Food Allergen Labeling

What Is a "Major Food Allergen"?
FALCPA identifies eight foods or food groups as the major food allergens. They are:
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Fish (e.g., bass, flounder, cod)
  • Crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, shrimp)
  • Tree nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts, pecans)
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat
  • Soybeans.
FALCPA Identifies Only Eight Allergens. Aren't There More Foods Consumers Are Allergic To?
Yes. More than 160 foods have been identified to cause food allergies in sensitive individuals. However, the eight major food allergens identified by FALCPA account for over 90 percent of all documented food allergies in the United States and represent the foods most likely to result in severe or life-threatening reactions.
How Serious Are Food Allergies?
It is estimated that 2 percent of adults and about 5 percent of infants and young children in the United States has food allergies. Approximately 30,000 consumers require emergency room treatment and 150 Americans die each year because of allergic reactions to food.
Does FALCPA Apply to Imported Foods as Well?
FALCPA applies to both domestically manufactured and imported packaged foods that are subject to FDA regulation.
Will the FDA Establish a Threshold Level for Any Allergen?
FDA may consider a threshold level for one or more food allergens.
Will the Ingredient List Be Specific About What Type of Tree Nut, Fish, or Shellfish Is in the Product?
FALCPA requires the type of tree nut (e.g., almonds, pecans, walnuts); the type of fish (e.g., bass, flounder, cod); and the type of Crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, shrimp) to be declared.
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