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How to read an ingredients label for food allergies

The only way to prevent allergic reactions is to avoid the foods you (or your child) are allergic to. It is important to know how to identify those foods, as well as to understand how foods are labeled in the U.S

The FDA food allergen label law requires foods to state if they contain a top 8 food allergen (milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, wheat, soy, fish, crustacean shellfish). Foods that contain these allergens must say so in plain English.

there are many foods and products that are not covered by the law, so it is still important to know how to read a label for allergens. Items that may use “hidden” names:

Foods that are not regulated by the FDA
Cosmetics and personal care products
Prescription and over-the-counter medications
Pet food, toys and crafts
It is important to read every label, every time. Use our guides to help you find hidden allergens in your products. Small travel-size cards are also available to print.