Allergen Declarations: There are eight major food allergens that can cause potentially life- threatening allergic reactions in consumers: milk, soybean, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, wheat, fish and shellfish.
To provide more customer-friendly food labels, Congress passed the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) in August of 2004. This law also goes into effect on January 1, 2006, therefore, any food label that is applied to a food product during production on or after this date must be in compliance.
Food products that were produced, and therefore have food labels that were applied to their products prior to this date, which are part of a firm’s inventory, may be distributed and sold after January 1, 2006. There is no deadline by which these food products need to be sold.
There are two ways to provide the required allergy information on your food label:
1. The ingredient statement will state the allergen in common terms as part of its name (i.e.: “casein (milk)”, “TVP (soy)”.)
2. There will be an allergen summary statement directly after the ingredient list that clearly states the potential allergen that is present in the product:
“Contains __________________________” *
(Examples of acceptable ingredient terms commonly understood by consumers of major food allergens include: “eggs”, “milk”, “peanuts”, “shrimp”, “soy”, “walnut”, and “wheat”.)
*This statement must include any and all of the allergens from the ingredient list if used.