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What’s a Nut?

On February 4, 2009 @ 7:49 am In All Articles,Food Allergies

Families living with food allergies are constantly on alert for hidden allergens. When Congress passed the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004, they took a huge step forward in saving lives. The law states that all packaged foods labeled on or after January 1, 2006, must list – in plain language – whether a product contains one of the top eight food allergens: milk, egg, fish, Crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts and soybeans. But the law goes one step further, requiring manufacturers to list exactly which type of tree nut, fish or shellfish is in the product. Think you know what a “tree nut” is? You may be surprised. The U.S. Food and Drug

Administration (FDA) updated the tree nut allergen list to include: 

  • Almond
  • Beech nut
  • Brazil nut
  • Butternut
  • Cashew
  • Chestnut (Chinese, American,
  • European, Seguin)
  • Chinquapin
  • Coconut
  • Filbert/hazelnut
  • Ginko nut
  • Hickory nut
  • Lichee nut
  • Macadamia nut/Bush nut
  • Pecan
  • Pine nut/Pinon nut
  • Pili nut
  • Pistachio
  • Sheanut
  • Walnut (English, Persian, Black, Japanese, California),
  • Heartnut

Some of these “tree nuts” are not approved for use in food products (try telling that to a 2-year-old who wants to eat your hand lotion!) but may appear in other household products. Hidden nonedible sources of tree nuts include cosmetics, pet food and toys filled with crushed nut shells. If you or your child have tested positive to one or more types of tree nuts, should you avoid everything on FDA’s list? The short answer: Talk with your allergist. People allergic to one type of tree nut may be at risk for reaction to related tree nuts – this is called cross-reactivity. But if you’ve been eating coconut for years without a reaction, there may be no reason for you to stop. Your food diary is one of the best tools to help your doctor diagnose and treat your food allergies.


Article printed from Allergy and Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics: http://www.aanma.org

URL to article: http://www.aanma.org/2009/02/what%e2%80%99s-a-nut/

URLs in this post:

[1] Allergies, Yogurt and Omega-3 Fatty Acids: http://www.aanma.org/2009/04/allergies-yogurt-and-omega-3-fatty-acids/

[2] Cracking Open Egg Allergy: http://www.aanma.org/2009/02/cracking-open-egg-allergy/

[3] All in Good Taste: Spread Out a Safe Picnic: http://www.aanma.org/2009/10/all-in-good-taste-spread-out-a-safe-picnic/

[4] A Food Diary: Simple and Effective: http://www.aanma.org/2009/02/a-food-diary-simple-and-effective/

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