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Peanut Allergy Diet
General guidelines for peanut allergy
The key to an allergy-free diet is to stay away from all foods or products containing the food to which you are allergic. If you are allergic to peanuts, you will need to stay away from peanuts and foods that contain peanuts. You will need to read all food labels.
How to read a label for a peanut-free diet
The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) is a law that requires U.S. packaged foods to state clearly on the label if they contain peanuts. In addition to peanuts, stay away from foods with any of these ingredients:
Foods that may contain peanuts
These foods may also contain peanuts:
African, Chinese, Mexican, Thai, and other ethnic dishes
Chili, spaghetti sauce
Flavoring (natural and artificial)
Hydrolyzed plant protein
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
Ice creams, frozen yogurts, and nondairy frozen desserts
Always read the entire ingredient label to look for peanuts. Peanut may be in the ingredient list. Or it could be listed in a “Contains: peanut” statement after the ingredient list.
Other sources of peanuts
These food sources may also contain peanuts:
Peanut oil that is cold-pressed, extruded, or expeller-expressed. But studies show that most people with allergies can safely eat foods containing highly refined peanut oil.
Ethnic foods, commercially prepared baked goods, and candy. These can be cross-contaminated with peanuts since peanuts are often used in these types of foods.
Homemade chili and spaghetti sauce. These may be thickened with peanut butter or peanut flour.
Hydrolyzed plant and vegetable protein in imported foods. These proteins may be from peanuts. In the U.S., these proteins often come from soy.
Foods that don't contain peanuts could be contaminated during manufacturing. Advisory statements are not regulated by the FDA. They are voluntary. These include labels such as "processed in a facility that also processed peanut." Or "made on shared equipment." Ask your healthcare provider if you can eat products with these labels. Or if you should stay away from them.
Some foods and products are not covered by the FALCPA law. These include:
Foods that are not regulated by the FDA
Cosmetics and personal care items
Prescription and over-the-counter medicines and supplements
Toys, crafts, and pet foods
When you are eating out
Always carry 2 epinephrine auto-injectors. Make sure you and those close to you know how to use it.
Wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace with your allergy information.
If you don't have epinephrine auto-injectors, talk with your healthcare provider. Ask if you should carry them.
In a restaurant, food may be cross-contaminated with peanuts.
Always read food labels. And always ask about ingredients at restaurants. Do this even if these are foods that you have eaten in the past.
Stay away from buffets with peanuts. This will help you avoid cross-contamination of foods with shared utensils.
A medicine is now available to treat peanut allergy in children. The FDA-approved medicine is for children and teens ages 4 to 17. A child with a confirmed peanut allergy can start taking the medicine at age 4. Talk with your child’s healthcare provider to find out if this medicine can help your child. If your child is taking this medicine, continue to make sure they don’t eat any peanuts or peanut products.
Online Medical Reviewer:
Daphne Pierce-Smith RN MSN CCRC
Online Medical Reviewer:
Deborah Pedersen MD
Date Last Reviewed:
© 2000-2022 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.