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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Traces of Nuts

Make that Traces of Nuts in Deep Fried Sushi!

I decided to inquire about an incident of possible improperly labelled food, pending clarification if the main packaging was translated with a sticker in french and english.  It was a good opportunity to find out the policy for labelling food, and the rules apply to the outside packaging or each individual snack size package inside. When I get a chance, I will post a photo. Here is some information from my search on HOW TO file a compliant (below).

I recently picked up a bunch of yummy Japanese crackers in snack size packets. My 3 year son is deathly allergic to peanuts but I am not. Fortunately he is much more vigilant than I am. I packed a package for myself today and he asked me if it contain nuts. Usually rice crackers and deep fried wasabi beans wouldn't contain peanuts but who knows I had no time to look, I just said they're spicy you won't like it.

I ate my package at work, I went to read the labels for calories, fat content and ingredients but it was all in Japanese! No biggy, mindless calories. Then I crunched on a deep-fried peanut and then another, so delicious but so dangerous!

Here is the excerpts of the reply I received from Health Canada, quote:

"Thank you for contacting us about food labeling laws. We are sorry to hear about your unfortunate experience.

According to Canadian food labeling laws, ingredients must be labeled on the “principal display panel” of prepackaged foods (with the exception of “one-bite confections,” such as individually wrapped candies). Please see:

The “principal display panel” consists of the OUTER packaging of pre-packaged goods. The INNER package, or “protective wrappings,” of pre-packaged goods do not have to include ingredient labels; however, when they DO include ingredient labels, those labels must be complete and correct. Please see:

We encourage you to review the outer packaging and protective wrappings of the crackers in question. If you believe that either has been improperly labeled, please contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA):

- Phone: 1-800-442-2342
- Web form:

We also encourage you to save any remaining packages of the product to share with the CFIA, in case they request samples for testing.

Finally, we encourage allergic consumers to exercise great caution when consuming imported food products. Labeling laws and manufacturing processes differ significantly from one country to another. Although distributers of imported products are asked to comply with Canadian labeling laws, it is not uncommon for imported goods to be inaccurately or incompletely labeled. Moreover, cross-contamination risks are relatively high, because peanut is present in many Asian snack products.

We hope you find this information helpful! If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

All the best,
Program Coordinator
Anaphylaxis Canada "

Here are some additional links:

OOPS I just read the outside label, the one with a bilingual sticker slapped on the foreign language part of it. Indeed, Peanuts are listed as the first ingredient. My bad! Well I guess you read to the end.

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