The US Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) requires that labels on food products prominently display the presence of any ingredient from one of nine food allergens. The EU regulation on the provision of Food Information for Consumers (FIC) aims to protect consumers’ health by making it mandatory to highlight 14 allergens when they appear in ingredients lists. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) enforces Canada's labeling laws regarding the declaration of allergens, gluten, and sulphites on packaged products.
Incorrect packages or labels that fail to identify allergens are the leading cause of food recalls by the FDA and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). For people with severe allergies, mislabeled food products can be deadly. Food and beverage manufacturers must prevent mislabeling products as well as avoid cross-contamination with allergens from other products.
The 9 allergens that need to be highlighted in the United States are:
In 2021, sesame was added as the 9th major food allergen in the United States. Labeling requirements for sesame became effective January 1, 2023.
The 14 allergens that must be highlighted in the EU are:
The 12 allergens that must be highlighted in Canada are:
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