Failsafe shopping list in alphabetic order within 9 supermarket categories

Always read labels: ingredients change!

  • This list updates those in any of the Fed Up books and the Failsafe Cookbook. We try to make sure the products below are failsafe
  • Mention here is not an endorsement of any particular food or company, nor, obviously, is there any fee paid or collected. It’s here to help you.
  • Please do not use this information as a means of starting failsafe eating until you have read any one of Sue Dengate's books or seen a dietitian.
  • For recent changes and new failsafe products check the latest Failsafe Newsletter. You can subscribe to our free newsletters (email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with ‘subscribe’ in the subject line)
  • For regions and countries outside Australia, your local failsafe group may have a shopping list - see under General category.


In the list below, you can eat anything that doesn’t have a bold warning in the paragraph.

Warning ingredients may vary in the different packs of the same product e,g, Pampas frozen puff pastry in sheets is preservative-free but dispenser rolls contain preservatives; Crisco sunflower oil in large packs such as 15L contains synthetic antioxidant (320, BHA) but is BHA-free in smaller containers.

Mistakes it is important to stick strictly to your supervised elimination diet – 2 mistakes per week or a daily small mistake can be enough to stop the diet from working.

Reader report: I am about to embark on the strict elimination diet for the 3rd time, but I am trying to pinpoint what went wrong the 2nd time round - was consistently bloating but not as severely as normal - versus the 1st time round when I felt fantastic. Using your salicylate and amine mistakes information sheets and the product updates on the fed up site, I have so far picked up the following errors: Coles Pears in Syrup snackpacks (contained pear juice), Simply Wize Crusty Bread (maize flour), Dovedale Rice & Chia Bread (Chia seeds), and the wrong Cenovis multivitamin (Once Daily Women's Multi, contains evening primrose oil). Thanks for all of your help and detailed knowledge, I think I would have been doing many more things wrong in the diet without having the fed up site to look at. - Belinda, by email

You are welcome to contribute to this page - please email me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and let me know if you want your name to appear as well. My mailing address is PO Box 718 WOOLGOOLGA NSW 2456 Australia. Note * means according to the RPAH Elimination Diet Handbook with Food & Shopping Guide 2009, available from www.allergy.net.au

Meat, poultry, seafood, eggs

Chicken: Whole fresh or frozen chicken (no seasoning, stuffing, self-basting or manufactured meat), chicken breast fillets, thighs, pieces (no marinade or flavour enhancers) (Not suitable for your supervised elimination diet: for people who can tolerate amines: chicken skin, (e.g. wings), offal (e.g. chicken livers))

Eggs, fresh, preferably free range Warning a large number of egg whites eaten in a single meal e.g. meringue or pavlova, may be a problem for amine responders. In our experience, old eggs can be problem for amine responders – thick white means fresh, the more thin white, the older the egg. Eggs are only as good as what is fed to the chickens that produce them. Omega three eggs come from chickens fed large quantities of linseed oil, and some failsafers are affected. Every year in the US, more than half a million people become ill after eating eggs contaminated with Salmonella and more than 300 people die. Salmonella is a bacteria often found in the ovaries of intensively farmed hens which can contaminate the eggs before the shells are formed. It can cause fever and diarrhea. Since September 2001, residents in the US have been warned to eat only very well cooked eggs. This means no more licking the bowl while making a cake, no soft-boiled eggs, eggs fried sunny-side up, softly scrambled or in omelettes and French toast. Avoid also Caesar salad, mousses, hollandaise sauce, home-made mayonnaise and icecream with eggs. So some of our Australian recipes are not suitable for US eggs. Salmonella has been almost entirely eliminated from Swedish and Dutch eggs. Hopefully, the FDA will be able to get it under control too. Independent scientists at CSPI recommend that farmers should reduce crowding, increase hygiene and stop starving the hens in order to increase egg production. http://www.ochef.com/336.htm

Fish and seafood must be very fresh, best eaten within 12 hours of catch or frozen and eaten within 2 weeks (in my experience, supermarket fish and seafood is never fresh enough). White fish or seafood, e.g. snapper, barramundi, whiting, crab, lobster, oysters, calamari, scallops (but not salmon, tuna or prawns). Best from specialty fish shops, fishing co-ops and friends who fish, ask for the freshest and eat that day (Not suitable for your supervised elimination diet for people who can tolerate moderate amines: fresh tuna, salmon, sashimi. For people who can tolerate all amines, frozen or canned fish including tuna, salmon or sardines in spring water or failsafe oils, e.g. John West sandwich tuna in canola oil, no flavours, no flavour enhancers, no olive oil. No prawns which contain sulphite preservatives, no imitation crab sticks, seafood salad mix or seafood extenders which contain flavour enhancers.)

Fish fingers (None suitable for your supervised elimination diet due to amines). Make your own. (For people who can tolerate amines: fish fingers made from permitted ingredients, no annatto 160b. One mother wrote ‘The label says “no artificial colours or flavours” and the ingredients list annatto extracts without a number. “It’s almost like they’re tricking you.’ ). Birds Eye fish fingers have no 160b annatto, most other brands contain at least 160b, several with added glutamates.

Warning Mercury in fish: pregnant women, women planning pregnancy and young children are advised to limit their intake of shark (flake), broadbill, marlin and swordfish to no more than one serve per fortnight with no other fish to be consumed during that fortnight. For orange roughy (also sold as sea perch) and catfish, the advice is to consume no more than one serve per week, with no other fish being consumed during that week. For people who can tolerate amines: canned tuna generally has lower levels of mercury than other tuna because the tuna used for canning are smaller species that are generally caught when less than 1 year old. It is considered safe for all population groups to consume a snack can of tuna (95 grams) everyday, assuming no other fish is eaten. More at www.foodstandards.gov.au

Lamb or beef, buy fresh meat (preferably not supermarket meat that may have been vacuum packed for three months or more use the day you buy or freeze and eat within one month e.g. preservative-free mince (you can test for preservatives with sulphite test strips from our website), beef roast, T-bone or sirloin steak for pan frying, lamb leg for roast, diced lamb for stew, lamb steak, lamb loin chops for grilling, chump chops for stewing • veal for schnitzel • failsafe sausages (excellent frozen sausages are available on Australia’s East Coast by courier from www.honestbeef.com.au or ask your specialist butcher if he will make up the recipe (Fed Up and Failsafe Cookbook) or see below for butchers who will make sausages to order) (Not suitable for your supervised elimination diet: for people who can tolerate amines: offal e.g. steak and kidney, lamb’s fry)

Meat: beef, lamb, veal, rabbit, chicken

Meat is best fresh, preferably not supermarket meat that may have been vacuum packed for three months or more as this allows a buildup of amines – ask your specialist butcher for meat that hasn’t been vacuum packed. Eat the day you buy or freeze and eat within one month. (No additives, no flavoured or preserved deli meats, manufactured meats, lunch meat such as chicken roll or devon; no pork, ham, or bacon

• beef e.g. mince, roast, T-bone or sirloin steak for barbecue or pan frying, Failsafe sausages see below Warning illegal sulphites in beef mince – surveys show that up to 50% of butchers will add illegal sulphite preservatives to mince if they are not constantly monitored; you can test your own mince using our sulphite test strips.

• lamb e.g. leg for roast, diced lamb for stew, lamb steak, lamb loin chops for grilling, chump chops for stewing

• veal chops for barbecues, kebabs, veal for schnitzel, minced veal for meatballs or meatloaf

• rabbit, see our casserole recipe in the Failsafe Cookbook

• veal e.g. mince for rissoles or meat loaves, stir fry, schnitzel

• chicken e.g. whole fresh or frozen chicken (no skin due to amines; no seasoning, stuffing, self-basting or manufactured meat), chicken breast fillets, thighs, pieces (no marinade or flavour enhancers)

Meat & chicken not suitable for your supervised elimination diet: for people who can tolerate amines: pork chops, roast pork, additive-free ham and bacon from organic butchers or health food stores but beware of MSG-type flavor enhancers such as hydrolysed vegetable protein; chicken skin, (e.g. wings), offal (e.g. steak and kidney, lamb’s fry and chicken livers) • additive free ham or bacon Eumundi Smokehouse Sydney, 402 New Canterbury Rd, Dulwich Hill, 9569 0205, available in health food stores – thanks to Tanya

• Sausages - beef, lamb or chicken (not pork).

Pork, (Not suitable for your supervised elimination diet: for people who can tolerate amines: pork chops, roast pork, additive-free ham and bacon from organic butchers or health food stores)

Prawns, none. Warning prawns always contain sulphite preservatives no matter how fresh they are .

Reader report 1:Just purchased my Xmas prawns and thinking to avoid any additives always buy 'Australian' uncooked prawns .As I purchased 2Kg they came in the original box and shock, horror, I see preservative ticked, and then 223. I rang the fish man, and he informs me that all prawns are treated with 223 to prevent discolouring. This is common practice across the industry, the only difference being that imported prawns may not declare the preservative on the packaging. Phoned the Health department who were completely unaware of this practice. I suggested that as processed foods have to have labelling of sulphite ingredients what of the 'fresh' product? An asthmatic with sensitivities to the sulphur group of preservatives may well react to prawns and then assume this is a seafood allergy, as preservative would not be considered a factor. – thanks to Judy

Reader report 2: Our asthmatic 6 yo son had a severe reaction to prawns which resulted in hospital visit with severe swelling like burns on legs and swollen ankles unable to walk and rash all over chest (we thought seafood allergy but test proved negative - later found out treated with preservative 223! That was the culprit.) – thanks to Glenda

Sausages

Failsafe sausages

e.g. beef, lamb or chicken, not pork - ask your specialist butcher if he will make up the Failsafe Sausages recipe in all my books or below.

Sausage casings are permitted to contain sulphite preservatives at the same level as sausages. Since sausage casings are such a small component of a sausage, and being on the outside of the sausage are subjected to the highest heat which will drive off sulphites, it is likely that these pose little risk to failsafers.

A recipe for your butcher for 10 kg of sausages

650 g rice flour (2 kg for 30 kg)

3 leeks (10 leeks for 30 kg)

1 clove garlic (3 for 30 kg) or more to taste

½ cup salt (1½ cups for 30 kg)

Warning: NO other ingredients – ask your butcher to NOT add MSG, pepper, spices or flavours

Make up to 10 kg with fresh minced beef or chicken.

If your butcher won't make failsafe sausages, make your own with this simple recipe. (If you have a Thermomix you can use cubed meat and the Thermomix will quickly turn all the ingredients into sausage mince - we've just bought one, and my only regret is that I didn't buy it years ago, http://www.superliving.com.au/features/my-two-weeks-with-a-thermomix)

ratsausage

Search for butchers who make failsafe sausages - by postcode in Australia

Warning: Sausages labeled gluten free or preservative free are not failsafe. A typical ingredients list for unlabeled gluten free and supposedly preservative free sausages sold by a butcher: ‘meat potato starch maize starch salt soy protein spice yeast extract spice extract (incl 160c) flavour contains soy sulphites’, so there are 2 sources of salicylates and at least 2 MSG-type flavor enhancers. Howard was amazed recently to find that all the sausages in our Woolworths contained hydrolysed vegetable protein, which is a glutamate-containing ingredient like MSG.

Warning: Even if labelled failsafe, do not trust your butcher, always check every ingredient yourself. Friendly butchers do not understand why they can’t add e.g. pepper, paprika, onion powder or spices to improve the flavour. They are just trying to be helpful. Chicken sausages must contain meat only, no chicken skin which is high in amines.