If you have been identified as having an allergy to a particular food or food additive, you should check the ingredients in all processed and packaged foodstuffs. A number of food additives and preservatives are known to trigger asthma attacks and other allergy symptoms in susceptible people. It is more common, in these cases, for asthma to be triggered by the additives and preservatives contained in a food, than the food itself. (These are irritants, not allergens.)In Australia, food labels must list all the ingredients in a given package. A code numbering system has been developed to identify specific food additives. This means, for example, that tartrazine (a yellow dye known to trigger asthma in some people) cannot be listed simply as ‘Colour’. The manufacturer must use the class name, ‘Colour’, as well as the specific name of the additive colour, ‘Tartrazine’. Or, to simplify the label, the manufacturer may use the code number for tartrazine, ‘Colour (102)’. The name of an additive must be specified when there is no appropriate class name or a code number has not been allocated.Listed below are the class names which describe the functions performed by food additives, followed by the additive numbers. Using this information to identify ingredients will assist with avoiding known allergens.*36\148\2*

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