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A Tool For Managing Allergen Risk In Food Products

When determining the safety of the foods they buy, consumers who have food allergies depend on the accuracy of ingredient information provided by food companies. Food companies must take care in managing the following situations, which may result in incomplete labelling of allergenic ingredients:

  • incomplete cleaning of food equipment resulting in a carry-over of potentially allergenic ingredients into another product on the production line
  • inappropriate use of rework materials that contain potentially allergenic ingredients
  • ingredient changes (substitutions and additions) that are not reflected on the label
  • use of wrong packages or wrong labels
  • erroneous information or incomplete ingredient lists on labels (which may occur when outdated label stock is retained)
  • unknown ingredients in raw material
  • misrepresentations of common names for ingredients (e.g., "mandelonas" for "almond- flavoured peanuts," etc.)
  • labelling exemptions under the Food and Drug Regulations.

To help the Canadian food industry ensure the safety of food products for consumers with food allergies, and to prevent the need for costly recalls, the CFIA strongly encourages all Canadian food companies to obtain allergy-related information from their suppliers and manufacturers.

The attached "Allergen Check List for Food Suppliers and Manufacturers" is a suggested check list only and is based on allergen forms currently used within the food sector. The list includes priority allergens known to cause life threatening reactions. Food companies should add other allergens they deem important.

The information obtained by food companies can be used to conduct hazard analyses and assess the need for label changes, including the need for a precautionary statement on the label, e.g., "May contain peanuts." The use of such precautionary statements is voluntary. The precautionary statement should follow the list of ingredients, must be truthful and must not be used in lieu of Good Manufacturing Practices.

This suggested list is for internal use by food companies. Do not send the completed lists to the CFIA.


Click here to print this check list PDF (68 kb)

Original Form  Amended Form

Product name: UPC#

Please fill the following table for each product. Column I indicates the allergens that may be found in the product, from addition or cross-contamination. Column II indicates the allergens present in other products that are run on the same equipment but at a different time. Column III indicates whether any allergens are present in your plant.

Please fill in each cell of the table with a YES or a NO and, when applicable, include the name of the ingredient. Do not leave empty cells.

Component Column I
Present in the product
Column II
Present in
other products manufactured on the
same line
Column III
Present in
the same manufacturing plant
Peanut or its derivatives, e.g., Peanut - pieces, protein, oil, butter, flour, and mandelona nuts (an almond flavoured peanut product) etc. Peanut may also be known as ground nut.      
Tree Nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts(filberts), macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts (pinyon, pinon), pistachios and walnuts or their derivatives, e.g., nut butters and oils etc.      
Sesame or its derivatives, e.g., paste and oil etc.      
Milk or its derivatives, e.g., milk caseinate, whey and yogurt powder etc.      
Eggs or its derivatives, e.g., frozen yolk, egg white powder and egg protein isolates etc.      
Fish or its derivatives, e.g., fish protein, oil and extracts etc.      
Crustaceans (including crab, crayfish, lobster, prawn and shrimp) and Shellfish (including snails, clams, mussels, oysters, cockle and scallops) or their derivative, e.g., extracts etc.      
Soy or its derivatives, e.g., lecithin, oil, tofu and protein isolates etc.      
Wheat, triticale or their derivatives, e.g., flour, starches and brans etc.  Includes other wheat varieties such as spelt, durum, kamut, emmer etc.      

Mustard or its derivatives, e.g., mustard seeds, mustard flour, ground mustard, prepared mustard etc

(New Regulations coming into force on August 4, 2012, will include mustard)
Sulphites, e.g., sulphur dioxide and sodium metabisulphites etc.      
Others (as considered necessary)      

Do you have procedures to avoid cross-contamination of the product with the allergens not present in the product but noted in columns II and III? Yes No

Please attach a finished product label to this form for each product. If, for any reason, there are any modifications in this product, you are responsible for updating your records including labels and specifications, and notifying us immediately.

Supplier's address:

Supplier Contact
Signature: Date: