Living With Food Allergies

Choosing Safe Foods: How to Read Labels So You Can Avoid Food Allergens

The only way to prevent allergic reactions is to avoid the foods you (or your child) are allergic to. It is important to know how to identify those foods, as well as to understand how foods are labeled in the U.S.

Allergen Avoidance Lists

The FDA food allergen label law requires foods to state if they contain a top 8 food allergen (milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, wheat, soy, fish, crustacean shellfish). Foods that contain these allergens must say so in plain English. But, there are many foods and products that are not covered by the law, so it is still important to know how to read a label for allergens. Items that may use "hidden" names:

  • Foods that are not regulated by the FDA
  • Cosmetics and personal care products
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications
  • Pet food, toys and crafts

It is important to read every label, every time. Use our guides to help you find hidden allergens in your products. Small travel-size cards are also available to print.


Peanut Allergy

Tree Nut Allergy

Milk Allergy

Egg Allergy

Wheat Allergy

Soy Allergy

 

The Food Allergen Labeling Consumer Protection Act

Frequently asked questions about the law and the loopholes everyone should know. Find out which foods are required to disclose top allergens on their ingredient labels, where allergens are allowed to be listed, and what statements like "may contain" really mean.
 

How to Report an Allergic Reaction to Foods or Drugs or Report a Mislabeled Food

While all foods regulated by the FDA are required to follow labeling laws, sometimes mistakes are made. When a food is labeled incorrectly, it can cause severe allergic reactions. Consumers can report foods (and drugs) to the FDA, which may lead to a recall of the product.
 

Cross-Contact or Cross-Contamination of Foods with Allergens

What is cross-contact? How can you prevent allergic reactions from cross-contact?
 

Natural Flavoring Can Contain Food Allergens

The law allows ingredients to hide under the term "natural flavors" unless they are one of the top 8 food allergens. If you manage any other food allergy, you need to be be aware of natural flavoring.
 

Foods Labeled Non-Dairy May Contain Milk Protein

Companies can promote a food as non-dairy even if it contains casein, a milk protein.

 

Kosher Labeling and Milk or Dairy Allergy

Find out how Kosher labels can and cannot help you in determining if a product is safe for milk allergy.

 

What Does Kosher for Passover Mean for Food Allergies?

A religious custom means some foods can be found "free from" certain ingredients every year during Passover.
 

Unexpected Allergens in Non-Food Items

Many non-food items in your house may be potential sources of allergens.

Cream of Meat and Potato Casserole

Recipes & Diet

Safe Eats ™ Recipes (Allergy-Friendly, Search Free of Your Allergens)

Cream of Meat and Potato Casserole


Rate Cream of Meat and Potato Casserole

4 starsAvg. rating: 4 from 2 votes.
  

 Recipe Information  
Category: Casseroles
Recipe Created By: Amy Hugon


 

 Ingredients  
gluten-free, dairy-free white sauce (see below)
cooked meat, any variety
vegetables of choice
sliced potatoes


 Directions  
Precook sliced potatoes in microwave to soften; otherwise they don't cook all the way through.

Layer sliced potatoes, meat, and veggies (we like spinach). Top with white sauce.

Bake at 350 °F for 45-60 minutes. Since all the ingredients are already cooked, you are basically only heating it through.


 Notes  
For meat you can do chunked ham, cooked hamburger, chunked beef, elk, etc.

My husband's favorite was potato, hamburger, spinach. Kids liked potato, ham.

I imagine you could also use this with safe pasta. If you had a safe "cheese" sub, you could grate some on top.

Here is my GFCF White Sauce.


 Substitutions  
Gluten: Gluten is a protein found in specific grains (wheat, spelt, kamut, barley, rye). Other grains are naturally gluten-free but may have cross-contact with gluten-containing grains. Look for certified gluten-free products if you need to avoid gluten. Find out more about wheat and gluten substitutions.


 This recipe is free of:
 Milk  Peanut  Egg  Soy  Tree nut
 Gluten  Wheat  Fish  Shellfish  Sesame


 Keep in Mind  
  1. Always read labels! Product ingredients can change without notice. Do not assume a recipe or product is safe for you. Contact manufacturers to confirm safety for your allergy needs.
  2. A check in a box on a recipe means you can make a recipe "free of" that allergen.  You may need to use a substitution or alternative product to make that recipe safe for the allergies you are managing.
  3. If you need assistance with a recipe or ingredient substitution, post on our Food & Cooking support forums. You will receive personal help to alter a recipe to make it allergy-free for your child’s needs.
  4. You are welcome to link to our recipes.  If you would like to publish our recipes elsewhere in print or online, please contact us for permission.

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