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What food allergens are important?

Food businesses on the Mornington Peninsula are legally required to know what is in the food they are selling and be able to communicate this to their customers. With so many different allergies its sometimes hard to know what foods are potentially dangerous.

Food Standards Australia has identified a range of the most common foods causing allergy and intolerance and the Food Act 1984 states that businesses must be able to identify these for customers requesting the information.

Allergens can be hidden in all sorts of ingredients, and some of them are trickier than others. Most people are familiar with gluten and dairy but some of the other ones can be harder to identify.

The list below gives you a starting point to consider. You will be able to develop your own list for your business.


  • Peanuts 
  • Peanut Oil 


Also found in compound foods like: 

  • Satay Sauce 
  • Confectionary 
  • Chocolate 
  • Peanut Butter 
  • Cakes 
  • Biscuits 
  • Health bars 
  • Breakfast cereal 
  • Muesli 
  • Asian Food 

Includes all other tree nuts: 

  • Cashews 
  • Almonds 
  • Hazelnuts 
  • Brazil Nuts 
  • Pecan 
  • Walnuts 
  • Chestnuts 
  • Macadamia 
  • Pine Nuts 
  • Pistachio 

Also found in compound foods like: 

  • Vegan alternative foods i.e., Vegan Cheese 
  • Marzipan 
  • Pesto 
  • Nougat 
  • Chocolate 
  • Praline 
  • Biscuits 
  • Health Bars 
  • Breakfast Cereals 
  • Cakes 
  • Amaretto 
  • Frangelico 

Egg allergy is most common for infants and children, and although rare, can still be appear in adults. 


  • Hen, duck, quail and other bird eggs 

Egg has many uses in cooking and may be found in: 

  • Glazing 
  • Emulsifier 
  • Clarifier 
  • Binding agent 
  • Clarifying wine 
  • Rising agent for cakes 

Also found in compound foods like: 

  • Batter 
  • Biscuits  
  • Cake/cake mix 
  • Consomme 
  • Crumbed foods 
  • Custard 
  • Donuts 
  • Egg-based dressings and sauces (mayonnaise, hollandaise) 
  • Egg noodles 
  • Glazed rolls/pastries 
  • Hamburgers, rissoles 
  • Most desserts 
  • Omelettes 
  • Pancakes 
  • Sausages 
  • Slices 
  • Souffle 
  • Some wines 

Lupin is a legume related to peanut and soybean and, like other high protein foods (e.g. egg and shellfish), may trigger an allergic reaction in a small percentage of the population. This was added as a food allergen to the Food Standards Code in May 2018. 

Also found in compound foods like: 

  • Bread 
  • Bakery and pasta products 
  • Sauces 
  • Beverages 
  • Burgers and sausages 
  • Gluten-free or soy-free products may sometimes contain lupin. 


  • Soy flour 
  • Soy sauce 
  • Soy protein 
  • Soy milk 
  • Soybean paste 

Also found in compound foods like: 

  • Asian sauces 
  • Tofu 
  • Tempeh 
  • Bean curd 
  • Miso 
  • Blended vegetable oil may contain soybean oil


  • Sesame seeds 
  • Sesame oil 

Also found in compound foods like: 

  • Tahini 
  • Bread and breadcrumbs 
  • Health food bars 
  • Crackers 
  • Health (vegetable) chips 
  • Hommus 
  • Cereals 
  • Dips 
  • Dressings 
  • Margarine 
  • Pate 
  • Processed meats/sausages 
  • Sauces 
  • Seasonings 
  • Spice blends 
  • Vegetable burgers 
  • Blended vegetable oil may contain sesame oil 


  • Lobster 
  • Crab 
  • Crayfish 
  • Yabbies 
  • Prawn Shrimps 

Also found in compound foods like: 

  • Shrimp Paste 
  • Caviar 
  • Prawn crackers 
  • Seafood extender 
  • Sushi 
  • Tempura 
  • Worcestershire Sauce 
  • Certain food additive

Two Groups – 

  1. Scaly Fish – Cod, salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout etc 
  2. Molluscs – Oysters, scallops, clams, mussels, octopus, squid, calamari 

Also found in compound foods like: 

  • Oyster sauce 
  • Fish sauce 
  • Caesar dressing (anchovy) 
  • Cod liver oil 

Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) Can cause severe reactions in asthmatics as well as those allergic to sulphites. It is indicated by additive numbers 220 to 226. It is a food preservative that can be found in: 

  • Sausages 
  • Processed smallgoods 
  • Dried fruit 
  • Fruit juice 
  • Wine 

More information about various allergens can be obtained from Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia or the Food Allergen Bureau. There is also useful information about eating out with Food Allergies from Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (allergyfacts.org.au) 

By safely managing food allergens and providing allergen information to customers on request, local food businesses can be a part of the Mornington Peninsula’s Best Bites program 

Each food business in the Best Bites program is assessed at their annual food safety premises inspection for food safety standards and received a score of 95% or above in their annual Council assessment. To be part of the Best Bites program, each food business must also comply with Council Local Laws and Planning requirements and have no justified food complaints or Food Act convictions.

It is also critical that the business manages food allergens well and meets their legal requirements for allergen information. Food allergen management is a crucial issue for many food consumers and is discussed during the annual food safety assessment.

If you have further questions around allergens and your responsibilities, please  contact the Shire’s Environmental Health team.

Content reviewed and updated January 2024

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