Gluten occurs naturally in an unprocessed state in wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt, triticale, and kamut. Ingredients and terms used: bran, bulgur wheat, couscous, durum flour, flour, rusk, semolina, wheat germ, wholewheat, modified starch, or starch. Malt, maltose, malt extract, malt syrup, and malt flour almost always refer to barley and wheat derivatives. Dextrin and maltodextrin can be derived from any starch; in the US, it is usually corn; in Europe, it is commonly barley or wheat.
Foods that may contain gluten
• Alcohol: all beers, lager, stout, and ales are made from grain; cider may have barley added to it.
• Baby food often contains gluten.
• Bread and baking: baking powder, brewer’s yeast, bread, and breadcrumbs.
• Cakes and biscuits and pastries of all types.
• Caramel colour is derived from barley malt.
• Cereals (unless specified as gluten free).
• Cheese: grated cheese and processed cheeses and spreads may contain flour. Check veined cheeses such as Roquefort, Stilton and dolcelatte.
• Desserts: ice creams and frozen yogurts may contain gluten if thickeners have been used. Avoid wafers and cones.
• Drinks – non alcoholic: flavoured tea and coffees, barley-flavoured soft drinks, malted drinks.
• Meats and fish: burgers, sausages, and other processed meats may contain cereal or rusk. Crabsticks or ocean sticks may contain wheat. Avoid anything breadcrumbed or battered.
• Nuts may have flour as a coating.
• Sauces: stock cubes, soups, and gravies may contain hydrolysed vegetable protein, usually made of wheat or soya. Some salad dressings contain gluten. Many soya sauces contain wheat.
• Seasonings and spices, packet mixes, and mustard may contain flour as thickener, as may white pepper. Avoid malt (barley) vinegar. Distilled vinegars are safe.
• Snacks: pretzels, Bombay mix, and scotch eggs; some corn tortillas contain wheat flour.
• Soups may contain barley and wheat-based thickeners or pasta, as in minestrone.
• Sweets and chocolate: some (including chewing gum) are dusted with flour.
• Vegetables: frozen chips may have a flour coating. Hidden traps: vitamins and supplements may contain gluten. Things that sound risky but aren’t: buckwheat is not wheat and does not contain gluten. Laverbread is Welsh seaweed. Sweetbreads are offal.
Many medical experts advise people with peanut allergies to avoid tree nuts and vice versa. Foods containing peanuts are listed separately but if you are allergic to either, read both lists. Nuts include almonds, Brazil, cashew, cobnut, hazelnut, macadamia, pecan, pistachio, and walnuts. Ingredients and terms used: chipped nuts, flaked nuts, nut butters, nut paste, nut extracts, nut oils,
What not to eat
The simplest way to be sure of ingredients is to buy fresh foods and cook from scratch but I’m well aware that it isn’t always practical. However, as soon as you stray into the aisles of ready-prepared and processed foods, life becomes much more complicated. These alphabetical lists of hazards will alert you to potential pitfalls but it goes without saying that they cannot be exhaustive, as new foods come on to the market all the time. Unless you are severely allergic, you won’t need to avoid everything on the list for each allergen. Eat food to your own level of tolerance, and if you do find you can cope with a product that contains traces of your allergen, you should continue to use it. some blended vegetable oils. Marzipan, frangipane, and almond essence/extract are made from almonds; praline is made from hazelnuts. Prunus is a term used for nuts in cosmetics.
Foods that may contain tree nuts
• Alcohol: liqueurs such as amaretto.
• Baking ingredients: nut flours, all baking mixes.
• Beans, peas and lentils, and seeds may contain nuts as part of a mix or may be processed on the same factory line as nuts.
• Breads: specialty breads, flatbreads, naan bread. Fresh or in-store bakery breads may be cross contaminated with nuts.
• Cakes and biscuits: plain cakes, fruit cakes cheesecakes, tortes, gâteaux, baked breakfast goods such as croissants, cereal bars, biscuits, and cookies (check labels).
• Cereals: crunchy nut cereals, mueslis, granolas, some rice cereals, mixed cereals that incorporate fruit and nuts, some instant oat cereals.
• Cheese: some contain or are coated in nuts.
• Desserts: many contain nuts or have nut toppings sprinkled on them.
• Drinks: some milk/yogurt drinks and brands of hot chocolate.
• Nut oils, spreads, and butters.
• Ice creams: may have nuts added or toppings. Some ice-cream wafers and cones contain nuts.
• Meat and fish: check labels on breaded/battered meats and fish, meat pies, some burgers and sausages, salamis, and cold meats.
• Milk: some spray dried milk powders and fortified milks.
• Salads: mixed salads such as rice and pasta salads, and coleslaws.
• Sauces: satay sauce (mainly peanut but other nuts may be used); curry sauces such as korma.
As soon as you stray into the aisles of ready-prepared and processed foods, life becomes much more complicated
-Snacks: chocolate- and yogurt-covered peanuts and raisins; mixed and salted nuts; Bombay mix.
• Spreads: chocolate nut spreads; peanut butterstyle nut butters; praline spreads.
• Sweets and chocolate: praline and nut chocolates. Many chocolates contain nut traces.
• Vegetarian food: nut roasts, cutlets, and burgers. Ready prepared meals may contain nuts.
• Yogurts: cereal and nut yogurts. Things that sound risky but aren’t: coconut is a fruit; nutmeg is a seed; soya nuts are dried beans; tiger or chufa nuts are roots – these are usually safe for people with tree nut allergies. Chestnuts and water chestnuts rarely cause allergic reactions. Pine nuts are a seed and often tolerated.
Peanuts in their natural state are also known as ground nuts, earth nuts, and monkey nuts. Ingredients and terms used: arachis oil is peanut oil found in food but also watch out for it in cosmetics and personal care products. Groundnut oil is most frequently used in food.
Foods that may contain peanuts (see also nut entries)
• Drinks: smoothies sometimes have peanut butter added to them.
• Meats and fish: Thai, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and Malay dishes often contain peanuts.
• Nuts: if you can eat nuts but not peanuts watch out for artificial nuts such as mandelonas that are actually reflavoured peanuts.
• Oils, margarines, and butters: refined peanut oil is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. Unrefined oil, commonly used in Chinese food, should be avoided as there is a clear risk. Blended vegetable oils may contain peanut oils. Nut butters are often produced on factory lines that make peanut butter.
• Seeds may be packed on the same lines as peanuts.
• Sauces such as Satay sauce (South East Asian); bang bang chicken (Chinese) contains peanuts.
• Seasonings: check any oriental seasoning mixes.
• Hydrolysed vegetable protein (HVP): this may be of peanut origin and currently does not have to be disclosed as a source of nuts.
All eggs in their natural or unprocessed state and all eggs and egg-derived products.
Ingredients and terms used: egg, egg white (sometimes called egg albumen), egg yolk, egg protein. Whole egg, dried egg, or powdered egg includes yolk and white. The terms ova and albumin mean the product contains egg and are often used in compounds such as conalbumin or ovoglobulin. Lecithin (E322) an emulsifier in many products including chocolate, is made from soya beans or egg yolk but does not cause reactions in people who are allergic to soya or eggs.
Foods that may contain eggs
• Alcohol: advocaat, eggnog and eierpunsch.
• Baby food.
• Baking: mixes for breads, biscuits, doughnuts, muffins, pancakes, pastries, pretzels. Baked goods such as quiches and soufflés and almost all cakes and many biscuits. Bread may be glazed or enriched with egg.
• Desserts: custards, ice creams, iced yogurts, parfaits, meringues, puddings, dessert mixes, cream-filled pies. Sorbets may contain egg white.
• Jams and spreads: fruit spreads called butters, curds, and (occasionally) cheeses contain egg.
• Meat, chicken, fish, and seafood that has been breadcrumbed or battered usually has egg in it. Hamburgers, hot dogs, meatloaf, salami, and fish cakes may use egg for binding. Crabsticks or ocean sticks, may contain egg whites.
• Pasta: the dried variety is often egg free. Most fresh pasta, especially ravioli types, contain egg.
• Sauces and dressings may be thickened with egg, especially mayonnaise-style dressings, hollandaise, béarnaise, tartare sauce, and Caesar salad dressing.
• Soups: broths and bouillons may be clarified with egg white.
• Sweets and chocolate: check biscuit-based or glazed sweets, such as nougat, for egg.
Hidden traps: some commercial egg substitutes are designed for weight loss and actually contain egg. Check the label on your egg-replacer. Some vaccines and anaesthetics may contain egg.
Dairy includes all cow’s milk (whole, skimmed semi-skimmed fresh or UHT), all canned milk, cream, crème fraîche, ice cream, yogurt, fromage frais, Quark, butter, and buttermilk and all cheeses, soft and hard.
Ingredients and terms used: milk powder, milk byproducts, dry milk solids, and non-fat dry milk, casein or caseinate, whey, whey powder, curds, yogurt, yogurt powder, lactose. Check any unfamiliar ingredients with lact- in them but note that lactic acid is produced from sugar by bacteria and is not derived from milk.
Foods that may contain dairy products
• Alcohol: cream liqueurs.
• Baby food.
• Baking: cake mixes, cakes, biscuits, snacks, granola and fruit bars, and breakfast goods. Breads may contain milk, dried milk, or dairy products.
• Drinks: milky, creamy, yogurt drinks and smoothies; coffees, hot chocolate, and malted drinks.
• Butter, fats, ghee, and many margarines contain milk products, as do egg and fat substitutes.
• Cereals: some breakfast cereals contain lactose.
• Desserts: assume ice creams and yogurts contain dairy unless proved otherwise.
• Dips and spreads.
• Fried foods: check batter is dairy-free.
• Jams and spreads: fruit curds contain butter but fruit cheeses are generally dairy-free jellies.
• Meats and fish: some meats and canned tuna contain casein. Dishes with sauces may contain dairy.
• Sauces and dressings: creamy sauces, and salad dressings may contain lactose.
• Soups and soup mixes.
• Vegetables, canned or processed: creamed sweetcorn may have butter; instant mashed potato may contain lactose.
• Sweets and chocolate: all milk and white chocolate contains dairy as do many brands of dark chocolate, toffee, and fudge.