A few possibly interesting bits I noticed during this thread -
FDA regulated items
What foods cause the majority of allergies?
While more than 160 foods can cause allergic reactions in people with food allergies, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCA) has identified the eight most common allergenic foods. These eight foods account for 90 percent of food allergic reactions. They are: milk, eggs, fish (such as bass, flounder, cod), crustacean shellfish (such as crab, lobster, shrimp), tree nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, pecans), peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. These eight, and any ingredient that contains protein derived from one or more of them, are designated as "major food allergens" by the FALCPA, which was passed by Congress in 2004 and became effective in 2006.
I was unable to locate the quantitative data which validated the above stated 90%.
[Added December, 2005] Is a major food allergen that has been unintentionally added to a food as the result of cross-contact subject to FALCPA's labeling requirements?
No. FALCPA's labeling requirements do not apply to major food allergens that are unintentionally added to a food as the result of cross-contact. In the context of food allergens, "cross-contact " occurs when a residue or other trace amount of an allergenic food is unintentionally incorporated into another food that is not intended to contain that allergenic food. Cross-contact may result from customary methods of growing and harvesting crops, as well as from the use of shared storage, transportation, or production equipment.
The Legalities of (FDA) allergen labelling ,
Allergen Labeling Regulations,2014.pdf 223.22KB
Published 10/29/2009 08:31 AM | Updated 08/15/2018 04:06 AM
Is there a "sensitivity level" below which potential allergens or known allergens may be permitted for use without declaration on the label regulated by the USDA?
All ingredients used to formulate a meat or poultry product must be declared by common or usual name except for substances whose use has been determined to be consistent with FDA's labeling definition of an incidental additive or processing aid (21 CFR 101.100(a)(3)). For meat, poultry, and egg products under the jurisdiction of FSIS, the Agency makes determinations of whether ingredients are processing aids or incidental additives on a case-by-case basis. FSIS is not aware of any threshold level below which an ingredient that contains protein does not need declaration.
The above appears to imply that any list of (food) allergens requiring labelling would be "open-ended".
The USDA regulations demand that ingredients are listed on the products that fall under its aegis, but allergen labelling is voluntary.
This means that many allergen-derived ingredients could ‘mask’ allergen content under vague or more unusual terms — such as vegetable starch, dextrose, casein and others. That said, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) estimate that there is up to 90% voluntary compliance with the FALCPA allergen labelling regulations.
(detailed study into US versus EU Food Allergen Labelling )
“Sesame allergies have probably increased more than any other type of food allergy over the past 10 to 20 years. They’re now clearly one of the six or seven most common allergens in the U.S
Open-Sesame, the case for labelling as allergen,ca 2014.pdf 1.24MB
( a [highly] revelatory investigation to support sesame labelling)
FSIS supports the voluntary addition of allergen statements (e.g. “contains” statements) on meat and poultry product labels immediately following the ingredients statement
FSIS Allergens Compliance Guidelines,2015.pdf 903.19KB