Peanuts and tree nuts can be found in a variety of foods and often in foods we do not suspect, such as cereal or muesli bars, breakfast cereals and bakery items. Therefore, it is essential to check the ingredients every time you make a purchase and to understand food labels to be able to choose appropriate foods.

Nuts can be hidden in many different foods and ingredients. It is essential to check the ingredients of all foods every time you make a purchase.

Examples of foods in which nuts can be hidden:

  • African, Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese, Mexican and Vietnamese dishes (which often contain nuts or come into contact with nuts during meal preparation)
  • Baked goods and pastries e.g. baklava
  • Crushed nuts in sauces
  • Certain chocolates, particularly hazelnut pralines or nuts coated in chocolate
  • Cakes may contain a nut essence or nut flours
  • Flavourings (natural and artificial)
  • Pesto (an Italian sauce made with nuts)
  • Nut butters and spreads
  • All cakes and pastries with unknown ingredients, particularly carrot cake, pumpkin cake or pie, and fruit and nut rolls
  • Mandelonas (peanuts soaked in almond flavouring)
  • Nut based alcoholic beverages (e.g. Frangelico, Amaretto)
  • Bouillon and Worcestershire sauce
  • Praline and nougat
  • Muesli and fruited breakfast cereals
  • Vegetarian dishes
  • Health food/ muesli/ nut bars
  • Artificial nuts (which could be nuts that have been deflavoured and reflavoured with another nut, such as pecan or walnut)
  • Marzipan (a paste made from ground almonds and sugar)
  • Gravy
  • Coated popcorn which may contain nut oil
  • Some ice cream toppings contain chopped nuts
  • Prepared salads and salad dressings
  • Foods bought in a bakery or delicatessen (where there is more risk of contamination; no ingredients label and foods are often unwrapped).

Note: this is not an exhaustive list. Always check food labels every time you make a purchase

Other products that may pose a risk include:

  • Certain cosmetic items such as lipsticks and lip balms, bath oils or similar products
  • Some skin creams, including those for eczema, may contain nut oils – as these can be absorbed through the skin which may cause a reaction in highly sensitive people.

“May contain traces of peanuts or tree nuts” 

On a label indicates that the food may be made in a facility that makes other foods containing peanuts or tree nuts, or that the raw ingredients may have a chance of being contaminated with peanuts or tree nuts, however the food may not contain peanuts or tree nuts as an intentional ingredient.

Speak to your allergy specialist about whether you need to avoid such foods.


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