Looking for helpful TIPs to make grocery shopping for food allergies safer, easier & cheaper? Here’s our list of 8 food allergy shopping mistakes to avoid…
1. Assuming the product is safe because you’ve used it before. Manufacturing & ingredients can change! Kellogg’s change of ingredients is a great example – they started using peanut flour in some of their sandwich crackers (visit FARE for more information about this).
Also, be sure to always read the ENTIRE label so you don’t miss important allergen information that might be stated in a different area. You can visit FAACT for more label reading tips.
2. Assuming the grocery store bakery item is safe because the allergen isn’t listed in the ingredients. Grocery store bakeries can be a high-risk area due to cross-contact!
Consider making your own treats at home. Enjoy Life has great tasting brownie & muffin mixes that are Top 8 Free & simple to make.
3. Assuming it doesn’t contain your allergen because the name “sounds” free from it. “For example, depending on the manufacturer, “imitation crab” can, in fact, contain real shellfish in addition to soy, wheat, and fish.” (source:FAACT)
Also, allergens can have different names. Did you know…KFA has helpful allergen avoidance lists that you can print out to carry with you?!
4. Not calling the company with your concerns/questions. FALCPA (The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act) requires companies to list the major allergens on ingredient labels, but they don’t have to state how the product was manufactured. Sometimes this may seem a little confusing, so if you ever have a question or concern about the safety of a product, don’t hesitate to call the company directly.
Snack Safely is a helpful resource that lists some allergy-friendly products (peanut, tree nut, & egg free). Be sure to always refer to their most updated list!
5. Having too little time or too many distractions while shopping. If you have limited time to shop and want to find new products to try…don’t rush safety. You can shop 24/7 at ThriveMarket.com – it allows you to sort by allergen and read the label.
Even if you don’t purchase from Thrive Market, it could save time by gathering a list of products you’ll want to check out when you get to the grocery store.
6. Buying products and realizing you hate them after the first bite. Allergen-friendly products can be expensive – especially the full-sized ones. Consider trying a subscription box service like Tasterie, if it suits your allergen needs.
If you have friends or support group members that are avoiding the same allergens, see if they’re willing to split the cost and try different products together.
7. Paying full price for all your groceries. Contact your favorite brand to see if they have a coupon available online or call/email and ask them if they have any coupons they can send you.
Here are some examples of allergy-friendly companies with coupons:
Also check ads for sales and remember many places like Wal-mart do price matching on products.
These are just some TIPs for shopping with food allergies. Do you have any TIPs you’d like to share? We’d love to hear them – please comment below!
Disclaimer: The products and resources listed above are provided for informational purposes only. Any information found should not replace professional medical advice. If you have any medical questions, be sure to consult your allergist. Always check products before purchasing or consuming. If you have any questions about the safety of a product, contact the company directly.
*This post contains affiliate links