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Apr. 25 – Plain language labels now required for eight top allergens

An article on reminds us of changes made to U.S. food labelling laws:

If you or someone in your family suffers from a food allergy, you know how difficult it can be to decipher the food label if the product contains an offending substance.

Now, thanks to a food labeling law that went into effect this January, food manufacturers must disclose in plain language whether products contain any of the top eight food allergens.

While more than 160 foods have been identified as sources of allergic reactions, 90 percent of the allergic reactions associated with foods are caused by one of eight foods: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat and soy.

Manufacturers have two options for declaring the presence of these food substances in foods. One is to add a “contains” statement next to the ingredient list that identifies the types of allergenic foods contained in the product; for example, “contains milk and wheat.” The other option is to place the food source in parentheses next to ingredients derived from one of the eight potential offending foods classes, such as sodium caseinate (milk), albumin (egg).

The article is a decent primer on the subject, so if you’re interested in the subject, I suggest you check out

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