Food Allergen Labeling Laws
The 2021 Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act and the 2004 Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) govern the FDA food allergen labeling laws.
The FASTER Act mandates the identification of sesame as an allergen on food labels starting January 1, 2023. FALCPA requires the declaration of eight major allergies on food labels, including egg, fish, milk, peanut, soy, shellfish, tree nuts, and wheat.
Nine Major Allergens
Food allergen labeling is mandatory by law on any food for interstate commerce that contains an ingredient or protein derived from any of the following nine allergens.
- Tree Nuts*
* These allergens require further specification. Tree nuts must declare the type of nut, and fish and shellfish must declare the species. Below are examples.
Contains: Tree Nuts (Almonds, Walnuts) Contains: Fish (Salmon, Anchovies) Contains: Shellfish (Shrimp, Crab)
When declaring an allergen, it is acceptable to list it in either singular or plural form. For example, “walnut” and “walnuts” are both correct. Soybeans identified as “soybean,” “soy,” or “soya” are all compliant.
When an allergen-containing ingredient is not apparent, allergens must be declared. For example, a modified food starch from a wheat source and whey from a milk source identify wheat and milk allergies.
Allergy identification must be present in an ingredient or contains statement. Below are two examples of allergen identification.
INGREDIENTS: Peanut Butter (Peanuts, Salt), Oats, Sugar, Canola Oil, Whey (Milk). INGREDIENTS: Peanut Butter (Peanuts, Salt), Oats, Sugar, Canola Oil, Whey. Contains: Peanuts, Milk.
On The Menu Services
On The Menu provides allergen tracking services to restaurants and food manufacturers. We follow the FASTER Act and FALCPA when identifying allergens.