    I believe we the consumer have the right to know everything that goes into our food.

  3. Everyone should leave a comment on the FDA docket for this “DRAFT”. It is not final yet. we have 60 days once the comment period opens.

  4. I do not agree with the agenda of mandating the “Processed in same facility as…” This has the potential to blow up in our faces as consumers looking for clear and honest labeling. Same facility means very little without clear definition. Let’s start first with clear definitions of “Contains” “May Contain” and “Same Facility.”
    By calling numerous food manufactures to clarify their labeling one learns the wide variety of what a manufacturer consider same facility. It is much too vague. Please stop suggesting this approach until we get the FDA to define those label warnings properly.

  5. Companies should have to specify WHICH nuts are under the term “tree nuts”. It should not be an all encompassing term just like “spices”.

  6. It seems most manufactures take the easy way out and put “may contain”
    Just to cover themselves. I think it should read “contains” in other words yes or no.

  7. I know this seems extreme but companies that refuse to give specific line and production information should be held accountable. If I call and ask you if my food is produced on a line that also processes hazelnuts or shrimp you should be able to tell me. I always say to them, if I told you there was glass or metal bits found in my food. Would you be able to tell me exactly which products needed to be recalled that were processed on that line? They always pause and don’t say anything. Because I know the answer, it’s yes. Same thing. They should be forced to tell everything that’s processed on a line and very specifically.


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