Allergen Alert: Soy!

So you’ve discovered that you have a soy allergy. No big deal, right? You just stick with plain white rice vs. the traditional fried rices that contain soya sauce …

I’m afraid to break it to you, my friend. Soy is found in a lot more than just your favourite Asian take-out dish. Here’s a list of ingredients or potential ingredients in which your new found nemesis might sneak up on you.

Food and products that contain or often contain mustards:

  • Bean sprouts
  • Bread crumbs, cereals and crackers
  • Breaded foods
  • Hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP), hydrolyzed soy protein (HSP) and hydrolyzed vegetable
  • protein (HVP)
  • Imitation dairy food
  • Infant formula, follow-up formula, nutrition supplements for toddlers and children
  • Meal replacements
  • Meat products with fillers, for example, burgers and prepared ground meat products
  • Mexican foods, for example, chili, taco fillings and tamales
  • Miso
  • Nutrition supplements
  • Sauces, for example, soy, shoyu, tamari,teriyaki, Worcestershire
  • Simulated fish and meat products, for example, surimi, imitation bacon bits,vegetarian burgers
  • Stews, for example, in gravies
  • Tempeh
  • Vegetarian dishes

Other possible sources of soy:

  • Baked goods and baking mixes
  • Beverage mixes, for example, hot chocolate and lemonade
  • Canned tuna and minced hams, for example, seasoned or mixed with other ingredients for flavour
  • Chewing gum
  • Cooking spray, margarine, vegetable shortening and vegetable oil
  • Dressings, gravies and marinades
  • Frozen desserts
  • Lecithin
  • Milled corn
  • Meat products with fillers, for example, preprepared hamburger patties, hotdogs and cold cuts
  • Seafood -based products and fish
  • Seasoning and spices
  • Snack foods, for example, soy nuts
  • Soups, broths, soup mixes and stocks
  • Soy pasta
  • Spreads, dips, mayonnaise and peanut butter
  • Thickening agents
  • Mono-diglyceride
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG) (may contain hydrolyzed protein)

Non-food sources of soy:

  • Cosmetics and soaps
  • Craft materials
  • Glycerine
  • Milk substitutes for young animals
  • Pet food
  • Vitamins

Note: This list is not complete and may change. Food and food products purchased from other countries, through mail-order or the Internet, are not always produced using the same manufacturing and labelling standards as in Canada.

Source: Health Canada: Soy – One of the ten priority food allergenshttp://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/pubs/securit/2012-allergen_soy-soja/index-eng.php

The Health Canada link is great and gives a general overview of allergic reactions, soy allergy FAQs, sources of mustard, cross-contamination, steps that the Canadian Government have taken to deal with food allergies, as well as links for more information.

You can be further prepared by keeping an eye out for food recalls and allergy alerts that are put out by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). When you subscribe to the email notifications, you can select the specific allergens that you are interested in receiving alerts on. When you receive the alert, it will look something like this:

A recall has been added to the CFIA’s Food Recall Report.

Class 3
Reason for Recall: Allergen – mustard
Product(s): certain Savoury Express and Sub Delicious brand products
Recalling Firm: King’s Processing Ltd.
Distribution: New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island

Product details are available at http://active.inspection.gc.ca/scripts/database/recarapp_refsubmit.asp?lang=e&ref=7689

What’s a Class 3 Recall, you ask? It’s how the CFIA categorizes the recall. In this case, it’s a low or no risk case (Eating or drinking that product will not likely result in any undesirable health effects. Class III recalls can include food products that pose no health and safety risk, but do not follow federal food regulations).  Recall Class definitions are described in detail on the CFIA website: http://inspection.gc.ca/about-the-cfia/newsroom/food-safety-system/food-recalls/eng/1332206599275/1332207914673

If you are afraid that these notifications might get buried in the long list of daily emails in your inbox, you can also get alerts via Twitter by Following @CFIA_Food

Safe & Happy Eating! :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s