Food allergies can range from merely irritating to life-threatening. Approximately 30,000 Americans go to the emergency room each year to get treated for severe food allergies, according to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). It is estimated that 150 to 200 Americans die each year because of allergic reactions to food. As Food Processors, providing Safe Products to your customers should be of the utmost importance in your business.
What Are Major Food Allergens?
While more than 160 foods can cause allergic reactions in people with food allergies, the law identifies the eight most common allergenic foods. These foods account for 90 percent of food allergic reactions, and are the food sources from which many other ingredients are derived.
The eight foods identified by the law are:
- Fish (e.g., bass, flounder, cod)
- Crustacean shellfish (e.g. crab, lobster, shrimp)
- Tree nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts, pecans)
These eight foods, and any ingredient that contains protein derived from one or more of them, are designated as “major food allergens” by FALCPA.
Food Allergen Regulations
- Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (Title II of Public Law 108-282) August 2, 2004
- Guidance for Industry: Questions and Answers Regarding Food Allergens, including the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (Edition 4) October 2006
Additional Allergen Related Food Safety Links
- Allergen Information Manual and Auditor Guidelines
- Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network: FAAN
- Conducting Food Allergen Inspections (FDA)
- Food Allergy Research & Education: FARE
- Components of an Effective Allergen Control Plan