FoodFacts is a very strong advocate of food allergy awareness. Our site’s initiatives include the world’s first and most comprehensive food ingredient and nutrition database, and our resources, tools and community are dedicated to empowering the consumer with the information needed to be in control of a positive nutritional and health experience.
Allergy is frequently described as “an exaggerated immune response to a common protein, food-based or otherwise.” Vomiting, rashes or breathing difficulties are considered lucky consequences… sometimes airways become fatally constricted.
Severe food allergies are main targets in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s present radar. FDA estimates each year about 30,000 people require emergency room treatment with out 150 deaths due to food allergies. FDA says 90 percent of these dangerous allergies come from only eight sources. These allergens identified by the FDA are milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, or soybeans, including any ingredients that contain protein derived from any of these.
The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA) spurred an attempt to heighten awareness of foods with potential to initiate severe reactions. As of January 1, 2006 food labels are now required to state and specify in clear language what, if any, traces of the eight major food allergens are included as ingredients. Labels are additionally required to mention any derivatives of these eight ingredients.
Cross-contamination within manufacturing plants, substandard processing facilities, lackadaisical handling, or failure to recognize all ingredients added are several reasons slight traces of allergens slip into consumer products. Companies are introducing organic wheat-, gluten- and casein-free products to ease consumer minds and simplify the search for satisfying yet safe foods.