Common Allergens and What To Look For in Products

8 common allergens make up about 90% of all food allergies. Let’s talk a little more about what exactly you should be looking for on food labels when shopping for those with allergies. Federal law requires companies to write if their products contain allergens but there are a couple ways they can list it.  


The first place to look is in the ingredient lists. All ingredients in a product must be listed. Some ingredients will be listed may not be as obvious as to what allergen they have. These will have the allergen it contains in parenthesis. For example, something may say “flour (wheat)”. The second place to look is often right under the ingredients and it will say “Contains”, “May contain” or “Produced in a factory with” and then a list of the allergens. 


These 8 common allergens can be listed under all kinds of ingredients. The top 8 are: soy, wheat, milk, fish, shellfish, eggs, tree nuts, and peanuts. As mentioned earlier sometimes it can be a little tricky to spot an ingredient like wheatgrass is in the wheat category or marzipan would be in the tree nut category. So if you are shopping with an allergy be sure to always read the label.