Food Allergy FAQs

How do I know if a product contains an ALLERGEN ingredient?

The US Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (effective January 1, 2006) mandates that foods containing milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, and soy must declare the food in plain language on the label. All Whole Foods Market Private Label products are labeled in accordance with this Act.

Health Canada has declared the following list of priority allergens:

  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts)
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Seafood (fish, crustaceans, shellfish)
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Sesame seeds
  • Mustard
  • Sulphite

And the European Commission lists the following priority allergens for the EU:

  • Cereals containing gluten, (i.e. wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, kamut or their hybridized strains) and products thereof
  • Crustaceans and products thereof
  • Eggs and products thereof
  • Fish and products thereof
  • Peanuts and products thereof
  • Soybeans and products thereof
  • Milk and products thereof (including lactose)
  • Nuts i.e. almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachio nuts, macadamia nuts and Queensland nuts and products thereof
  • Celery and products thereof
  • Mustard and products thereof
  • Sesame seeds and products thereof
  • Sulphur dioxide and sulphites at concentrations of more than 10 mg/kg or 10 mg/litre expressed as SO2.
  • Lupin and products thereof
  • Molluscs and products thereof

What does the statement, "Good Manufacturing Practices used to segregate in a facility that also processes ALLERGEN" mean?

This is to inform the consumer of what allergens are produced in the same facility as the product they are buying. All of our manufacturers use good manufacturing practices (GMPs) to reduce the risk of cross contamination. These GMPs include, but are not limited to, thorough cleaning of machinery, line scheduling to segregate allergen and non-allergen ingredients, and line testing.

Some other products I buy say, "Made on equipment that also processes ALLERGEN." Why is this not on Whole Foods Market Private Label products?

Whole Foods Market Private Label does not gather shared equipment information, because it is the manufacturer's legal right to change equipment used for production (as long as GMPs are used). We do gather shared allergens in a manufacturing facility, and this information is reflected on the label.