Author

Susan Liebert

Date Approved

2008

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Health Sciences

Committee Member

George Liepa, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Alice Jo Rainville, PhD, RD

Committee Member

Lee Tincher, RD, MS

Abstract

Background: The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) recently required bolded allergens or “contains” statements on food product labels. Very few U.S. studies have looked at the accidental food allergen ingestion rate in adults. Since the emotional and medical costs of allergic reactions can be high, it is important to determine if the FALCPA is helping to reduce the accidental food allergen ingestion rate in adults with self-reported food allergies.

Background: The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) recently required bolded allergens or “contains” statements on food product labels. Very few U.S. studies have looked at the accidental food allergen ingestion rate in adults. Since the emotional and medical costs of allergic reactions can be high, it is important to determine if the FALCPA is helping to reduce the accidental food allergen ingestion rate in adults with self-reported food allergies.

Methods: Surveys were completed by adult mall shoppers (n=386) in Northern California including 57 adults with self-reported food allergies. a significant 24.4% in the two years since the FALCPA was passed. Additionally, the percent of accidental food allergen ingestion events due to store-bought food decreased while the percent from restaurant-prepared food increased. Restaurant-prepared food was the number one cited reason for accidental ingestion both prior to and after the passage of the FALCPA.

Conclusions: Adults with self-reported food allergies are reading the allergen information and warning statements on food product labels. Data suggest that passage of the FALCPA is helping to reduce the accidental food allergen ingestion rate in adults with self-reported food allergies, especially from store-bought food products.

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