Better Food Allergy Labelling Needed

The number of children with food allergy problems is increasing in Japan. From April, 2002, there is a legal obligation to clearly label foods that contain allergens.

There are a large number of such allergens. Among the many substances that can cause allergic reactions, some are more severe and common than others. Food makers must clearly label wheat, buckwheat, egg, milk and peanuts in processed foods, noting in Japanese: 「xxを含む」 (“Contains xx”). This list contains the following ingredients:

小麦

そば





ピーナッツ
wheat

soba (buckwheat)

egg

milk

peanuts

Food makers are recommended to note on the package that they use another 20 common allergens. They usually include this information below the list of ingredients. This list of allergens includes:

あわび

いか

いくら

えび

オレンジ

カニ

キウイフルーツ

牛肉

くるみ

さけ

さば

大豆

鶏肉

豚肉

まつたけ

もも

やまいも

りんご

ぜらちん

バナナ
awabi (abalone)

ika (squid)

ikura (fish roe, fish egg)

ebi (shrimp)

orange

kani (crab)

kiwi fruit

beef

walnuts

sake (salmon)

saba (mackerel)

soy beans

chicken

pork

matsutake (mushroom)

peach

yamaimo (yam)

apple

gelatin

banana

For people with food allergies, the correct labelling of food allergens on the package is a very important issue.

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