Allergens and gluten sources labelling

Read before you buy

In Canada, common allergens and gluten sources must always be clearly declared on food labels when present as ingredients or components of ingredients. They will appear in the ingredient list or in a "Contains" statement located immediately after the ingredient list.

What to look for

Priority allergens

In Canada, the most common allergens in food – otherwise known as the priority allergens – are:

Did you know…

A food manufacturer that fails to declare the presence of priority allergens and gluten sources on the label of a prepackaged food product could be in violation of the Food and Drugs Act and the Safe Foods for Canadians Act — if so, the product would be subject to enforcement measures which could include a food recall. In Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is responsible for enforcing applicable food regulations.

Gluten sources

Gluten are proteins found in the grains of certain cereals (and hybrid crops grown from those cereals):

  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Rye
  • Triticale
  • Wheat

Did you know…

Gluten can be found in some ingredients you might not expect. For example: barley gluten can be present in yeast extract and malt flavoring or malt extract, ingredients used in various foods such as soups, sauces, seasoned chips, baked goods, cereals and some beverages.


Sulphites are added to some processed foods to maintain colour, prolong shelf life and prevent the growth of microorganisms. Added sulphites can trigger allergic-type symptoms in sensitive individuals. They must be declared as an ingredient or component of an ingredient except in situations where regulatory exemptions apply and their total amount is less than 10 parts per million. When their total amount is 10 parts per million or more, those regulatory exemptions do not apply and the added sulphites must be declared.

Did you know…

If you come across a food that you think is improperly labelled, contact the CFIA and provide information about the product.

"Report a food safety or labelling concern"

For more information

Advisories and warnings

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