Basics: Food Allergens

Each year, millions of people around the world have allergic reactions, caused by wrong labelled food. As a result, food labels help allergic consumers identifying these foods and ingredients.


Most common food allergens


The following foods or ingredients cause 90 percent of allergenic reactions, according to the FDA.

  1. Milk
  2. Eggs
  3. Fish (e.g. flounder, bass, cod)
  4. Crustacean shellfish (e.g. crab, lobster, shrimp)
  5. Tree nuts (e.g. almonds, walnuts, pecans)
  6. Peanuts
  7. Wheat
  8. Soybeans











Food labels must identify all sources of food allergens that were used to produce the food. The allergen has to be declared at least once on the label of the food. Here are two options for the declaration of allergens:

  1. “Contains” statement: e.g. “Contains milk, wheat and soy”
  2. In parentheses: e.g. lecithin (soy), flour (wheat), whey (milk)




In the context of food allergens, cross-contact occurs when a residue or a trace of an allergenic ingredient becomes incorporated into another food, not intended to contain it. In the U.S., the FDA guidance says that statements like “may contain [allergen]” should not be used as a substitute for adhering the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) or be misleading.




The Tentamus Group has formed a labelling team to advise you on all questions concerning the labelling of your products, to carry out labelling tests and to check the online presence of your products.

Get in touch with our experts. Your direct contact person is:

Dr. Yvonne Pfeifer
Tentamus Group
+40 30 206 038 164


Quelle: FDA


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