By Betsy Craig, CEO, CMT
Members of the general public are experiencing more food allergies today than ever before and the results of mislabeling, untrained and ill-prepared food service can be deadly. Often I say food is love and love is not supposed to harm, but it most certainly can when it comes to an individual with food allergies.
In the United States we currently recognize the “Top Eight” allergens called out when it comes to legislation. They include peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish (crustaceans), eggs, milk, soy and wheat. There has been a serious and targeted effort to have the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) here in the US add sesame as the ninth in that list, but as of this writing that has not happened. Thanks to the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (known as FALCPA), packaged foods must have these Top Eight allergens labeled/declared, in plain English, on ingredient labels. There are three different ways to comply but providing the information is mandatory.