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Reading Labels to Avoid Food Allergens


Reading Labels to Avoid Food Allergens


 Even if your child does not have a food allergy, there is a good chance that he will have a classmate that does during his school years.  It is important for all parents to be familiar with the basics of reading food labels for allergens.

–Read the entire ingredient list including any “contains” or “may contain” or warnings stating that “produced in a facility that also processes (the allergen)” or “manufactured on the same machine that processes (the allergen).”  All of these should be avoided if they refer to the allergen in question.

–Young children can’t always determine which foods in their lunch box are meant for snack and which are meant for lunch.   Please make sure that they know what is safe to eat for snack in the classroom.

–Check the label each and every time you pack the food.  Ingredients or the machine/facility the food is processed on/in may change.

–Be particularly careful of cereal, granola and breakfast bars which are popular snack choices and often contain or are processed in facilities or on the same machine as peanuts and/or tree nuts.

–Be particularly careful of foods that are processed in other countries as labeling laws may not be as clear as they are in the U.S.

–When sending food in for a party, always leave the food in its original packaging so that a parent can determine its safety for their child if they are present at the party.

–Tree nuts include almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, filberts/hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts.

–If you have been told to avoid sesame or seeds, be aware that hummus often contains sesame seed or oil.

Thanks for your help in keeping all of our students here at Tashua safe in school!

Susan Quigley, RN, BSN, NCSN