Major food allergens
On Jan. 1, 2023, sesame became the ninth major food allergen in the U.S.
Allergen labeling is required for packaged food products that contain any of these ingredients.
Major food allergens must be identified by name in the ingredient list. This must include proteins derived from a major food allergen.
The nine major food allergens are:
- Crustacean shellfish
- Tree nuts
Food allergen training
We offer free food allergen training to food businesses in Minneapolis.
Learn more and request free voucher codes on our food handler training page
Food allergen safety tips
Prepare with care
Take food allergens seriously.
- Carefully check food labels
- Train your staff on food allergy awareness
- Maintain accurate recipes onsite listing all ingredients
- Properly label all foods containing major food allergens and store them away from other food products
- Follow safe food preparation procedures
- Give allergen free food items directly to server or to customer instead of setting the food item on the expo line
Handwashing and cleaning
- Wash hands and change gloves before handling allergen free food
- Clean and sanitize
- Work surfaces
- Cooking equipment
- If a food item is returned to the kitchen for an allergen reason, always remake the item
- Do not try to remove an allergen and send the food back
The label on a food package tells consumers exactly what is inside the package.
Businesses should keep the ingredient list from the label of food items purchased in a
Examples: packaged buns from a bakery, boxed pasta, prepared sauces, etc.
Keep your recipes in a centralized location to be able to answer ingredient and allergen questions from your customers.
Label items you package
If you prepare and package food items for self-service, you must label the items.
Food is packaged if the food business:
- Bottles, cans, cartons, wraps or bags the product
- Makes the product available for self-service
Allergy labeling requirements
- Retail and food service businesses that package, label and offer products for human consumption
Does not apply to:
- Foods placed in a wrapper or container following a customer’s order at the point of purchase
Identify food allergens on your label by either:
- Listing the common or usual name of the food source, followed by the name of the allergen in parentheses. Examples:
- Flour (wheat)
- Whey (milk)
- After the ingredient list, place the word “Contains:” followed by the food allergen. Example:
- Contains: wheat, milk
- For tree nuts, declare the specific type of nut
Examples: almonds, coconut, pecans
- For fish or crustacean shellfish, declare the species
Examples: walleye, shrimp, lobster
- Find our resources for food workers in English and Spanish
- Read more on Food Labeling for Retail Food Establishments from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture
- Read more about food allergens from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Learn more about allergen labeling from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Request accessible format
If you need help with this information, please email 311, or call 311 or 612-673-3000.
Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.
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