May 25, 2024

It’s Official: Sesame is a Food Allergen, Per the FDA

Sesame is a food allergen, according to the FDA. As of January 1, 2023, sesame allergen labeling is required on all food packages. But there is a lag time. Sesame joins the eight other major food allergens: eggs, milk, soy, finfish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, and wheat. These ingredients must, by federal law, be listed on ingredient labels and any food that includes them must also have an allergen statement. The transition period, however, means that people who are allergic to sesame must still be careful. Food products that are already in the store, in stock, or in transport to stores do not need to have the label yet. And since some foods have a long shelf life, it could be months before all foods that contain sesame actually have an allergen statement. It's also … [Read more...]

FDA Will Evaluate Food Allergens That Are Not Part of the Major Nine

The FDA is going to evaluate food allergens that are not part of the major nine allergens: milk, wheat, soy, finfish, shellfish, eggs, sesame, tree nuts, and peanuts through a new draft guidance. Those allergens make up more than 90% of the allergens that cause illness. But the agency is going to evaluate the public health importance of any allergens that are not required to be listed on food labels. Other food allergens do cause illness. There are more than 160 known food allergens, which affect millions of people living in the U.S. Companies are required to list major allergens or ingredients made from the nine major allergens in specific ways on the label. Food manufacturers are also required to prevent allergen cross contact. The new draft guidance, issued on April 18, 2022, … [Read more...]

Food Allergens Can Become Airborne: How to Handle the Risk

Food Poisoning Bulletin constantly reports on food recalls for the eight major food allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, fin fish, shellfish, wheat, eggs, and soy. Those eight allergens together cause at least 30,000 emergency room visits, 2000 hospitalizations, and 150 deaths in the U.S. every year. Recently we became aware that some foodborne allergens can become airborne. Some of the allergens are more of a risk than others. For instance, peanut allergens usually do not become airborne, and allergic reactions are not triggered from peanut butter vapors, according to a study published in the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Since peanuts allergies are typically more severe and more likely to trigger anaphylactic shock, this is a relief. Some other food … [Read more...]

How Many U.S. Children Suffer From Food Allergies?

A new report published in the journal Pediatrics finds that almost 8% of children living in the United States have food allergies. That condition can be life-threatening and is a major public health concern. The recalls we tell you about are often for food allergens. A survey was administered to U.S. households in 2015 and 2016, looking for responses for 38,408 children. The overall estimated current food allergy prevalence is 7.6%. The most prevalent allergies were peanut, at 2.2%, affecting about 1.6 million kids; milk at 1.9%, affecting about 1.4 million children; shellfish at 1.3%,  affecting about 1 million children; and tree nut (1.2%), affecting about 900,000 kids. Among those children, 42.3% had severe food allergies, and 39.9% reported multiple allergies. About 19% of … [Read more...]

CDC Study Looks at Restaurant Food Allergy Practices

As part of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for the week of April 21, 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a study about food allergy practices in restaurants across the country. Food allergies affect about 15,000,000 people in this country and cause about 30,000 emergency department visits and 150 to 200 deaths every year. Almost half of the fatal food allergy reactions over a 13 year period were caused by food from a restaurant or other food service establishment. The report found that fewer than half of members of the restaurant staffs surveyed in 278 restaurants had received training on food allergies. And although most restaurants list ingredients or recipes for some menu items, few have separate equipment or areas that are designed … [Read more...]

USDA Finalizes Guidelines for Food Allergens

The USDA has released a set of guidelines to help reduce adverse reactions to allergens in food. The 26-page set will help meat, poultry, and processed egg product producers to manage ingredients that trigger allergic reactions. There are eight main food allergens addressed in this country: eggs, fish, soy, tree nuts, milk, peanuts, wheat, and shellfish. Those ingredients are the ones that cost the most allergic reactions, about 90%. The guidelines state that the number of recalls of USDA-regulated products for undeclared allergens increased from seven in 2008 to 29 in 2012. USDA's Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Al Almanza said in a statement, "our mission as a public health agency is to protect America's most vulnerable populations, including children, from harm, and these new … [Read more...]

Ultimate Antioxidant Tablets Recalled for Undeclared Allergens

VRVK Nutraceuticals of Florida, DBA Dr. Venessa's Formulas, is voluntarily recalling 3998 bottles of Ultimate Antioxidant Tablets, a dietary supplement, because they may contain crustacean shellfish and milk, two of the major food allergens, that are not declared on the label. No illnesses have been reported to date. The product is Ultimate Antioxidant Tablets in 120 count bottles. Kelp Atlantic Powder in the product may contain shellfish, and Hesperidin Complex 40%, Pancreatin Powder, and Pepsin may contain milk. They were distributed nationwide to consumers via internet sales. The product is marked as a dietary supplement and sold in white plastic bottles. The lot numbers are 132415 with expiration date 05/16, and lot number 141381, expiration date 06/17. Both lots have the UPC … [Read more...]

Circle K Sandwiches Recalled in Canada for Undeclared Allergens

Circle K sandwiches have been recalled in Canada for undeclared milk, mustard, soy, and wheat. Not all of these products have been recalled for all of these allergens. Anyone who is allergic to these ingredients could have a serious reaction if they eat these products. There is no word on whether or not any adverse reactions have been reported to date. You can see the long list of recalled products, along with product codes, UPC numbers, and reasons for recall, at the CFIA web site. They include Circle K Pizza Burger, Bologna Sandwich, Egg Salad Sandwich, and Chicken Salad Sandwich, among others. They were distributed in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and in Nova Scotia. If you purchased these products and are allergic to milk, mustard, soy, and/or wheat, do not eat them. … [Read more...]

In Canada, Schneider’s Bologna Recalled for Undeclared Allergens

Maple Leaf Foods is realling Schneider's brand All Beef Bologna in Canada for undeclared milk and wheat, two of the major food allergens. Those who are allergic to those ingredients could have a serious allergic reaction if they consume this product. There is no word on whether or not any reactions have been reported. The recalled product is Schneider's All Beef Bologna in 175 gram containers. The code on the product is 2015 JN 15 and the UPC number is 0 62000 31690 1. It was sold in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan at the retail level. If you purchased this product and are allergic to milk and/or wheat, do not eat it. Discard or return to the place of purchase for a refund. … [Read more...]

Paleteria La Japita Recalling Ice Cream Bars for Sulfites and Milk

Paleteria La Jalpita of Pasco, Washington is recalling ice cream bars and popsicles because they may contain undeclared milk and sulfites. People who are allergic to sulfites or milk could have a serious life-threatening allergic reaction if they eat these products. Asthmatics could go into anaphylactic shock if they consume some foods with sulfites. No illnesses have been reported to date. The recalled items are Coco (Coconut) Popsicle, with undeclared sulfites, that are 3 fluid ounces. The other is Walnut (Nuez) Bolis that are 3.5 fluid ounces, with undeclared milk. The coconut popsicles were distributed through the state of Oregon and Washington through retail and direct delivery and the Walnut Bolis were sold only through the retail store located at 202 West Lewis Street, Pasco … [Read more...]

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