Information for Canadians with Peanut Allergy Concerning Lupin
Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) would like to inform Canadians, particularly those with peanut allergy, about a potential risk of consuming foods containing lupin.
While some allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, to lupin have been reported in people who are not allergic to peanut, most reported allergic reactions have occurred in people with known peanut allergy.
It is recommended that:
- All consumers allergic to peanuts avoid products containing lupin until they have consulted with their allergist
- Consumers wishing to avoid lupin (particularly those with a peanut allergy) read ingredient lists carefully to identify its presence
Recently, the CFIA received reports of allergic reactions in individuals allergic to peanuts who had consumed a product containing lupin flour. While lupin flour was declared in the list of ingredients, there may not be general knowledge by food allergic individuals, particularly in those individuals with a peanut allergy, about the potential risk of allergic reactions to lupin.
Lupin is a legume and belongs to the same plant family as peanuts. It is widely grown in some countries as a flowering plant for animal feed; however lupin seeds can also be introduced in the human diet. For example, lupin seeds can be processed into flour and used as an ingredient in a variety of bakery and pasta products. For most people, lupin flour is safe to eat.
Food containing lupin ingredients are more common in Europe and lupin is part of the list of priority allergens in the European Union. In contrast, lupin as an ingredient in food products is relatively new to the Canadian market. The use of lupin flour may be gaining in popularity as an ingredient and may be found in some Canadian products.
The Canadian Food and Drugs Regulations require that food labels list the ingredients added to a prepackaged food product. When lupin is used as an ingredient, it is required to be listed in the ingredient list on the product label. Lupin is not part of the list of priority allergens in Canada and is therefore not required to appear in a "contains" statement, if one is provided on the food label to inform food allergic consumers.
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