Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the Spoon Guru FAQ page. Here you can find information on our policies and definitions, as well as useful tips and links. If you have any questions that aren’t answered here, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Headline Policy

Spoon Guru takes a strict view and excludes ingredients irrespective of the amount listed on the label. However, users have the flexibility to include or exclude products with “may contain” statements.

Spoon Guru analyses the nutrition and ingredients listed on food product labels and recipes and includes or excludes food products and recipes listing particular ingredients as described below.

We do not undertake any independent scientific testing of products and rely on information from the food product labels. We cannot guarantee the information is 100% accurate. Our service is for information only. We recommend that you do not rely solely on this information and that you always check product labels.

It should not be used as an alternative to medical advice or your own checks.

Low Fat

Products displaying 3g or less of total fat per 100g, or 1.5g or less of total fat per 100ml for liquids, are considered low fat in Spoon Guru.

We use the “traffic light” food labelling system as developed by the Food Standards Agency and the Department of Health. Please note that nutrient values are based on UK recommendations and might not be applicable to other countries.

Find out more on the “traffic light” food labelling system here.

Low Salt

Products with 0.3g or less of salt per 100g are considered low salt in Spoon Guru.

We use the “traffic light” food labelling system as developed by the Food Standards Agency and the Department of Health. Please note that nutrient values are based on UK recommendations and might not be applicable to other countries.

Find out more about the “traffic light” food labelling system here.

Low Sugar

Products with 5g or less of total sugar per 100g, or 2.5g or less per 100ml for liquids, are considered low sugar in Spoon Guru.

We use the “traffic light” food labelling system as developed by the Food Standards Agency and the Department of Health. Please note that nutrient values are based on UK recommendations and might not be applicable to other countries.

Find out more about the “traffic light” food labelling system here.

Organic

Products are considered organic if the product is labelled ‘organic’ denoting at least 95% of the products’ agricultural ingredients are from organic sources.

Paleo

Includes: meat (except processed meat e.g. salami), fish, eggs, fruit, vegetables (including their oils), potatoes, nuts, seeds, honey and wine (except for wines containing sulphites).

Excludes: cereals (including gluten and wheat containing grains), dairy, sugars that are specifically listed, sweeteners, e numbers, refined fats, processed meats, beans, pulses & peas, lupin, dairy (which includes all milk containing products such as cheese and yoghurt), alcohol and preservatives including sulphites and salt.

Palm Oil Free

Excludes: palm oil containing ingredients and palm oil containing compounds such as glyceryl, stearate, sodium laureth sulphate, sodium lauryl sulphate, sodium kernelate, sodium palm kernelate and sodium lauryl lactylate. All palm oil is excluded, including products labelled ‘sustainable palm oil’.

Pescetarian

Includes: plant derived food products, such as, grains, fruit, vegetables, beans, pulses and peas and dairy, eggs, honey, fish and shellfish.

Excludes: meat and meat derived products. Ingredients that can be produced from plant or animal sources will be excluded unless the source is verified as suitable for pescetarians.

Vegan

Includes: plant-derived foods such as grains, fruit, vegetables, beans, pulses and peas.

Excludes: food products derived from animals, including meat, fish, shellfish, dairy, eggs and honey. Spoon Guru also excludes more obscure, typically non-vegan ingredients, such as Vitamin D3, Casein, Carmine (E120), and Lanolin. Ingredients that can be produced from plant or animal sources will be excluded unless the source is verified as vegan.

Products with a ‘May Contain’ statement: products with the statement “may contain or produced in a factory that contains egg / milk / fish / shellfish” are included in the vegan profile, but can be excluded through the Food Intolerance categories. This function enables individuals to determine how strict they want to be.

Related Categories: Palm Oil Free, Fish, Shellfish, Milk, Egg

For more information on a vegan diet:

Vegetarian

Includes: plant derived foods such as grains, fruit, vegetables, beans, pulses and peas, as well as dairy, eggs and honey.

Excludes: products derived from meat, fish, shellfish, and cheeses derived from animal rennet such as parmesan. Ingredients that can be produced from plant or animal sources will be excluded unless the source is verified as suitable for vegetarians.

Products with a ‘May Contain’ statement: products with the statement “may contain or produced in a factory that contains fish / shellfish” are included in the vegetarian profile, but can be excluded through the Food Intolerance categories. This function enables individuals to determine how strict they want to be.

Related Categories: Fish, Shellfish

For more information on a vegetarian diet:

Vegetarian (lacto)

Includes: plant derived foods such as grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, pulses, peas, dairy and honey.

Excludes: products listing eggs, meat, fish and shellfish as ingredients. Ingredients that can be produced from plant or animal sources will be excluded unless the source is verified as suitable for lacto-vegetarians.

Products with a ‘May Contain’ statement: products with the statement “may contain or produced in a factory that contains fish / shellfish / eggs” are included in the vegetarian (lacto) profile, but can be excluded through the Food Intolerance categories. This function enables individuals to determine how strict they want to be.

Related Categories: Fish, Shellfish, Egg

For more information on a vegetarian diet:

Vegetarian (ovo)

Includes: plant derived foods such as grains, fruit, vegetables, beans, pulses, peas, eggs and honey.

Excludes: milk (including dairy products), meat, fish and shellfish. Ingredients that can be produced from plant or animal sources will be excluded unless the source is verified as suitable for ovo-vegetarians.

Products with a ‘May Contain’ statement: products with the statement “may contain or produced in a factory that contains fish / shellfish / milk” are included in the vegetarian (ovo) profile, but can be excluded through the Food Intolerance categories. This function enables individuals to determine how strict they want to be.

Related Categories: Fish, Shellfish, Milk

For more information on a vegetarian diet:

Yeast Avoidance

Excludes: products containing baker’s yeast (S. cerevisiae), brewer’s yeast, mycoprotein, and cheese.

The ‘No May Contain Yeast’ subcategory: products with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains Yeast” are excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals who can tolerate trace levels of a specific ingredient to determine how strict they want to be.

Lower Sugar & Saturates

We use the “traffic light” food labelling system as developed by the Food Standards Agency and the Department of Health. Please note that nutrient values are based on UK recommendations and might not be applicable to other countries

Find out more about on the “traffic light” food labelling system here.

Spoon Guru’s definition includes: Products and recipes which meet the Sugar Limit and Saturated Fat Limit subcategory criteria.

Subcategories:

  • Sugar Limit: Only products and recipes that meet the following criteria are allowed when the Sugar Limit subcategory is selected:
    • Solids with 5g or less of total sugar per 100g
    • Liquids with 2.5g or less of total sugar per 100ml
  • Saturated Fat Limit: Only products and recipes that meet the following criteria are allowed when the Saturated Fat Limit subcategory is selected:
    • Solids with 1.5g or less of saturated fat per 100g
    • Liquids with 0.75g or less of saturated fat per 100ml

Heart Healthy

We use the “traffic light” food labelling system as developed by the Food Standards Agency and the Department of Health. Please note that nutrient values are based on UK recommendations and might not be applicable to other countries

Find out more about on the “traffic light” food labelling system here.

Spoon Guru’s definition includes: Products and recipes which meet the Salt Limit and Saturated Fat Limit subcategory criteria.

Subcategories:

  • Salt Limit: Only products and recipes that meet the following criteria are allowed when the Salt Limit subcategory is selected:
    • 0.3g or less of salt per 100g
  • Saturated Fat Limit: Only products and recipes that meet the following criteria are allowed when the Saturated Fat Limit subcategory is selected:
    • Solids with 1.5g or less of saturated fat per 100g
    • Liquids with 0.75g or less of saturated fat per 100ml

Fat Reduction

We use the “traffic light” food labelling system as developed by the Food Standards Agency and the Department of Health. Please note that nutrient values are based on UK recommendations and might not be applicable to other countries

Find out more about on the “traffic light” food labelling system here.

Spoon Guru’s definition includes: Products and recipes which meet the Total Fat Limit and Saturated Fat Limit subcategory criteria.

Subcategories:

  • Total Fat Limit: Only products and recipes that meet the following criteria are allowed when the Total Fat Limit subcategory is selected:
    • Solids with 3g or less of total fat per 100g
    • Liquids with 1.5g or less of total fat per 100ml for liquids
  • Saturated Fat Limit: Only products and recipes that meet the following criteria are allowed when the Saturated Fat Limit subcategory is selected:
    • Solids with 1.5g or less of saturated fat per 100g
    • Liquids with 0.75g or less of saturated fat per 100ml

Calorie Control

We use the “traffic light” food labelling system as developed by the Food Standards Agency and the Department of Health. Please note that nutrient values are based on UK recommendations and might not be applicable to other countries

Find out more about on the “traffic light” food labelling system here.

Spoon Guru’s definition includes: Products and recipes which meet the <150 Calories or <500 Calories and Sugar Limit subcategory criteria.

Subcategories:

  • <150 Calories: Only products and recipes that meet the following criteria are allowed when the <150 Calories subcategory is selected:
    • 150 calories or less per serving
  • <500 Calories: Only products and recipes that meet the following criteria are allowed when the <500 Calories subcategory is selected:
    • 500 calories or less per serving
  • Sugar Limit: Only products and recipes that meet the following criteria are allowed when the Sugar Limit subcategory is selected:
    • Solids with 5g or less of total sugar per 100g
    • Liquids with 2.5g or less of total sugar per 100ml

Vitality

We use the “traffic light” food labelling system as developed by the Food Standards Agency and the Department of Health. Please note that nutrient values are based on UK recommendations and might not be applicable to other countries

Find out more about on the “traffic light” food labelling system here.

Spoon Guru’s definition includes: Products and recipes which meet the Sugar Limit or Salt Limit or Total Fat Limit or Saturated Fat Limit subcategory criteria.

Subcategories:

  • Sugar Limit: Only products and recipes that meet the following criteria are allowed when the Sugar Limit subcategory is selected:
    • Solids with 5g or less of total sugar per 100g
    • Liquids with 2.5g or less of total sugar per 100ml
  • Salt Limit: Only products and recipes that meet the following criteria are allowed when the Salt Limit subcategory is selected:
    • 0.3g or less of salt per 100g
  • Total Fat Limit: Only products and recipes that meet the following criteria are allowed when the Total Fat Limit subcategory is selected:
    • Solids with 3g or less of total fat per 100g
    • Liquids with 1.5g or less of total fat per 100ml for liquids
  • Saturated Fat Limit: Only products and recipes that meet the following criteria are allowed when the Saturated Fat Limit subcategory is selected:
    • Solids with 1.5g or less of saturated fat per 100g
    • Liquids with 0.75g or less of saturated fat per 100ml.

How are our Spoon Guru intolerances defined?

The Spoon Guru app supports the 14 major allergens in the United Kingdom, amongst other intolerances such as lactose intolerance. Spoon Guru takes the strictest route possible with regards to the presence of ingredients that typically contain allergens or intolerance trigger ingredients in a product or recipe ingredient list and will exclude accordingly.

Celery

Excludes: the celery plant and other forms that originate from it such as celery leaf, celery seeds, celeriac, celery oil, celery seed oil and celery seed oleoresin.

The ‘May Also Contain Celery’ subcategory: products with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains celery” are excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals, who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen, to determine how strict they want to be.

For more information on Celery Allergy:

Egg

Excludes: egg white and egg yolk including well-cooked, loosely cooked and raw, originating from different bird species such as laying hens, duck, turkey, quail, goose, gull, and guinea fowl.

The ‘May Also Contain Egg’ subcategory: products with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains egg” are excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals, who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen, to determine how strict they want to be.

For more information on Egg Allergy & Egg Free Diets:

Fish

With regards to seafood, the ability to exclude fish or shellfish are offered in separate categories. Please refer to the Shellfish section for the list of shellfish you can exclude. Please also note that to exclude crustaceans and molluscs you should select the shellfish option.

Excludes: species of fish such as anchovies, bass, carp, catfish, cod, haddock, halibut, herring, mackerel, monkfish, mullet, plaice, pollock, salmon, sardine, snapper, swordfish, trout, and tuna.

The ‘May Also Contain Fish’ subcategory: products with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains fish” are excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals, who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen, to determine how strict they want to be.

Related Category: Shellfish

For more information on Fish Allergy:

Gluten & Wheat

Excludes: ingredients listed as containing gluten containing grains such as wheat, rye, barley, and triticale. This includes all forms of wheat such as durum, spelt, kamut®, khorasan, einkorn, farro, emmer, couscous, wheat bran, farina, wheat germ, and semolina.

Oats – oats are subject to cross contamination with gluten and are excluded unless a product specifically states that whole product is gluten free. Spoon Guru excludes oats when a user selects the gluten profile due to the risk of cross-contamination.

The ‘May Also Contain Gluten/Wheat’ subcategory: products with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains Gluten/Wheat” are excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals, who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen, to determine how strict they want to be.

For more information on Gluten & Wheat:

Lupin

Excludes: lupin in different forms including seeds of the lupin flower and lupin flour. If a product contains a ‘may contain lupin’ statement it will be excluded.

The ‘May Also Contain Lupin’ subcategory: products with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains Lupin” are excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals, who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen, to determine how strict they want to be.

For more information on Lupin Allergy:

Milk (including all dairy products)

Excludes: products listing milk from mammalian species including cows, sheep, goats, and dairy ingredients such as cheese, yoghurt and cream, including products containing ingredients with lactose or milk proteins.

The ‘May Also Contain Milk’ subcategory: products with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains Milk / Dairy / Lactose” are excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals, who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen, to determine how strict they want to be.

For more information on milk allergy:

Mustard

Excludes: mustard including different forms such as the seeds, leaves, mustard flour, mustard oils and mustard oleoresins. If a product contains a ‘may contain mustard’ statement it will be excluded.

The ‘May Also Contain Mustard’ subcategory: products with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains Mustard” are excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals, who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen, to determine how strict they want to be.

For more information on Mustard Allergy:

Nuts & Peanuts

Excludes: tree nuts, such as almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecan nuts, brazil nuts and walnuts, as well as peanuts, a legume also known as monkey nut or ground nut. Spoon Guru app users can select the “Nuts & Peanuts” category as a whole, or individually select separate types of nut, depending on personal preference or intolerance.

Peanut – peanuts, a legume, is included in this category due to user feedback and ease of locating within the application.

Coconut – despite the misleading “nut” in its name, coconut is classified as a seed in the UK and therefore appears in the Spoon Guru Seeds category.

The ‘May Also Contain Peanuts’ and ‘May Also Contain Tree Nuts’ subcategories: products with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains Nuts” are excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals, who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen, to determine how strict they want to be.

Related Category: Seeds

For more information on Peanut & Tree Nut Allergy:

Pulses, beans & peas

Excludes: pulses, beans and peas such as aduki beans, black-eyed beans, broad beans, butter beans, chickpeas, green beans, haricot beans, kidney beans, mung beans, pinto beans, runner beans, soya beans, sugar-snap peas and lentils.

Peanut – peanuts, a legume, is included in the Nuts & Peanuts category due to user feedback and ease of locating within the application.

Related Categories: Soya, Nuts & Peanuts

For more information on Legume & Pulse Allergy:

Seeds

Excludes: edible seeds such as sunflower seed, mustard seed, rapeseed, cottonseed, flaxseed and poppy seed as well as coconut. If a product contains a ‘may contain seeds’ statement it will be excluded.

Coconut – despite the misleading “nut” in its name, coconut is classified as a seed in the UK and therefore appears in the Spoon Guru Seeds category.

The ‘May Also Contain Seeds’ subcategory: products with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains Seeds” are excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals, who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen, to determine how strict they want to be.

Related Category: Nuts & Peanuts

Sesame

Excludes: sesame, including in different forms such as sesame seeds, sesame oil and sesame derived products such as hummus, tahini and halvah. If a product contains a ‘may contain sesame’ statement are excluded.

The ‘May Also Contain Sesame’ subcategory: products with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains Sesame” are excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals, who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen, to determine how strict they want to be.

For more information on Sesame Allergy:

Shellfish

With regards to seafood, the ability to exclude fish or shellfish are offered in separate categories. Please also refer to the fish section. Please note that crustaceans and molluscs can be excluded by selecting the Shellfish option.

Excludes: species of crustaceans for example lobster, crab, prawns and langoustines and species of mollusc such as oyster, squid, cockles, mussels, winkles and scallops, as well as land molluscs like snails.

The ‘May Also Contain Crustaceans’, ‘May Also Contain Molluscs’, and ‘May Also Contain Shellfish’ subcategories: products with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains Shellfish / Mollusc / Crustacean” are excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals, who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen, to determine how strict they want to be.

Related Category: Fish

For more information on Shellfish Allergy:

Six Food Exclusion Diet

Important information regarding the Six Food Exclusion Diet:

The Spoon Guru app should be used as an information resource only. It’s not a replacement for medical advice. We advise you follow the six food exclusion diet under the supervision of a Registered Dietitian using the app for inspiration only.

The Six Food Exclusion Diet (SFED) is intended only for those who have Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE), an immune/antigen-mediated disease. The diet involves removal of the 6 food groups most likely to induce an allergic reaction: cow’s milk, eggs, wheat, fish / shellfish, tree nuts / peanuts, and soy. Following removal of all six, sequential introduction of all excluded single foods is undertaken to determine tolerance levels under the close supervision of a Registered Dietitian.

The ‘No May Contain Milk’, ‘No May Contain Egg’, ‘No May Contain Shellfish’, ‘No May Contain Soya’, ‘No May Contain Wheat’, ‘No May Contain Fish/Shellfish’, and ‘No May Contain Tree Nuts or Peanuts’ subcategories: products with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains milk / soya / wheat / egg / fish & shellfish / tree nuts & peanuts” are excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals who can tolerate trace levels of a specific ingredient, to not have to be unnecessarily restrictive. This should be decided by your Dietitian.

For more information on the Six Food Exclusion Diet:

Soya

Excludes: soy including different forms such as soy flour, whole soybeans, edamame, soy sauce, soya oil and soya lecithin.

The ‘May Also Contain Soya’ subcategory: products with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains Soya” are excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen to determine how strict they want to be.

For more information on Soya Allergy:

Sulphites

Excludes: chemical compounds containing sulphites or sulphur dioxide including sodium metabisulphite, potassium metabisulphite, sodium hydrogen sulphite, calcium sulphite, calcium hydrogen sulphite and potassium hydrogen sulphite.

The ‘May Also Contain Sulphites’ subcategory: products with the statement “not suitable for, may contain, produced in a factory that contains Sulphites” are excluded when this subcategory is selected. This function enables those individuals who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen to determine how strict they want to be.

For more information on Sulphite Sensitivity & Allergy:

May contain product statements

The app offers the option to select or deselect “May Contain” statements where Food Intolerances have been selected as part of the user profile. This function enables those individuals who can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen or ingredient to determine how strict they want to be.

When a top level major category is selected, this automatically excludes products that have a “May Contain” statement on the label. If you can tolerate trace levels of a specific allergen, you can deselect this in the subcategory options.

 

Help, I have a question and I need an answer

You can search our knowledge base and blog for a solution. If you can’t find an answer, or if you have a specific ingredient enquiry, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can email us on help@spoon.guru at any time or contact us on our social media channels. We are always more than happy to answer any questions.

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Useful tips

Is Spoon Guru 100% accurate?

Spoon Guru is the world’s leading safe, accurate, easy to use, food preference management tool. We believe that catering for any food preference should be effortless, and we have designed the Spoon Guru app to save you time and provide a reliable and inspiring choice of food that’s right for you. Because with the right tools, you can achieve anything!

Our team of Registered Nutritionists and Dietitians are dedicated to analysing food products and recipes to ensure they accurately match your dietary profile. However, as we are dependent on food product label information and recipe writers, we are not able to guarantee that all information supplied to us is 100% accurate.

Spoon Guru recommends that you always double check product labels and recipe ingredients to ensure they are suitable for you and, if do you find a discrepancy, please don’t hesitate to report it to us.

Does Spoon Guru offer Medical Advice?

Whilst Registered Nutritionists and Dietitians make up an integral part of the Spoon Guru team, we do not offer medical advice.

The Spoon Guru app provides information designed to help you save time and effortlessly find a larger range of suitable food, but should not be used as an alternative to medical advice.

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By | 2018-06-21T17:14:37+00:00 January 31st, 2017|Blog, Fact Sheets, Spoon Guru News|0 Comments