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
  • 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 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

General and non-food

Other country shopping lists:


  • NZ shopping list (2016) - thanks Robin This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Here's a handy blank shopping list with additives to avoid on each page and a menu planner - thanks Matthew

Eating out

It is extremely difficult to find places that sell additive free or failsafe food. We would prefer cafes that claim to be additive free to have a complete list of ingredients available for each menu item, like the excellent example provided by McDonalds.

Failsafe restaurants and cafes

The Husk & Honey Café at Nambour Qld 16 Queen Street 07 5441 3510 "we focus on gluten & grain free, preservative free, dairy free and in some products nut free (as well as not use binders, artificial stuff, fillers etc)"

Dare cafe

D.A.R.E. (Delicious and Responsible Eating) is an additive-free, gluten-free café in The Rocks, Sydney (but NOT failsafe): Shop 22, The Rocks Centre, Playfair Street (just across from Lowenbrau Keller on the corner with Argyle St) 0468 588 180 CURRENTLY CLOSED

Boost juice

Some failsafers recommend Boost Juice banana smoothies (just banana and frozen yoghurt, if you don't have to avoid amines), as they are additive free, thanks to Rachel & Tom

Chains such as McDonalds

Some of the chains do excellent ingredient lists, especially McDonalds.

At McDonald's one of the safest items is the Sundae Cone Without Topping, available on request - though it's still not ideal due to sulphur dioxide 220 in glucose syrup, so NOT recommended for asthmatics. We don't recommend the cone due to artificial colour 110 and possible antioxidant 320. You can take your own cone (thanks to Shell for this suggestion) or get it in a plastic cup. The fries are SOMETIMES failsafe (the BHA 320 antioxidant is removed in some stories at some times, depending on source of the oil). If you HAVE to eat at Maccas, McNuggets are probably safer than Chicken McBites, which contain flavour enhancer 635. This is an additive used to boost the flavour enhancing effects of MSG in glutamate-containing ingredient such as yeast extract. However, McNuggets are not failsafe due to salicylates etc in flavour ingredients such as spices.

Some ingredient lists are better than others. We went right through the Subway ingredient list looking for possible failsafe items and thought the roast beef may have been okay, but when we tried to buy it, found that it wasn't fresh and it wasn't just roast beef - it had been frozen in a prepared sauce that looked as if it could contain flavour enhancers.

WARNING! Macca's fries are SOMETIMES failsafe BUT may contain the synthetic antioxidant BHA 320 depending on the source of the oil



In our experience, cafes that call themselves "healthy" or "natural" often have no idea or don't care which foods contain additives, for example, a 'natural' cafe in our local food court - with a sign up saying "no nasties" - was selling mango smoothies, not made at the front counter. I asked if they were made from real mangoes. The answer was no, they were made from a syrup. Could I see the bottle? It contained artificial colour and benzoate preservative. So what does "no nasties" mean? By law, nothing. They've taken down the "no nasties" sign since I complained but that's just one of many. You just have to ask to read ingredients at places where you would like to eat.

Food Service cakes, slices, treats, meals etc

Most cafes no longer cook their own food. Instead, they sell "food service" prepared foods that often contain nasty additives. Some cafes will let you read labels. Recently at the Chinese Gardens tea house in Sydney, we found a sympathetic waiter who let us read labels and we discovered that the scones, served with cream, were free of nasty additives - but you can't guarantee it.

For example:

White Wings Moist Chocolate Cake premix sold on supermarket shelves are free of nasty additives (accessed Sept 2015)  ... but the food service White Wings chocolate cake premix sold to cafes contains artificial colours 122 and 133 ...

Likewise, cooking oils such as canola or sunflower sold in supermarkets are usually free of nasty additives, but the same brands sold in catering packs usually contain synthetic antioxidants 319 and/or 320.

Crisco sunflower oil 20 Litre pack though is failsafe  (accessed Feb 2022)

So if you are eating hot chips bought outside the home, they will almost certainly contain synthetic antioxidants 319 or 320, whereas for example, McCains Healthy Choice frozen oven fry chips are now free of these antioxidants.

Online clothing 

Cotton Clothing & Bedding

• White cotton underwear for children with eczema is available from Target stores - thanks to Llewellyn

• Certified organic cotton underwear, bras, socks and clothing for babies, children and adults and biodynamic (Demeter certified) wool bedding, including pillows, quilts, toppers and futons manufactured in Australia to the highest standards. Also, certified organic cotton sheets, blankets, pillow and mattress protectors (10% discount if you use buying code FIN10)
“We have now had your wool mattress for more than two months and we must say that we have never slept so well or looked forward to going to bed so much. For those of us who are chemically sensitive, buying a new mattress without plasticisers, flame retardants and nasty smells is impossible, so we were SO pleased with your wool mattress: the two half-queensize mattresses fitted together well with a wool topper and are easy to turn and make, and comfortable even though firmer than many people think they want” – Howard and Sue.

•  Baby clothing Aster & Oak - a huge range of completely safe, 100% organic baby clothing. No chemicals and all veggie based dyes

Gardening, seeds or Grow Your Own kits (e.g. parsley and chives)

Kitchen appliances

  • Food thermos ‘I recently brought a food thermos, which is a short squat version of a hot liquids thermos, to pack stuff for my kids school lunches. It's great for winter as I can send chicken pasta, roasts, soups, stews - all of which have heaps of nutrients and they're happy to eat. Called "Thermos FUNtainer", and they keep food hot for 5 hours, cold for 7. 290ml so not massive but big enough to fill a kid's tummy plus my kids complain if I pack stuff that takes too long too eat ie too much or too big, because they want to get out and play at lunch time’. $26.95 at getprice. Thanks to Cherie
  • Homemade Donuts - with the Ronson home donut maker, failsafe children can have a treat like everyone else - fresh donuts to share when their friends come to visit. The basic donut mix is failsafe, and fresh, hot donuts can be dusted with caster sugar instead of cinnamon. Shop around as prices vary, and don’t forget E-Bay - thanks to Anne and other members of finB
  • Sunbeam home Fairy Floss Maker (cotton candy) have been strongly recommended. One tablespoon of sugar and ten minutes entertainment provides the kids with a failsafe treat.. - thanks to Andra and Sheryl
  • Thermomix: For old-fashioned cooking without additives made quick and easy with technology from Germany, the Thermomix weighs, chops, grates, grinds, minces, heats, stirs, kneads, mixes, cooks, bakes and cleans itself. Makes a custard from scratch in 7 minutes; bread, pizzas, pasta etc.
    • Thermomix feedback - ‘I purchased a thermomix about 6 months ago and love it. I can mince my own fresh chicken meat and finely chop failsafe veggies to hide in the chicken patties. I make an awesome custard (the failsafe cookbook custard cup recipe) in 10 minutes with no stirring, sago puddings a cinch etc. I make a chicken and rice pasta dish with almost every failsafe veggie hidden in it. I use it to mix up lunch box muffins, I make the boys buckwheat or oat or rice porridge in the morning. You can cook rice in it. I use it to make great sorbets in the summer. I make my own rice flour from rice etc. I love it and use it several times a day, it certain reduces time in preparation and cooking (no need to stir while cooking). I would be lost without it. I know they are expensive but I found it worth every cent. And for the record I am not a distributor, just a satisfied customer’ - thanks to Sandra
    • Thermomix feedback‘The motor is one of those brilliant pieces of German technology – my mum's is still going (from 1979)’, thanks to Rebecca
    • Thermomix feedback. I bought my Thermomix about 6 months ago and absolutely love it ... and it is certainly making failsafe easier. So far today I have used it to make pear smoothie for morning tea, process everything (all at once including eggs) for the veggie hater frittata for lunch (which my veggie hating 3yr old loved), and for afternoon tea have used it to make the pikelet mix. Tonight I will mince then cook the meat in it. Fantastic. I leave it on the benchtop as it is used so often and is so easy. I love your cookbook. Very easy to use and yummy results. – thanks to Nichola
    • I bought a Thermomix a couple of months ago, and absolutely love it. These machines are totally awesome, so pure and clean, and I truly believe that if we’d had a Thermomix years ago when our son was at his worst, it would have saved us a lot of heartache, as well as time and money - Susan.

Online shopping – these websites can supply a range of failsafe products

Melrose has discontinued their shampoo and conditioner range – thanks Jenny

  Sunnybrook Health Store has a lot of gluten free

  Happy Tummies has a range of allergy-free and organic products "we make it easy for people to find natural, organic and allergy free food your family will love". Not all products are failsafe.

    Weight loss programs Warning may contain additives. A weight loss dieter wrote: ‘It didn't occur to me to scan the ingredients (which I do in ALL food products before buying) as I naively thought when it said "healthy and nutritious" that it was true. It was only when I kept becoming hugely bloated with griping abdominal pains that I decided to check the ingredients and found Flavour Enhancer 621 (MSG) and other additives.’   

   Air purifier
Not cheap but used by major hotels to clear rooms after someone has illegally smoked in them is the Rainbow Air
See more: /frequently-asked-questions/perfume-and-chemical-sensitivity-questions#rainbow and 

         See also the Wein personal air supply


   Reusable food pouches and ice pops from Zestio, all BPA-free, dishwasher safe, microwave safe and freezer safe

 update February 2024