Food Allergen Labeling When Eating Out

What About Food Prepared in Restaurants? How Will I Know That the Food I Ordered Does Not Contain an Ingredient to Which I Am Allergic?
FALCPA only applies to packaged FDA-regulated foods. However, the FDA advises consumers who are allergic to particular foods to ask questions about ingredients and preparation when eating at restaurants or any place outside the consumer's home.
 
How Will FALCPA Apply to Foods Purchased at Bakeries, Food Kiosks at the Mall, and Carry-out Restaurants?
FALCPA's labeling requirements extend to retail and food-service establishments that package, label, and offer products for human consumption. However, FALCPA's labeling requirements do not apply to foods that are placed in a wrapper or container in response to a consumer's order -- such as the paper or box used to hold a sandwich ordered by a consumer.
 
When Will Consumers See the Food Labels Change?
FALCPA applies to food products that are labeled on or after January 1, 2006, so the FDA anticipates that consumers will begin to see new labels on or after that date. However, the FDA cautions consumers that there will be a transition period of undetermined length after January 1, 2006, during which it is likely that consumers will see packaged food on store shelves and in consumers' homes without the revised allergen labeling.
 
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