In the United States eight (8) foods account for 90% of food allergies: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish and crustacean shellfish. Federal regulations require that food products containing any of these 8 ingredients (or their allergenic proteins) must declare on the package or label which allergens are present using common names.
Undeclared allergens are the most common cause of food recalls in the United States, often due to packaging/labeling errors. Some common, allergenic food ingredients are listed below:
Milk and milk by-products
- Butter - butter fat, butter oil, buttermilk, butter acid
- Casein - caseinates, casein hydrolysate, rennet casein
- Cheese - cottage cheese, cream cheese, curds, ricotta
- Cream half & half, sour cream
- Lactalbumin - lactalbumin phosphate
- Lactose- lactulose, lactoglobulin, lactoferrin
- Whey - whey protein hydrolysate
Milk is also sometimes found in the following: natural and artificial flavorings, luncheon meat, hot dogs, sausages, high protein flour, margarine, artificial butter flavor, nougat.
- Albumin - albumen, ovalbumin
- Eggs of any species
- Globulin - ovoglobulin
- Vitellin - ovovitellin
Eggs are also sometimes found in the following: lecithin, marzipan, marshmallows, pasta, artificial egg flavors, a shiny glaze or yellow colored baked goods may indicate the presence of eggs.
- Artificial nuts
- Beer nuts
- Mixed nuts- ground nuts, nut pieces,
- Monkey nuts
- Nut meat
- Peanut butter
- Peanut flour
- Peanut oil - cold pressed, expelled, or extruded
- Peanut protein - hydrolyzed peanut protein
Peanuts are also sometimes found in the following – African/Asian/Mexican dishes, baked goods, candy, chili, chocolate, egg rolls, marzipan, natural and artificial flavorings, nougat, sunflower seeds. Artificial nuts can be peanuts that have been deflavored and reflavored with a nut, like pecan, walnut, or almond.
- shoyu sauce
- Soy - soya, soy albumin, soybean (granules, curd), soy protein (concentrate, hydrolyzed, isolate)
- Textured vegetable protein
Soy is also sometimes found in the following: natural and artificial flavoring, vegetable broth, vegetable gum, vegetable starch, lecithin, or soy lecithin.
- Brazil nuts
- Hickory nuts
- Macadamia nuts
- Nut butters
- Nut meal
- Nut oil
- Nut paste
- Nut pieces
- Pine nuts/pinyon nuts
Tree nuts are also sometimes found in the following: mortadella, barbeque sauce, cereals, crackers, and ice cream.
- Bread crumbs
- Cereal extract
- Cracker meal
- Flour - all-purpose, enriched, graham, pastry, soft wheat, whole wheat
- Gluten - vital gluten
- Wheat - bran, germ, gluten, malt, starch
- Whole wheat berries
Wheat is also sometimes found in the following - natural and artificial flavoring, hydrolyzed protein, soy sauce, starch (gelatinized, modified, modified food starch), surimi, vegetable gum.
- Caesar salad dressing
- Freshwater or saltwater finfish
- Fish flavor/seafood flavor
- Fish flour
- Fish fume
- Fish oil
- Fish stock/seafood stock
- Fish sauce - nuoc mam
- Worcestershire sauce
Fish and shellfish are also sometimes found in the following - natural and artificial flavoring, items fried in oil that is also used for seafood, bouillabaisse, glucosamine.
- Lobster- langouste, langoustine, scampi, bay bugs, tomalley
*Doctors sometimes advise people with a crustacean shellfish allergy to also avoid molluscan shellfish or mollusks. Mollusks include but not limited to: abalone, clams, mussels, oysters, snails/escargot and scallops. Mollusks are not considered major allergens and may not be fully disclosed on product labeling
Fish and shellfish are also sometimes found in the following - natural and artificial flavoring, items fried in oil that is also used for seafood, bouillabaisse, glucosamine, surimi.
More information is available at Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) Common Allergens.