According to the FDA, food allergies occur when the body’s immune system reacts to the proteins in certain foods. Allergic reactions can be as drastic as anaphylaxis, which is life-threatening. However, allergic reactions can also be as mild as hives or swelling.
The Nine Major Food Allergens
In 2004, Congress passed the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA). This act declared eight major food allergens, including eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, shellfish, soybeans, tree nuts, and wheat. Effective January 1, 2023, sesame was added to the list.
When FALCPA passed in 2004, it required all foods and ingredients that contain significant allergens to be labeled. These are typically seen after the ingredients list, with language like, “Contains eggs, milk, and soy.”
This law regulates packaged and conventional foods, vitamins, dietary supplements, infant formula and food, and medical foods.
The Importance of Allergen Labels in the Food Industry
With food allergies posing life-threatening risks to individuals, food companies must do everything in their power to protect and inform all consumers about the ingredients in their products.
The laws now help protect individuals from consuming an item that could cause severe illness or threaten their lives. Simply including the ingredients and food sources on labels can save lives.
How to Avoid Allergen-Related Product Recalls
Additionally, undeclared allergens are the #1 reason for food recalls in the United States. Manufacturers, FDA inspectors, and consumers typically find any mistakes, and by then, it’s too late.
Accurate allergen reporting is essential to keep your products on the shelves and to continue making a profit without recalling anything.
Creating a Compliant Allergen Report
Largely, one of small food companies’ biggest obstacles is preparing their products for retail. This includes creating an FDA-compliant nutrition facts label that contains accurate information about ingredients, serving sizes, and potential allergens.
When creating a nutrition label with LabelCalc, our system will automatically flag any of those eight allergens determined by the FALCPA. If your product contains an ingredient or source with an allergen, the system flags them and enters them into your “Contains” Statement on the label.
In the last five years, the #1 cause of food recalls is due to mislabeled products and undeclared allergens. But at LabelCalc, our Allergen-flagging feature ensures that your product label contains accurate information for consumers, keeps allergy-sensitive people safe, and avoids recalls related to mislabeling.
As soon as the system flags any allergens, they will appear in descending order by weight on the Ingredients Statement. Of course, this is the required formatting determined by the FDA, so you can rest assured that your product’s ingredients list and allergy reporting are 100% compliant based on current FDA regulations.
28,000+ nutrition facts panels created. 1000’s of products brought successfully to retail.
Not a single recall.
Allergen Reporting Made Easy with LabelCalc
Luckily, LabelCalc’s Nutrition Label Calculator does all the work for food companies who need help nutrition labels, specifically for allergen reporting. First, you enter the product recipe and match the ingredients with our pre-existing database. Then, you identify the product’s serving size.
From there, the label calculator will flag allergens in the product and create an allergen statement for each item. It’s simple and efficient, and you won’t be left second-guessing the information you included on the product label for your item once it hits the shelves.
Suppose you have an issue with your label or want an expert to confirm the accuracy of your list. In that case, our staff of Nutritionists and FDA Labeling Specialists can review it for you and give you the thumbs up or provide feedback on what needs to be updated or changed.
Contact LabelCalc for Nutrition Label Support
Overall, our nutrition software is simple, easy to navigate, and effectively saves our customers time and money as they prepare their food products for retail.
If you have questions, from inputting a recipe to the best pricing plan for your business, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help with your nutrition analysis in any way we can!