Labels on foods regulated by the FDA must list ingredients which contain one or more of the major food allergens in one of two ways:
The common or usual name of the major food allergen must be followed by the food source in parentheses in the list of the ingredients. This will occur the first time the major food allergen is listed and does not have to be repeated each time the name of the specific food allergen appears.
Examples: “lecithin (soy)”, “flour (wheat)”, and “whey (milk)”.
There may be a section after or near the ingredient list called “Contains”. After the word “Contains”, there must be listed the name of the food source from which the major food allergen is derived.
Example: “Contains Wheat, Milk, and Soy.”
A “contains” statement is not required on a food label. Also, the common English name may only be listed in the contains statement and not in the list of ingredients. Therefore, you must read the list of ingredients and any “Contains statement” carefully.