SnackSafely.com Program Closes Gaps in Allergy Labeling
The company behind the downloadable Safe Snack Guide that’s used to help schools, camps and daycares implement nut-free policies has just made a significant improvement to its information-gathering process. A new online portal for food manufacturers will improve the company’s ability to keep consumers up-to-date on which products are safe to eat for those living with food allergies.
“We’re pleased leading manufacturers of the food industry are joining us in our efforts to promote greater transparency for consumers with severe food allergies,” said Dave Bloom, CEO of SnackSafely.com. For those who don’t know, SnackSafely.com’s Safe Snack Guide, is an eight-page listing of products that are free of tree nuts, peanuts and egg.
The new portal will allow food manufacturers to directly disclose information on free-from products to SnackSafely.com. This will improve the quality of the list as many manufacturers are now adding their products directly, including information on potential cross-contamination sources and processing information related to 11 major allergens: peanut, tree nut, dairy, egg, wheat, shellfish, fish, soy, sesame and mustard. The guide will be expanded to include this information.
To date, 27 manufacturers have already joined the program, including Enjoy Life Foods, Tootsie Roll Industries and Ian’s Natural Foods.
“Partnering with trusted and recognized leaders in the free-from sector like Enjoy Life Foods is crucial to the success of this effort, as is the participation of traditional manufacturers of iconic brands, such as Tootsie Roll Industries,” said Bloom. “Together, we’re working to arm consumers with the information they need to make better decisions for the safety of their families.”
Labeling laws in the United States require clear disclosure of any Top 8 allergens that are used as a direct ingredient in the product. However, advisory labeling, such as “made in a facility that also processes [allergen]” or “may contain [allergen]” remains completely voluntary. If a food package has an advisory label for an allergen, it doesn’t necessarily contain it. Notably, this works the other way too: if a food product does not contain an advisory statement, it still could contain allergen traces present due to cross contamination.
By getting input directly from the companies, the Safe Snack Guide takes the uncertainty out of shopping for allergy-friendly snacks.
Download the latest Safe Snack Guide here.