Read Food Labels to Avoid Food Problems
Read the label every time! Itís important to read the labels on the processed foods that you use all the time. Manufacturers are always trying to improve their products and in the process may add new ingredients. For example, some of the new reduced-fat peanut butters have soy added.
What to look for: All ingredients in processed foods must be listed on the label; but it is sometimes difficult to decipher their origins.
Milk and milk products can be found in fruit based products, seasonings, brown sugar, margarine, reduced fat processed meats, canned meats, and tuna. The term "non-dairy" does not mean milk-free. "Non-dairy" products can have casein and caseinates which are from a common milk protein. Fruit-based drinks that are "non-dairy" can have caseinates. Cheese alternatives may or may not contain caseinates. Even if they donít, if they are made on the dairy production lines they may be at risk for cross-contamination. Egg can be found in mayonnaise, ice cream and pasta. Most egg substitute contains egg white which can be allergenic. It is difficult to completely separate egg whites from yolk. Consequently, it is best to avoid both when managing food allergies. Soy can be found in some low fat peanut butter, deli meats, and hot dogs. Many foods contain soybean oil. Natural flavorings may contain milk, soy or peanut.
How can you get in touch with manufacturers if you have a question about a particular food? There should be a telephone number of the manufacturer on the product label. When you call:
1. Have the production code date for the product.
Donít say, "I need to know all the ingredients in this product." Do say, "my child is allergic to milk. Does this product contain milk?" If you arenít comfortable with the response, ask to speak to a supervisor.
They publish a bimonthly newsletter which includes recipes. They have published a book on food allergies