May 4, 2020   |   Gluten-Free Living   |   Little Northern Bakehouse

We know living with severe food allergies is a source of stress for many families. Menu planning and grocery shopping are cautious exercises as families try to avoid products that may contain top food allergens. That’s why we’ve got 5 food allergen facts to share that go beyond gluten-free. Learn why—and how—Little Northern Bakehouse keeps gluten and other food allergens out of our products. Because you deserve to feel confident you’re getting gluten-free food that’s safe for you and your family.

Before we go into our five food allergen facts, let’s quickly define what food allergies are. Food allergies happen when a person’s immune system makes an error and identifies a food as a harmful intruder. Reactions to food allergens can range from mild to life-threatening. Mild reactions to food allergens may include hives or digestive discomfort. Severe allergic reactions may lead to anaphylaxis[i]. In this situation, the body’s immune system not only makes an error but overreacts to the food. In fighting the intruder, the allergic reaction is intensified. People with severe food allergies typically carry an Epi-Pen[ii] which contains life-saving epinephrine to help stop the reaction. Avoiding food allergens can truly be a matter of life and death.

  1.  More than 2.6 million Canadians[iii] and 32 million Americans live with food allergies[iv].

We understand that many people who avoid gluten due to celiac disease, wheat allergy, or gluten intolerance, also have other food allergies or food sensitivities. That’s why we’re not just a gluten-free brand—we keep all the top allergens out of our products, too.

Many gluten-free products replace wheat (and gluten) with top allergens like nuts, soy, or dairy. This limits options for gluten-free families with food allergies even more! But at Little Northern Bakehouse, we’re as mindful of the ingredients we use as the ones that we keep out. We use only non-GMO and plant-based ingredients. And we ensure our breads are gluten-free and top allergen-free.

  1. Priority food allergens are associated with the overwhelming majority of allergic reactions[v].

The most common foods associated with allergic reactions are called Priority Food Allergens[vi] in Canada and the 8 Major Food Allergens[vii] in the United States. Strict labelling requirements apply to the allergens on each country’s list.

Although the US-FDA list is shorter (8 versus 11 in Canada), it specifies more tree nuts than the Canadian list, including coconut[viii].

Canada: Priority Food Allergens
USA: Major Food Allergens
Wheat and TriticaleWheat
PeanutsPeanuts
Tree NutsTree Nuts (including coconut)
EggsEggs
MilkMilk
SoySoybeans
FishFish
Crustaceans and MolluscsCrustacean Shellfish
Sesame Seeds
Mustard
Sulphites
At Little Northern Bakehouse, our bread products are free of peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat (and gluten), soy, coconut, and sesame.

(Other top allergens on both lists are not used in any of our products.) 

  1. Allergens and gluten sources must be declared on the label of all prepackaged food products[ix].

Keeping allergens out of Little Northern Bakehouse products is a top priority. We adhere to the most stringent standards per Canada’s Food and Drugs Act and the Safe Foods for Canadians Act[x] and the USA’s Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004[xi]. Our comprehensive allergen control program segregates ingredients, and we follow strict handling, processing and cleaning protocols—including testing for allergens. Our products are verified gluten-free by third party testing and certification, ensuring they’re always below the 20ppm gluten standard for gluten-free products in both countries.

You’ll also find Peanut-Free and Gluten-Free Certification logos on all Little Northern Bakehouse packages, because we know managing severe food allergies calls for vigilance. Our certifications are part of how we help make our products safe for everyone.

  1. Anxiety and stress over living with food allergies lessens the more you learn[xii].

Living with food allergies can have a steep—and often stressful—learning curve, but the more you know, the more empowered you feel. Getting information from sources you can trust is critical. Food Allergy Canada is an informative resource for people with food allergies, while the Celiac Disease Foundation offers celiac-specific resources. Learn from tips, tools, articles, printable fact sheets, and more for help with day-to-day management of food allergies and celiac disease. Both feature the latest research on food allergy and celiac disease treatment, too.

  1. All Little Northern Bakehouse Recipes are gluten-free. And most are allergy-friendly, too.

We like to help in the most scrumptious ways we can. Discover more than our delicious, nutritious, gluten-free products on LittleNorthernBakehouse.com. All our recipes are gluten-free (of course!) and plant-based—no eggs, no dairy, and no meat. We do our best to keep top allergens out of most of the recipes on our site, too. Some of our recipes include soy in the form of tofu, tempeh, gluten-free vegan meat alternatives, or nut-free butters. And some of our plant-based swaps for dairy use the occasional cashew. But wherever we can, we include alternate options for these with other allergy-friendly ingredients, because we want our gluten-free recipes to be accessible, no matter what food allergies you have.

Try three of our flavourful favourites. Gluten-free, plant-based, and free of all top allergens, these recipes are easy to make from simple ingredients you probably already have in your pantry, fridge, or freezer. Our Buffalo Chickpea Salad Sandwich has a zippy spread with crunch from fresh veggies. Or how about a classic? Tangy Garlicky Beans on Toast has a protein and carb balance to keep you satisfied for hours. And what would a top three list be without a sticky-sweet gooey treat? Our Gluten-free, Allergy-friendly Fluffernutter Sandwich will kick your craving from here to heaven.

 

References:

[i] Food Allergy Canada, What is a Food Allergy? 2020. Available from: https://foodallergycanada.ca/food-allergy-basics/food-allergies-101/what-are-food-allergies/, accessed April 28, 2020.

[ii] EpiPen, https://www.epipen.ca

[iii] Food Allergy Canada, Food Allergy FAQs. 2020. Available from: https://foodallergycanada.ca/food-allergy-basics/food-allergies-101/food-allergy-faqs/, accessed April 28, 2020.

[iv] Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), Facts and Statistics: The Food Allergy Epidemic. 2020. Available from: https://www.foodallergy.org/resources/facts-and-statistics , accessed April 28, 2020.

[v] Food Allergy Canada, Priority Food Allergens. 2020. Available from: http://foodallergycanada.ca/food-allergy-basics/food-allergies-101/what-are-food-allergies/priority-food-allergens/, accessed April 28, 2020.

[vi] Government of Canada, Common Food Allergens: Priority Allergens. 2018-05-04. Available from: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-nutrition/food-safety/food-allergies-intolerances/food-allergies.html, sourced April 29, 2020.

[vii] U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Frequently Asked Questions About Food Allergies.  12/18/2017. Available from: https://www.fda.gov/food/food-allergens/frequently-asked-questions-about-food-allergies, accessed April 29, 2020.

[viii] U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Section 201(qq) of the Act defines the term “major food allergen” to include “tree nuts.” In addition to the three examples provided in section 201(qq) (almonds, pecans, and walnuts), what nuts are considered “tree nuts?”. 02/01/2016. Available from: https://www.fda.gov/industry/fda-basics-industry/section-201qq-act-defines-term-major-food-allergen-include-tree-nuts-addition-three-examples, accessed April 28, 2020.

[ix] Government of Canada, Allergens and Gluten Sources Labelling. 2019-05-06. Available from: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-allergies-intolerances/avoiding-allergens-food/allergen-labelling.html, accessed April 29, 2020

[x] Government of Canada, Allergens and Gluten Sources Labelling. 2019-05-06. Available from: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-allergies-intolerances/avoiding-allergens-food/allergen-labelling.html, accessed April 29, 2020

[xi] U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA). 07/16/2018. Available from: https://www.fda.gov/food/food-allergensgluten-free-guidance-documents-regulatory-information/food-allergen-labeling-and-consumer-protection-act-2004-falcpa, accessed April 28, 2020.

[xii] Food Allergy Canada, A New Reality: Diagnosed with a Food Allergy. 2020. Available from: https://foodallergycanada.ca/living-with-allergies/newly-diagnosed/how-to-deal-with-a-new-reality/, accessed April 28, 2020.