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Canada To Make Identifying Allergens In Foods Easier

Canada To Make Identifying Allergens In Foods Easier

On Monday, Canada took a significant step towards making the lives of those with food allergies easier. Starting in 2012, all food must clearly identify allergenic content in plain, simple text that is easy to read.

Currently, Canadian food packaging must list all ingredients in food. However, manufacturers often use the names of components of foods, which are not easily identifiable as being from a specific allergen such as milk or nuts. Those with food allergies have had to become extremely savvy at reading ingredient lists and identifying items to avoid. For example, those with a gluten intolerance need to keep an eye out for ingredients such as hydrolyzed vegetable protein, malt and malt flavourings, starches, emulsifiers and much more.

The new rules state that common allergens must be clearly identified by its name within the ingredients list or in a separate “contains” line.
Some of these common allergens include almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts; peanuts; sesame seeds; wheat and triticale; eggs; milk; soybeans; crustaceans; shellfish; fish; mustard seeds, as well as gluten from the grains of the following cereals: barley; oats; and rye.

Interestingly, beer companies are exempt from the requirement. Brewers’ associations had protested the move, saying it would cost manufacturers money to identify something that everyone already knows (ie. beer contains barley). However, the government continues to review the policy and may force brewers to modify their labels at a later date.

In making this move, Canada is playing catch-up behind other countries. Both the United States and Britain have already implemented these rules.

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Photo by Shannon McKarney

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9:04PM PST on Nov 27, 2011


8:23AM PST on Nov 7, 2011

Good for Canada - they're finally getting with the times!

1:40AM PDT on Oct 13, 2011

Thanks for this great article.

8:38PM PDT on May 18, 2011

My hat off to Canada for rallying behind this important health issue. I still think beer should be labeled with a barley content. It's not at all like saying peanut butter has peanuts.

9:34AM PDT on May 18, 2011

I love the warning on peanut butter that it might contain peanuts.

3:42PM PDT on May 17, 2011


3:22PM PST on Feb 27, 2011

Good news!

10:56PM PST on Feb 23, 2011

I am blessed because I can eat pretty much anything I want.

10:46PM PST on Feb 22, 2011

Good stuff!

12:34PM PST on Feb 21, 2011

This excellent news. I hope the E.U. follows suit!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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