Food Allergies and Intolerance

FoodFerret is perfect for people with an intolerance for certain ingredients. We provide a few common intolerance groups that you can select to avoid recipes containing problem ingredients or you can quickly create and save your own customized diet profile and search hundreds of thousands of recipes across the net.

You should be aware that any recipe returned in a search result can not be guaranteed to match your dietary requirements. There will be occasional mistakes in our database, such that our ingredient listing might not be a perfect match to the actual recipe. Our list of ingredients to exclude from recipes for each intolerance group will also be far from perfect, we can only provide a good starting point to help find the recipes you are looking for. Please review any recipes thoroughly and be confident yourself that the recipe meets your requirements.

Our aim with these intolerance groups is to remove most of the recipes that people with this food intolerance would need removed. Peoples intolerance to any food will vary and so will their list of acceptable ingredients. So, we can not provide perfect intolerance groups for individuals, just a good starting point. For your perfect list you can create you own my cupboard.

Performing Searches

If you enter milk as a must exclude ingredient on the search page, only plain milk will be excluded, not flavored milk, cream, yogurt etc. If milk is selected from under the exclude all ingredients containing section then a group called containing milk is added to the must exclude ingredient list. This containing milk group contains many ingredients that contain milk, such as butter and chocolate. You can similarly exclude all ingredients containing wheat, gluten, soya, seafood etc.

We allow you to create a completely customized diet profile via my cupboard. Click on the create new diet profile/store cupboard link and a navigable ingredient list will be shown. Navigate down the list to an ingredient and click on it to change the green tick next to the ingredient to a red cross. All ingredients with red crosses will be excluded from all recipe search results.

If your food intolerance is listed at the bottom of the my cupboard section, click on it. You should notice that some of the green numbers next to the ingredient headings change to a mixture of red and green. The number in red indicates the number of ingredients under that heading that have been marked with a red cross, the green number shows the number of ingredients marked with a green tick. You should navigate down the list to check which ingredients have been excluded.

A find ingredient box is supplied at the top of the my Cupboard section, enter an ingredient here to automatically navigate to that ingredient. Clink on the mode button next to the find ingredient box and it will change the mode, you can set the mode to exclude ingredient. If you enter an ingredient in this mode you will automatically navigate to that ingredient and it will be marked with a red cross. This is a quick way to exclude ingredients from my cupboard.

Your cupboard can be saved to our server or just to a local file on your computer (cookie). We recommend saving your cupboard to our server so that you don't accidentally delete your profile.

Our recommended approach

Our recommended approach is to create and save a rough diet profile in my cupboard, then as you perform searches you'll find results with ingredients you want excluded. Click on the ingredient you want to exclude, you should see a small drop down box with an exclude using my cupboard option. Click on this option to exclude the ingredient from your cupboard, save your cupboard and update the search results. This method allows you to quickly build your own diet profile.

You should check the ingredients excluded with our allergen groups. For instance, for gluten free recipes we exclude all breads, cake mixes, sponges etc. Obviously you can buy or make many gluten free versions of these items, so you may wish to allow some of the ingredients to be returned in your recipe search results.

Note that excluding ingredients does not always exclude all the ingredients you might expect. For instance, if you exclude vinegar from your searches then only malt vinegar or recipes with simply vinegar listed will be excluded. Other vinegars such as cider, balsamic and wine vinegar will not be excluded. There is a group called all vinegar that you can use to exclude all vinegars. This approach is taken with many ingredients.

Any ingredient you want to just temporarily exclude from recipes, for a particular search or you've just run out of that ingredient, use the must exclude ingredient list in the main ingredient search section, rather than my cupboard.

You can easily avoid applying my cupboard to your searches, simply ensure that the my Cupboard box is not checked in the dietary restrictions section.

So, go to the search page and experiment.

Some links to food lists for common allergies/food intolerances.