Worldwide food allergy labeling and detection of allergens in processed foods

Steve L. Taylor, Joseph L. Baumert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The labeling of allergenic foods is an important public health measure to assist food-allergic consumers in avoiding foods that can cause allergic reactions. The regulatory framework for such labeling depends upon the selection of priority allergenic foods, which vary among countries. Most countries include milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, soybeans, and cereal sources of gluten on the priority allergenic foods list, as recommended by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. However, a variety of other foods appear on the priority lists of some countries but not on others. Sesame seeds, molluscan shellfish, buckwheat, and mustard are identified in two or more countries. In most countries, all ingredients derived from these priority allergen sources must also be declared on labels by source. However, exemptions exist for some ingredients in some countries but not in others. Detection methods are critical for the enforcement of allergen labeling regulations and for the investigation of allergic reactions in the community by public health officials. The development of detection methods has advanced considerably over the past several decades and will be briefly reviewed in this chapter. Because of the emphasis on labeling and the development of detection methods, the ingredient statement on packaged food labels now contains more information than ever before to assist food-allergic consumers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-234
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Immunology and Allergy
StatePublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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