Health Canada has updated guidance on mustard allergy and the use of precautionary allergen labelling (e.g. “may contain”) for pre-packaged products. This updated information specifically addresses new findings that will help minimize the use of precautionary allergen labelling for mustard on some cereal grain products. Please read the full statement from Health Canada.
In 2016, Health Canada published a document, “Information for Canadians with Mustard Allergy” which described the possibility that certain cereal grains could be cross-contaminated with low amounts of mustard, a priority food allergen in Canada. At that time, there was a commitment for further research to define the potential health risk this finding represented.
New scientific data has since confirmed that it is a related plant species, known as canola, that has been detected at low levels in some cereal grains, and not mustard as previously thought. Therefore, Health Canada has stated that in these instances, it is not appropriate for food manufacturers of wheat flour and other grain-based foods to include mustard in the precautionary allergen labelling.
What Canadians with mustard allergy need to know:
- There may be a potential you could also react to canola protein. Please consult with your healthcare provider.
- Based on the current information, Health Canada considers any risk to mustard allergic consumers from the adventitious (unintended) presence of canola in finished cereal grain products to be low.
- Read the ingredient label and precautionary allergen labelling statements carefully on all products and call the manufacturer if you have any questions or the information is unclear.
Advocating on your behalf
Every Canadian has a right to know what’s in their food. We will continue advocating for clearer precautionary allergen labelling so you can access accurate ingredient information and make safe food choices. Learn more about our advocacy on this initiative.Tags: Health Canada, mustard, precautionary allergen labelling