The study, published in the August issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, surveyed 20,241 manufactured food products and found that 17 percent included advisory labels, with chocolate confectionery, cookies, and baking mixes accounting for more than 40 percent or the warnings.
Across food categories, researchers found 25 different types of advisory term including ‘may contain’, ‘shared equipment’ and ‘within plant’. Additionally, they found that 65 percent of products listed non-specific terms, such as ‘natural flavors’ and spices’, and that 83 percent of those were not linked to any specific ingredients.
“Supermarket product labeling deficiencies and ambiguities are prevalent,” the researchers wrote. “Allergists must continue to educate their patients about these problems, which could be addressed by strict enforcement of labeling laws as well as additional regulation.”
They added that an earlier study had shown that consumers erroneously perceive different terms to indicate different levels of risk – for example, that ‘may contain’ indicates a higher risk than ‘shared facility’, although there is no such risk differentiation.
“Additional allergen labeling regulation could improve safety and quality of life for individuals with food allergy,” the researchers concluded.
Aporte: Lady Beltran
Fuente: Food Navigator USA