Food Allergens – Congress and the FDA
To help Americans avoid the health risks posed by food allergens, Congress passed the Food Allergens Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA). The law applies to all foods whose labeling is regulated by FDA, both domestic and imported. (FDA regulates the labeling of all foods, except for poultry, most meats, certain egg products, and most alcoholic beverages.)
The Top Eight Foods that Trigger Allergic Reactions
Although more than 160 foods can cause allergic reactions in people with food allergies, the law identifies the eight most common food allergens. These foods account for 90 percent of food-related allergic reactions, and are the food sources from which many other ingredients are derived (such as whey from milk).
The eight top food allergens identified by the law are:
Fish (e.g., bass, flounder, cod)
Crustacean shellfish (e.g. crab, lobster, shrimp)
Tree nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts, pecans)