Reading Ingredient Labels

When eating or cooking with anything for a food allergic child, it is important to read ingredient labels. The US government has made it easier to ascertain which foods contain allergens by requiring that the "big 8" allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat, dairy, and soy) are listed clearly in ingredient labels.

Read labels carefully when looking for allergens. Sometimes the allergen is simply listed; sometimes it is written in bold; sometimes the allergens are listed at the end of the ingredient list after wording, such as "Contains the following allergens".
It is important to read the label not only for actual ingredients, but also for possible cross-contamination. If the food has been prepared or processed in the same facility as one that also produces allergens, the label will include wording such as, "processed in a facility that also processes peanuts".