Breaking news coverage for Allergic Living from the 2016 AAAAI conference.
Precautionary allergy labels are widely misunderstood and causing confusion, which in turn is leading to a lack of caution among consumers who live with food allergies, according to a recent study.
Researchers surveyed more than 6,600 food-allergic consumers and caregivers in the U.S. and Canada, finding that 12 to 40 percent of the respondents purchased food with precautionary labels such as “may contain peanut” or “manufacturered in a facility that processes milk.”
“Parents are making their own risk assessments on which label is safe for their child, which they shouldn’t have to do,” says study author Dr. Ruchi Gupta, an associate professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “Parents need to know that precautionary allergen labeling like “may contain” is voluntary, so unless it says specifically “no nuts” or “no specific allergens,” it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe.”