Allergen Labels: What To Know

Food labeling is vital. It isn’t just a legal requirement for food service producers, but nutrition and allergen labels also help consumers make informed decisions when purchasing food. Labels can save lives by informing those with allergies whether a food contains something that might make them ill or even cause their death. No matter your status as a food service professional, the requirements remain the same. Food producers are legally required to provide appropriate allergen labeling on their products.

Food labels are critical for individuals that suffer from food allergies and intolerance. Millions of people experience adverse effects due to allergic reactions to the food they consume. Severe symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and more.​ Any food service company must comprehensively understand its responsibilities and why adhering to proper safety standards and food packaging is essential.

Why Are Allergen Labels Important?

Food allergies can be dramatic and dangerous. Food allergy symptoms may range from mild itchiness in the mouth to anaphylaxis and death. With over 160 common foods known to trigger allergic reactions, food service providers must create clear and accurate allergen labels to protect customers’ health and well-being.

Managing food allergens is a shared responsibility between consumers, providers, and government agencies. Placing allergen labeling on your products ensures your business cares for your customers’ welfare, helping them to avoid ingesting food that can make them sick or inflict fatal consequences. Ultimately, allergen labeling keeps customers healthy and saves lives.

When to Declare Allergen Traces

Trace allergens are something that is present in the food, but not as an intentional component. Many food service providers cannot guarantee that all respective products contain none of the eight allergens (and sesame makes for nine as of January 2023) that are required to be stated by US law. Food processing procedures and cross-contamination can lead to products containing “trace” percentages of potentially harmful allergens.

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) identifies the following major food allergens in the United States:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Fish (bass, flounder, cod, etc.)
  • Crustacean shellfish (crab, shrimp, lobster)
  • Tree nuts (almonds, walnuts, etc.)
  • Wheat
  • Soybeans
  • Peanuts

FALCPA standards only apply to packaged foods (domestic and imported) as regulated by the FDA, also applying to items packaged by food service establishments and offered for human consumption. Unfortunately, these standards do not apply to food items placed in a wrapper, box, or other containers in response to a customer’s order, i.e., fast food provisions.

Manufacturers can comply with FALCPA requirements by listing allergens in the ingredient list itself, in parentheses immediately after scientific ingredient terms, or by listing allergens in a separate “contains” statement immediately after or adjacent to the ingredients list.

Managing Allergen Labels with Nutrition Software

Comprehensive allergen management is critical to keeping consumers safe. Any food service industry equipment features various moving parts, and providing exhaustive nutritional information offers distinct benefits for providers and consumers alike.

Recipe nutrition software with an ingredient label maker tool offers the food industry a one-system solution that can prove invaluable to running an effective and efficient business.

Nutritionist Pro is a one-system solution that includes menu creation, recipe creation, and analysis, a nutritional and ingredient database, and ingredient label maker tools that include allergy labels. Utilizing this software provides food service providers with automated nutritional profile calculations that include allergen information based on ingredients and scaled quantities. 

Nutritionist Pro reduces time-consuming and difficult recipe analysis through an efficient and optimal process. Restaurants and other food service providers can also accurately and appropriately label ingredient content and nutritional information by region with multilingual software ideal for countries like the United States and Canada, as well as when conducting business overseas.

As each region imparts different rounding rules, nutrient content claims, and daily value and label designs, the software can swiftly identify and update ingredient lists and present allergens in foods. Labels will display both unit values and percentages as required by regulations.

Nutritionist Pro currently offers label designs for printing in multiple ways for the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, China, and Hong Kong.

Finally, our recipe nutrition software helps food providers to comply with all food laws by generating front and back labeling for multi-territory formats. Users can manage their entire labeling process in a single, easy-to-use, fully-integrated tool.

Nutritionist Pro Can Help You

The ingredients statement might be the most essential component of a nutrition facts label. United States law requires manufacturers to list ingredients, by weight, on the panel. Serving size is also crucial, providing the amount of each nutrient per serving. Serving size represents the amount of food that a typical person consumes while eating to help people determine how much is too much.

Understanding the ingredients list on any product is vital for anyone suffering from food allergies or other health issues. Software like Nutritionist Pro automates product nutritional analysis. Users can create nutritional labels for packages quickly and easily with various design template options to fit a broad package design spectrum. Nutritionist Pro will additionally analyze ingredient and recipe entries for claims like sugar-free, low-fat, and more.

We designed Nutritionist Pro to help food service workers, managers, restauranteurs, etc., manage their various offerings across their business and handle complex and time-consuming endeavors like nutritional and allergen labeling.

Use our software to import and export recipes and labels, adding additional regions and items as your needs expand. You can easily save labels in pdf, png, or jpg formats, exporting the data into excel file formats.

Concerns over public health related to food consumption and allergies continue to grow. Don’t get left behind; boost your efforts to maintain food allergen information, awareness, and management.

Nutritionist Pro is an industry-leading software application focusing on nutrition technology and data. We take pride in helping our clients compile, organize, observe, and share data. Over a million people around the world rely on our platform to help them formulate working menus and create nutritional and allergen labels while safeguarding and streamlining their high-quality food service processes.

From humble beginnings on an MS-DOS platform in 1982, Nutritionist Pro and our product family assist over 1,000,000 clients worldwide. To learn more about how we can help you ensure you meet global allergen and nutritional information requirements or how our recipe nutrition software can benefit your business, contact Nutritionist Pro today for additional information.