FDA Qualifies Health Claim About Early Peanut Introduction — Physician’s First Watch
FDA Qualifies Health Claim About Early Peanut Introduction
By Amy Orciari Herman
Edited by André Sofair, MD, MPH
The FDA is qualifying a health claim surrounding early introduction of peanut-containing foods to high-risk infants.
In January, new guidelines from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases advised that infants with severe eczema, egg allergy, or both should have peanut-containing foods introduced as early as age 4 to 6 months, following allergy testing. Early introduction, the group said, could help lower the risk for peanut allergy later in childhood.
Now, the FDA says the following claim is more appropriate: "For most infants with severe eczema and/or egg allergy who are already eating solid foods, introducing foods containing ground peanuts between 4 and 10 months of age and continuing consumption may reduce the risk of developing peanut allergy by 5 years of age." This claim will soon be found on the labels of some age-appropriate foods containing ground peanuts.
The agency emphasizes that whole peanuts are a choking hazard for young children, and that parents should check with their child's clinician before introducing peanut-containing foods.