This list is based both on the October 2012 sheet from Guy’s Hospital, from my own personal experience, and from the experience of friends on a facebook support group.
One of the major drawbacks of OFG is that some foods are safe for one person but make others react badly. I have highlighted as many of these as I’m aware of in bold italics. The foods that need to be avoided completely are given in CAPITAL LETTERS.
This list does NOT include any ready-made products, ready meals, sauces or foodstuffs that have more than one or two ingredients on the label – it’s a list of the ingredients that are generally considered safe, and nothing more.
Unless otherwise stated, each food item is plain, pure, unadulterated, without any additives, preservatives, flavourings, other ingredients and free from cross-contamination.
I have specifically avoided including additives & E-numbers in this list. A full compendium of food additives and their E-numbers is available at: www.food.gov.uk/science/additives/enumberlist . This website should be consulted to determine your ‘safe’ E-numbers and additives, especially if you struggle with additives in addition to benzoates.
This list should be used in conjunction with a comprehensive avoid-list so as to remove confusion.
Please note if you are, or suspect you are, intolerant of other chemicals, for example citric acid, histamine, or gluten, then this list will not be completely accurate and will need to be used with caution.
- Any EXCEPT COD (some people find very fresh or frozen fish safer than refrigerated stuff)
- Any seafood EXCEPT PRAWNS
- Cow’s Milk – some people find goats milk easier
- Cream & sour cream
- Yoghurt – some people cannot tolerate live yoghurt
- Plain Hard Cheeses. AVOID BLUE CHEESE & GORGONZOLA. Some people react to mature cheeses
- Cream cheeses
- Fromage frais, quark & similar
- Hen’s Eggs – some people find goose or duck eggs easier to tolerate
- Oranges (some people react to navel oranges)
- fresh blackcurrants (a lot of people react to these, but not everyone)
Please check out my post, https://benzoateintolerancesupport.wordpress.com/2014/12/07/fruit/ for specific advice about fruit
- Sweet potatoes
- All types of cabbage
- Most types of beans (AVOID SOYA & KIDNEY. Some people react to aduki beans)
- Lettuces and salads – pale green hearted lettuces and red varieties are normally safe for everyone, as are beetroot leaves. AVOID SPINACH, ROCKET AND SIMILAR DARK GREEN LOOSE-LEAF SALADS AND SALAD HERBS
- All types of onion
- All types of peas
- All types of lentils
- Sweet peppers
- chilli peppers
- Courgette AKA zucchini
- Aubergine AKA eggplant
- Butternut squash & other squashes AVOID PUMPKIN
- Tomato (Be very careful with tomato products added to processed foods – even if you believe that you will be safe with fresh tomato you may find you have to AVOID TOMATO PUREE, TOMATO POWDER, SUNDRIED TOMATO etc.
- White or button mushrooms (AVOID WILD/SPECIALITY MUSHROOMS)
- Oca & Jerusalem Artichoke (see https://benzoateintolerancesupport.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/new-root-vegetables-oca-jerusalem-artichoke/ for more information)
Grains, nuts & seeds
- Gluten-free grains e.g. rice, maize/corn, quinoa
- Gluten-containing grains (wheat, oats, barley, rye) – a few people DO react to these, especially in larger quantities
- Any nuts
- Sunflower seeds
- Poppy seeds
- Linseeds AKA flax seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
Herbs & Spices
- black & white pepper
- Star Anise
- Bay Leaves
Cooking & Baking
- Any plain fats and oils
- Flours made with safe grains
- Any sugar or sugar syrups (including glucose, sucrose & fructose. Some people react to lactose)
- Black Treacle
- Sodium bicarbonate & arrowroot-based raising agents
- Crystallised ginger
- Vanilla extract
- Gravy browning/caramel colouring
- Yeast Extract
- Malt Extract
- most vinegars
- Still and carbonated mineral water
- Fruit juices made with permitted fruits
- Fruit or herbal infusions with permitted ingredients (e.g. mint, fennel, chamomile. Some people react to rosehip)