09 April 2013

Food Laws & Trends related to Food Allergies

Laws regarding food labeling are on the rise from nutritional counts to labeling food allergens and other food intolerance, (i.e. gluten).  See more on Food Allergy Law in United States, click here

People are demanding a certain level of transparency in their food products, because many of us have become more educated on how food impacts our health and life. It's not just nutritional counts for those who want to lose weight or stay healthy , it's for those who are at risk of death or being very sick for prolonged time periods, if they eat certain foods they might be allergic to. 
  1. Teen sues after Amtrak bars travel because of allergy: Food Allergic individuals are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504. 
  2. Lesley University in Massachusetts was recently fined $50K (awarded to student), mandated to carry safe food products for students with food allergies/ food intolerance, provide special "safe area for food storage," and have all food service staff trained on food allergens and gluten. 
  3. 2006: Foods covered by the FDA labeling laws that contain the most common 8 food allergens must be labeled in plain English- i.e.  if it has Lactate Solids in it- it has to state "Contains Milk" because 99% of consumers won't know that lactate solid is milk. There are still many food products that are not covered by the FDA laws, so we still have to read all the ingredients and nearly become experts on what alternative names for our allergens are. We still don't see this being strictly enforced. 
  4. April 2013:  Maryland and Rhode Island join other states like MA, MN, NY in having Food Allergy laws in restaurants. These laws aren't perfect solutions but they help and are a start.
  5. FAAMA: We saw the Food Allergy Anaphalxis Management Act come into play a few years ago- which requires schools to create a policy and plan to manage food allergies. This is K-University schools, but still the law is unclear and leaves lots of room for failure. 
While people in the food business might think these regulations and laws are harsh and over the top, other countries are more strict and the people that have special dietary needs for life/death issues- don't think it's enough.  
These two bars are exactly the same. They were purchased in different stores. 
The ingredient label is different. One says "MAY Contain" the other says, "DOES contain" 

To become #FoodAllergyAware, please contact us about our AllerCert Program. 

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