Food allergies are a serious issue that affect millions of Americans. A few years ago the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act changed the way all packaged foods are labeled with respect to allergens. FALCPA requires the “Big 8” allergens to be labeled—milk, wheat, eggs, fish, shellfish, nuts, peanuts and soybeans. With this information on the label, allergic consumers are better able to determine which foods are and are not safe for them.
In addition to the labeling mandated by FALCPA, the confectionery industry, along with other food sectors, uses a type of labeling called “may contain” statements. These statements are not required by law, but are used by manufacturers to alert allergic consumers to allergens that are not intentionally added to the food but may be present due to manufacturing realities. The confectionery industry works with the Food Allergy Research and Education group, whose mission is to “ensure the safety and inclusion of individuals with food allergies while relentlessly seeking a cure.” Our industry uses labeling judiciously and for good reason – the safety of consumers is the number one priority for the confectionery industry.