In Canada, nut and peanut allergies are fairly common and well-accommodated.

It is becoming increasingly common for foods to be branded "nut-free." Canadian companies in general have very good labelling practices and will usually label for cross-contact with the top 8 allergens, and very often sesame as well. The best advice for food shopping is to carefully read the labels. If you are at all unsure about the labelling, call the company or choose something else.

General Information

"Dare" brand cookies, crackers, croutons, and breadcrumbs are one of the most popular brands in Canada and their products are made in nut and peanut free facilities; check the labels.

Quaker Granola Bars makes peanut-free granola bars (as does common store brand "President's Choice"). They are clearly marked. They do not contain any tree nuts.

Chapman's makes a many nut-free ice-creams, as does Lambert. There are also large, bulk containers of nut-free ice cream available in many stores.

Currently in Quebec there are only official tests available for peanuts and almonds, but many products with the official seal with also be free of other treenuts. These are CAC certifications

Sometimes labelling is a bit overzealous. In Nova Scotia, I recall signs all over the produce, bakery, and cheese departments claiming the store could not guarantee anything nut free. It would be advisable to avoid baked goods unless at a specifically nut-free bakery (most major cities in Canada have at least 1 nut-free bakery). However, fresh vegetables and fruits do not contain nuts— this is a coverall approach. Wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly before use and eat in peace.

In restaurants, it is best to bring a card for the kitchen clearing outlining your allergies. Many restaurants are quite used to nut allergies. Talk to your server and the manager to find out if food is safe for you. Often, restaurants are quite used to dealing with nut allergies and it is generally very easy to eat out.

The most common place to grab a coffee on the road is Tim Hortons. Do not eat their pastries if you are allergic to nuts.

Useful Phrases

In Quebec, you may need to have an allergy card prepared in French. In the city of Montreal, most people are at the very least bilingual (French & English) and you will not generally have a problem speaking English, but it is best to prepared with both. Sometimes kitchen staff will not speak English (or not speak French) as bilingualism is less necessary when one is not in direct contact with guests.

Some important words and phrases:
Arachide(s) : Peanut (s). You may occassionally see "Cacahuete" if the product has been made in Europe.
Amande(s): Almond
Noix : Nuts
Noisette(s) : Hazelnuts

Je suis très allergique aux arachides : I am very allergic to peanuts.
"Je ne dois pas en manger ! Transportez moi aux urgences si j'en mange une seule" I must not eat it, bring me to the E.R. immediately if I eat even one.
J'ai une allergie aux arachides : I have an allergy to nuts.

You may see these phrases on a box (although labelling is required to be French and English):
(Ce Produit) Peut Contenir…: (This Product) May contain…
Information Relative aux Allergies: Allergy Information Fabriqué avec de l'équipment partagé avec…: Made on shared equipment with…
Contient des Ingrédients du/des: Contains ingredients of…

Frequently, you see labels like this as well:
Produit Confectionné dans une usine EXEMPTE de…: Product baked in a facility free of…
Sans __, Ni _: No_, nor _____ Sans Arachides: Peanut Free



Montreal is the culinary epi-center of Canada and has an excellent selection of restaurants. Peanuts are not very common in the cuisine of Quebec. Look out for NUTELLA (contains Hazelnuts) at the many crêperies throughout the city. If you are allergic to hazelnuts, it is advisable to avoid crêpes and beaver-tails as nutella is a favorite topping.
Traditional dishes are "poutine" made of fried potatoes, a special gravy, and unique fresh cheese curds. This dish should contain no nuts, but double check that the oil is safe.
Tarte au Sucre is a maple sugar pie very common as well. Check that there are not walnuts or pecans in the product. The traditional recipe has none.


There are dozens of safe restaurant choices in Toronto. Staff are English speaking. However, the city is quite large and restaurants are often busy. It is advisable to call ahead.


Halifax is a little-big city in the Maritimes, sprawling yet close-knit. Seafood is very popular here and it is easy to find simple fresh seafood restaurants that will not be using any nuts.

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