5% of packaged foods with an advisory label had detectable levels of allergens

Tips for managing food allergy (MJA, 2004):

- Always carry an EpiPen 2-Pak
- Always read food labels
- Ask questions about food preparation (be aware of the risk of cross-contamination)
- No label/no eat
- No EpiPen/no eat
- Tell friends about a serious food allergy
- Tell friends if feeling unwell, especially after eating.

Some of the "culprits" in food allergy. Image source: Mcclatchy-Tribune.

From The Great Falls Tribune:

5% of packaged foods with an advisory label had detectable levels of several common allergens.

2% of packaged foods without warning labels contained an allergen.

3 of the most commonly used terms to label food allergens and what they really mean:

"May Contain"

No allergen in the product's ingredients. There may be small amounts present because of cross-contamination — sharing a production facility with a product that contains allergens.

"Manufactured on the Same Line As"

The food was produced in machines used to make other products containing an allergen, such as peanuts. Major food companies tend to have better allergy controls in place than smaller companies.


These products shouldn't contain gluten, a main component of wheat, but some have low levels. The FDA is working to develop standards for this label.

Anaphylaxis Canada's video on how to read a food label:


"May contain traces of . . .”: hidden food allergens. MJA, 2004.
Confusion: 69% of UK cereals labelled as containing traces of nuts, despite none listing nuts as an ingredient - BMJ, 2011.
Food-allergy lingo. Great Falls Tribune.


  1. Anonymous10/09/2009

    When I click on the link, getting message that article cannot be found?

  2. Anonymous10/09/2009

    The original article was removed from the newspaper's website. However, the most important points are listed above anyway.