The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA) addresses the labeling of foods that contain any of the eight major food allergens.
FALCPA defines "major food allergens" as
- Crustacean Shellfish
- Tree Nuts
All ingredients that contain a major food allergen must be labeled, even if they are exempted from labeling by being a spice, flavoring, coloring or incidental additive.
FALCPA requires the labeling of food allergens in one of two ways:
- In the ingredient statement, include the common or usual name of the food source, followed by the name of the allergen in parentheses. For example: Ingredients: Flour (wheat), whey (milk)
- After the ingredient statement, place the word, "Contains:" followed by the name of the food allergen. For example: Contains: Wheat, Milk
FALCPA requires that:
- For Tree Nuts, the specific type of nut must be declared.
Example: almonds, pecans, walnuts
- For Fish and Crustacean Shellfish, the species must be declared.
Example: cod, salmon, lobster, shrimp
FALCPA's requirements apply to all packaged foods sold in the United States, including both domestically manufactured and imported foods.