According to Health Canada, ‘A food sensitivity' is an adverse reaction to food that other people can safely eat and includes food allergies, food intolerances, and chemical sensitivities. Food allergies are sensitivities caused by a reaction of the body’s immune system to specific proteins in food. Current estimates are that food allergies affect 3-4% of adults and in children, the incidence is somewhat higher at approximately 5-6%.  Unfortunately, there is no reliable data to confirm the percentage of the population that is susceptible to food allergies.
 

 

Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) have identified the 11 most common food products that are responsible for about 90% of the most severe, adverse food reactions among the Canadian population.  They are peanuts, tree nuts, soy, milk, eggs, fish, crustacea and shellfish, sesame seeds, sulphites, mustard seeds and wheat.  Currently, Health Canada has proposed new food allergen labelling requirements to enhance the labelling of food allergens, gluten sources and added sulphites.

The new regulations will require additional labelling requirements to require clearer language and the declaration of otherwise "hidden" allergens, gluten sources and sulphites.

Because of the complexity of the changes and the shelf-life of foods, industry has been given 18 months to implement the new allergen labelling regulations. The coming into force dates is set for August 4th, 2012.

Our products are FREE of 8 of the most common food allergens:

 
  • Peanuts
  • Mustard Seeds
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Sulphites  (food additives)
  • Crustacea and Shellfish
  • Fish
 

In addition, many of our products are also dairy-free:

 
  • Granola
  • Gingersnaps
  • Pumpkin Muffins
  • Focaccia Rounds
  • Savoury Focaccia Rounds
  • SuperNova Muffins
  • Lemon Cake
  • Holy Cow! Cake
 

*Please note: Our Gingersnaps, English Muffins and Granola are also egg-free (Vegan)

Our products are also FREE of additives, fillers and ingredients such as: 

 
  • Corn
  • GMOs
  • Artificial Flavours
  • Hydrogenated Oils
  • Trans Fats
 
 

What is the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance?
The main difference is the way that your body reacts to the offending food.

A Food Allergy is an abnormal response to a food triggered by the body's immune system, in which the body produces what is called an allergic or IgG antibody to food. Allergic reactions to food can cause serious illness and in some cases death.

A Food Intolerance is much more common than food allergies. The immune system does not cause the negative reaction to the offending food, but can look and feel like a food allergy. The body cannot adequatley digest a portion of the offending food which can result in unpleasant symptoms such as: stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhea, headaches, nausea, and chronic fatigue.

 


Source: US Food & Drug Administration

I have a wheat allergy. How can I avoid a wheat-related reaction?
Avoid all food and products that contain wheat and wheat derivatives. These include any product whose ingredient list warns it “may contain” or “may contain traces of” wheat.

What is the difference between a wheat allergy and celiac disease?
Wheat allergy and celiac disease are two different conditions. When someone has a wheat allergy his/her immune system has an abnormal reaction to proteins from wheat, with symptoms similar to that of other allergic food reactions. When a person with celiac disease eats food containing the protein gluten (found in wheat and some other grains) it damages the lining of the small intestine, which stops the body from absorbing nutrients. This can lead to diarrhea,weight loss and eventually malnutrition. If you are unsure whether you have a wheat allergy or celiac disease, consult an allergist or a physician.

How can I determine if a product contains wheat or wheat derivatives?
Always read the ingredient list carefully. Wheat and wheat derivatives can often be present under different names, e.g., semolina.

What do I do if I am not sure whether a product contains wheat or wheat derivatives?
If you have a wheat allergy, do not eat or use the product. Get ingredient information from the manufacturer.

Does product size affect the likelihood of an allergic reaction?It does not affect the likelihood of a reaction; however, the same brand of product may be safe to consume for one product size but not another. This is because product formulation may vary between different product sizes of the same product.

 

REFERENCE: Wheat: One of the nine most common food allergens. September 2009, 1-4. Health Canada. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/securit/allerg/fa-aa/allergen_wheat-ble-eng.php.

If you have celiac disease or a serious gluten intolerance be careful with cross-contamination.

Cross-contamination is the transfer of a food allergen to a product that does not normally have that ingredient in it. It can happen through shared production and packaging equipment, bulk display of food products and bins and during food preperation at home or in restaurants through equipment, and utensils.

 

For more information from CFIA on food allergies and food recalls: www.inspection.gc.ca

*Once you enter the CFIA site, select Food and then scroll down to Fact Sheets on Food Allergies and Food Recalls.

 

For more general information on food allergies:
http://www.healthline.com/adamcontent/food-allergy

Learning to read labels carefully, asking lots of questions and checking manufacturer websites are essential to ensuring you have a safe source.

 

For more information from Health Canada on reading labels, food allergies and intolerances, food allergy alerts and to subscribe to the food allergies e-notice subscription: www.hc-sc.gc.ca

*Once you enter the Health Canada site, select Food and Nutrition and then choose Food Allergy and Intolerances in the features section.