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Allergy Safety

At Home

Quick Facts

  • With simple steps, your home can be safer. Learn more below.
  • Always have an Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan and an auto-injector at home, just in case.

Be Allergy Aware 

Food Labels

Health Canada requires food manufacturers to clearly label products if they contain one of the 10 priority allergens. All ingredients must be listed on the ingredient list of pre-packaged food, both domestic and imported.

Canada encourages (but does not require) manufacturers to use Precautionary Statements such as “May Contain”. These statements are used voluntarily by some companies on pre-packaged food labels where a product may be at risk of unintentionally containing allergens due to cross-contamination with other products. Cross-contamination may happen in a shared facility, through shared production lines or be passed on from suppliers.

“May Contain” statements statements are voluntary and added by the individual food company; however, if used they are legally required to be truthful and not misleading.

If you are unsure whether a product may contain traces of an allergen, call the company to ask.

Tips

  • Read food labels each and every time you buy something. Manufacturers can change their production process and alter their products at any time.
  • Do The Triple Check:
    • Once at the store before buying it.
    • Once when you get home and put it away.
    • Again before you serve or eat the product.
  • If you have questions about cross-contamination or whether a product may contain your allergen, contact the company before purchasing the product.

Cooking Safely

If you make food in your home that contains a family member’s allergens, here are some tips for staying safe.

Tips

  • Cook meals that are free of the person’s allergens first, using separate cookware and serving utensils. Keep the food covered in a space where it will not be splashed or come into contact with other foods.
  • Do not use the same utensils when cooking or serving food to the person who has the food allergy.
  • Wash hands often, especially between preparing meals that contain an allergen, and the allergy-safe meal.
  • Use a separate sponge to wipe down surfaces that contain the allergen before preparing the allergy-safe meal.
  • Have two dishwashing cloths: one for cleaning pots and pans that contain the allergen, one for cleaning pots and pans that are used for allergy-safe meals.
  • Use two different cutting boards: one dedicated to allergy-safe meal preparation.
  • Carefully wash all utensils (forks, spoons, servers), pots and pans and cutting boards with dish detergent and water.

Your Allergy Plan

Even at home it’s good to have a plan, so everyone is prepared if there is a reaction. An Allergy Plan can be shared with extended family, housemates, babysitters or anyone else who comes into your home.

Tips

  • All family members and caregivers should know how and when to use an epinephrine auto-injector. To get a free training device (which contains no needle or drug), visit EpiPen® .
  • Have up-to-date auto-injectors available at all times and know where to find them.
  • Review and understand What to Do In An Emergency.