Watch Out for Undeclared Food Allergens

(Photo: flickr/treehouse1977)

(Photo: flickr/treehouse1977)

Despite the strides made in the food industry to acknowledge potential allergens in products, ABC News discovered there have been 20 recalls from manufacturers—as well as the Food and Drug Administration—in the past 60 days alone. These recalls join the 400+ that have been issued since March 2009.

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 dictates that food manufacturers must list the top eight allergens by their common names on labels. That means clear caveats about traces of eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and wheat. Manufacturers are not required to warn about other allergens like sesame though.

But as those who suffer allergy complications know all too well, the labels are not always clear. And other complications can arise: Some manufacturers may overlook advisory labels that tell consumers when they use a shared production facility that could lead to allergen contamination. Conversely, sometimes the label may include too much information on item(s) that don’t actually pose as much risk as suggested.

[via ABC News]

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