Agar Agar, a sulphite free gelatine substitute, e.g. Gold Cup powder from health food stores – thanks to Llewellyn

All Bran and other bran cereals (no sultanas or other fruit, contains gluten; increase fibre slowly to avoid bloating; may affect people who are sensitive to wholegrains)

Annatto, Bixin natural yellow colour 160b, E160b made from the seed pod of the tropical annatto tree, None. Use betacarotene 160a, E160a or colour-free foods instead.

Antioxidants, (additives used to preserve fats and oils), Ascorbates or vitamin C 300-304, Tocopherols or Vitamin E(306-309.( No synthetic antioxidants: gallates 310-312, TBHQ 319, BHA 320, BHT 321.)

Arrowroot flour (gluten-free) e.g. McKenzies

Artificial colours, None. (Avoid the following colours in foods, drinks, supplements, toothpaste and medications. Use colour-free products where possible):

102 Tartrazine, E102, Yellow 5, CI 19140

104 Quinoline Yellow, E104, CI 47005

110 Sunset Yellow, E110, Yellow 6, CI 15985

122 Azorubine, Carmoisine, E122, CI 14720

123 Amaranth – the additive not the grain - E123, CI 16185

124 Ponceau, Brilliant Scarlet, E124, CI 16255

127 Erythrosine, E127, Red 3, CI 45430

129 Allura Red, E129, Red 40, CI 16035

132 Indigotine, E132, Blue 2, CI 73015

133 Brilliant Blue, E133, Blue 1, CI 42090

142 Green S, E142, CI 44090

143 Fast Green FCF, E143, Green 3, CI 42053

151 Brilliant Black, E151, CI 28440

155 Brown HT, Chocolate Brown, E155, CI 20285

Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) unflavoured eg Melrose is failsafe. Calcium ascorbate is also failsafe.
Baby foods

Baby pear puree (e.g. Heinz) also useful as a stewed fruit snack or sauce for all ages.

Baby cereal, cook plain white rice with water, breastmilk or formula and puree it in a blender or use commercial baby rice or millet cereals (no rosemary extract or other antioxidants, see this reader report: ‘I started our 5 month old on solids. She had a few days of farex (ground rice, vegetable oil, vitamin c, antioxidant (rosemary extract), mineral (iron). She came out in a rash on her legs, the bubble eczema type rash. I stopped the cereal and it settled down. I started again yesterday and the rash is back.’ Rosemary extract is high in salicylates and salicylates are associated with eczema, unsettled behaviour and other symptoms.) e.g.

•    Holle Organic instant rice porridge
•    Rafferty's Garden Organic baby rice
•    Planet Organic creamy brown rice
•    Holle Organic Instant Millet baby porridge (ingredients: wholegrain millet, vitamin B1)
•    Four Leaf Baby Millet cereal (ingredients: finely ground millet)
Baby oat porridge e.g. Bellamys Organic baby oat porridge, (Not suitable for a gluten free version of the supervised elimination diet)

Baby Rusks

•    Probios Rice Grissini (rice sticks, ingredients: whole rice flour)
•    Bellamy’s organic Toothiepegs (organic wheat flour, organic skim milk powder, wheatgerm, yeast, salt, iron contains gluten and dairy)
•    Heinz biscottini original (but do contain vanilla)
•    Heinz teething rusks (wheatflour, wheatgerm, skim milk, yeast, salt, iron)
Baked beans, None (make your own, see recipes, or use canned butter beans or kidney beans with pear ketchup instead)

Baking powder, gluten free if necessary, e.g. Wards

Barley, pearl barley e.g. McKenzies, Soup mix e.g. McKenzies (contains gluten)
Beans dried and lentils e.g. red, brown and green lentils, chickpeas (chana), mungbeans (urid), split peas (yellow and yellow), red kidney and all other dried beans except broad beans also called fava beans

Beans, canned (no spices or flavoured sauces as in baked beans), e.g. red kidney beans, chickpeas, butter beans, borlotti beans, three (or more) bean mixes, green beans.

Besan flour made from chickpeas, garbanzos. A gluten free good protein flour (children with a nut or legume allergy may have cross-reactivity problems with this product)

Bicarbonate of soda, sodium bicarbonate, baking soda e.g. McKenzies, for house cleaning and home remedies

Biscuits, crackers, cookies

Biscuits with dairy:

•    Arnott’s Sao
•    Arnott’s Wholemeal Sao
•    Arnott’s Shredded Wheatmeal (no added flavors)
•    Arnott’s Cruskits (no added flavors)
•    Arnott’s Milk Arrowroots (no added flavours)
•    Arnott’s Scotch Finger (no added flavours)
•    Arnott’s Milk Coffee (no added flavours)
•    Arnott’s Scotch Finger (no added flavor)
•    Arnott’s Nice (contain flavor)
•    Arnott’s Shortbread Creams (contain flavor)
•    Arnott’s Lattice (contain flavor)
•    Glengarry shortbreads or any other shortbread with flour, sugar, butter
•    Walkers shortbread
•    Unibic Shortbread Fingers and Petticoat Tails
•    You’ll love Coles Checkers crackers
•    ALDI Belmont Butter Shortbead – thanks to Tane
•    Nabisco Belvita breakfast biscuits with wheat flour, oat flakes, rye flakes

Reader review: I bought them to try as a biscuit and we quite liked them and have them as a snack for morning or afternoon tea or as treat after dinner. Glad to know that they are failsafe as it just adds an alternative to the list of things we can eat. - Thanks to Nicole

•    Gourmet crackers  - Tucker's Natural Gourmet Crackers supplied free samples of their failsafe poppyseed, oatmeal and vanilla crackers in Adelaide - see

Biscuits without dairy:

•    Arnott’s Original water crackers
•    Arnott’s Teddy Bears NOT Tiny Teddies (contain flavor)
•    Arnott’s Salada
•    Arnott’s Saltine
•    Arnott’s Vita-Weat original (NOT rice crackers)
•    Ryvita crispbreads
Biscuits without gluten or dairy:

•    SunRice plain Rice Cakes or Pure Harvest plain rice cakes (no corn; no flavours, no sesame, no pepper; nothing but rice)
•    Eskal Gluten Free Deli Crackers Original (now NOT failsafe as they contain yeast extract)

•    Sakata plain Rice Crackers (no flavour enhancers, no synthetic antioxidants, avoid flavour enhancer 635 but there have been reports of reactions presumably to contamination on the line) ***WARNING***Sakata Plain rice crackers have been listed as failsafe, but a new label has appeared that says "contains sesame seeds", presumably due to contamination on the packing line. There is no change in the product according to the company, just an increased level of warning.

A lot of failsafers are enjoying Peckish brown rice crackers NO SALT from Coles (ingredients: brown rice flour, rice bran oil 10%). The Peckish tagline is "no funny business!" BUT **WARNING** even the 'lightly salted' variety contains soy sauce powder which is funny business MSG 621!!

Warning about unlisted antioxidants in biscuits: there are numerous plain and sweet biscuits seemingly made from safe ingredients, but you will need to check vegetable oils and fats:

• Arnott’s have removed unlisted antioxidant BHA 320 from their vegetable oil; other brands are likely to contain 319 or 320 (e.g. Homebrand Scotch Fingers contain antioxidants 319 and 320; Nabisco Ritz crackers contain 319), antioxidants will be unlisted if there is less than 5% fat, and you will need to ask manufacturers, see Antioxidant Warning

Warning about flavours in biscuits: Although many plain and sweet Arnotts biscuits are listed as suitable for the strict elimination diet*, remember that dose is important. While your child may manage ONE flavoured biscuit per day, we know that some children can eat half a packet of biscuits a day – in that case you need to stick to biscuits without added flavour e.g. Arnott’s Milk Arrowroots and Milk Coffee but not Nice and Teddy Bear Biscuits.

Warning about milk powder, milk solids in biscuits: if doing the dairy-free version of the elimination diet, yes you do need to avoid milk (e.g. solids or powder) and preferably butter in biscuits – make your own.

Breadcrumbs, None (make your own from failsafe bread or use plain Crumb products e.g. Orgran wheat free All Purpose Crumbs, Casalare Rice Crumbs (any commercial crumbed products almost certainly contain a mix of artificial colours, annatto 160b, preservative 282, MSG and/or natural flavourings with salicylates and glutamates)

Breakfast cereals Rolled oats (no additives or flavours, traditional or quick, e.g. Uncle Toby’s, Home Brand) • Kellogg’s Rice Bubbles, Rice Bran • All Bran, Special K, Uncle Toby’s Weeties, Sanitarium Weet-Bix (does contain raw sugar but listed as OK by RPAH) and other plain additive-free wholewheat-based cereals • puffed rice, millet, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa cereals e.g. Good Morning, Lotus, Olive Green Organics, many other brands, serving suggestion: mix puffed grains together with pure maple syrup and milk or milk substitute ***Warning*** some people with food intolerance including many children with behavior problems or irritable bowel symptoms do better on refined products such as rice bubbles and white bread than on wholegrain products.

Brown sugar (not raw, no molasses for colouring)

Buckwheat gluten-free pancake mix (Orgran)

Cake mixes, using permitted ingredients e.g.

•    White Wings Golden Buttercake (ingredients Wheat flour, sugar, vegetable fats and oils [emulsifiers (soybean lecithin, 471, 477, 481), glucose syrup solids, milk protein, mineral salt (339), vegetable gum (466), antioxidants (306, 307)], starch (maize), raising agents (sodium bicarbonate, 450), salt, flavour (contains wheat), vegetable gum (xanthan), colour (beta-carotene) Check ingredients and nutrition at
Canned beans (no spices or flavoured sauces as in baked beans), e.g. red kidney beans, chickpeas, butter beans, borlotti beans, three (or more) bean mixes, green beans, Surprise dried green beans, see also dried beans and lentils in Soup Mix section

Canned fish, None suitable for your supervised elimination diet (For people who tolerate amines: tuna, salmon or sardines in spring water or failsafe oils, no flavours, e.g. John West sandwich tuna in canola oil)

Canned fruit, pears in syrup (not natural juice, e.g. supermarket own brands, eat only the soft pieces of pear) ***Warning*** Although they say ‘in syrup’, Coles Diced Pear Cups in syrup snack packs contain natural juice as well. Not suitable for your supervised elimination diet

Cheap canned pears in bulk from the factory door - , tinned halves or quarters in syrup, are available from the SPC Ardmona Factory Sales in Mooroopna, near Shepparton, Victoria. You can buy slabs of 12 x 425g cans for $12 full price, but on a good day, you can often get them for $6 on special. Thanks to Jenny Ravlic.

Canned meals and meats, None

Canned vegetables: beans (no spices or flavoured sauces as in baked beans), e.g. red kidney beans, chickpeas, butter beans, borlotti beans, three (or more) bean mixes, green beans, Surprise dried green beans, see also dried beans and lentils in Soup Mix section (Not suitable for your supervised elimination diet: beetroot no spices, asparagus, corn kernels (note that corn kernels, previously moderate, are now rated high in salicylates), canned green peas no mint, Surprise dried green peas no mint)

Caramel syrup or topping (free from preservatives, annatto 160b colour) e.g.Nestle Top’n’Fill Caramel

Carob, also called St John’s bread and locust bean. Carob powder is a high protein chocolate substitute, lower in fat but naturally sweet. (Uses: as a drink instead of decaf or cocoa; mixed with a small amount of milk or butter as a quick spread; in cakes, muffins, icing and other desserts instead of cocoa powder). Available from health food aisles. Carob pods are also failsafe.

The Carob Kitchen has failsafe products: Pure Carob Syrup (use for smoothies and in place of maple syrup on or ridge, yoghurt etc), Carob Kibble Nibbles (great snack), Roasted Carob Powder (use in place of hot chocolate, use in cooking etc yum!). The sauces are just carob and water; the kibble is surprisingly sweet and acceptable as a snack. Look at  and
Carob buttons (no added flavours, with milk or soy) for carob-coated honeycomb and bananas (amines)

Carob coated buckwheat or rice cakes (contain milk, e.g. Naturally Good)

Cashew nuts, raw not roasted e.g. Macro Cashew Kernels (limit ten per day, not suitable for people with nut allergies or young children in families with eczema/asthma/hayfever/food allergies as cashew allergy is one of the fastest increasing of all food allergies)

Caster sugar, fine grained sugar used in cooking

Chia seeds are not suitable for your supervised elimination diet (chia seeds are listed as high in salicylates and amines*) Chia is a member of the mint family. Mint is very high is salicylates and there have been numerous reports of gastrointestinal symptoms due to chia seeds from salicylate sensitive people in the US. It is possible that psyllium husks are a failsafe alternative to chia seeds because they have the same kind of gelling ability as chia seeds and have likewise been shown to lower blood pressure and protect against heart disease. See Caution regarding Chia Seeds 

Chickpeas (garbanzo beans), dried or canned (no spices), roasted e,g, Chic Nuts lightly salted available in Woolworths and others Product warning: Chic nuts snack packs contains onion, while the ordinary ones only have Chick Peas, Canola Oil, Garlic Powder, Salt. Read the label! – thanks to Michelle.

Chips (crisps) and snacks (plain, no nasty additives, no flavours; just potatoes, failsafe oil, salt) ***WARNING*** Smith chips AND Red Rock Deli Sea Salt - now contain rosemary extract. No longer failsafe. OK include Arnott’s ‘French Fries’ potato Straws, Colvan plain chips, Kettle Original Salted chips, ALDI Sprinters Original Crinkle Cut; Chic Nuts (roasted chickpeas, garlic flavour), Parker Pretzels (now failsafe again). Some people may react to some of these products due to contamination on the line. Note that antioxidants 304, 306 are failsafe (vitamin E tocopherols) . Simply 7 Lentil Chips sea salt flavour. Ingredients: lentil flour, potato starch, safflower oil, sea salt. Failsafe, gluten and dairy free. Available in Coles supermarkets and others.  Reader review: These are really good - thanks to Mariette

Chip-like snacks Beanfields bean and rice chips (with sea salt and low salt) contains black and navy beans, rice, safflower or sunflower oil (18%) and salt
Citric acid e.g. McKenzies, from supermarkets. Citric acid can be used in recipes instead of lemon juice, e.g. ½ tsp citric acid stirred in 2 tbsp of water*. The delicious lemon meringue pie shown below is made from the recipe in my books using citric acid.

Chocolate, cooking Nestlé White Melts

Chocolate, plain unflavoured (e.g. Nestlé dark choc bits) (Not suitable for your supervised elimination diet • for people who can tolerate limited amounts of amines)

Chocolates Nestlé Milkybar Chocolate (limited) See also carob as a chocolate substitute. (Chocolate is not suitable for your supervised elimination diet: for people who tolerate amines, plain unflavoured chocolate and cocoa). For nut allergies, Kinnerton 

Chocolate topping additive free for non-amine responders: (Not suitable for your supervised elimination diet • for people who can tolerate amines) Alice Langton's Chocolate Rich Fudge Sauce. Ingredients: Water, Sugar, Cocoa, Condensed Milk, Vanilla and Cream.  - thanks to Rachel

Cocoa, plain unflavoured powder e.g. Home Brand, Nestlé baking cocoa (Not suitable for your supervised elimination diet • for people who can tolerate amines)

Coconut, NONE (Not suitable for your supervised elimination diet • for people who can tolerate limited amounts of salicylates and amines, coconut water/juice is moderate in salicylates and amines but fresh coconut and coconut milk, cream yoghurt and oil is high in salicylate and amines. Desiccated or shredded coconut is very high and contains sulphite preservatives; copha is high, usually listed as “vegetable fat” in e.g. pastry and dairy free ice creams)

Coffee, decaffeinated coffee (many brands, we use Vittoria natural decaffeinated espresso coffee and Moccona Classic decaffeinated coffee). Carob powder may be an alternative.

Colour additives - natural mineral colours such as iron oxide 172 and titanium dioxide 171, and natural colour betacarotene 160a used in e.g. margarines and custard are approved by RPAH

***Warning*** ‘concentrated natural colours‘ made from plants such as anthocyanins or beet are now listed as high in salicylates, amines and glutamates

Reader report: I tried the new Queen all Natural Rainbow Food colours in some magic cordial for my daughter. She had a reaction within 24 hours of trying the natural yellow colour E100 made from turmeric - thanks to Sher

***Warning*** cochineal 120 pink colour from beetles is not recommended for young children in families with eczema, asthma and/or hayfever due to the increasing prevalence of cochineal allergy - see factsheet

Reader report, cochineal colour 120: ‘My daughter (now 10) is extremely sensitive to cochineal 120. She develops a rash on her face that extends from under her eyes to around the jaw line. It is a raised, red rash that feels like "sand under the skin". There is noticeable facial swelling also. This occurs within a few minutes of ingestion and lasts for a couple of days. We had great difficulty pinpointing the cause until she had some Breaka strawberry milk. The only thing that it could have been was the cochineal 120. We confirmed this ourselves by placing 1 drop of cochineal into a drink and she responded with a small amount immediately. An allergist has confirmed that she should avoid this colour. She had a few severe episodes as a young child that involved total head to toe rash. We now recognize this as a reaction.’ Thanks to Kristin, in a similar case, the reaction began as a facial rash and eventually became hospitalization for breathing difficulties in a 2 yo

Confectionery - see Confectionery section

Cook-in sauces, None (see recipes for alternatives)

Cooking oils, canola cooking spray (e.g. Pro chef), canola, sunflower and safflower oil (not cold pressed, no synthetic antioxidants 310–321, e.g. Golden Fields Canola, Crisco Sunflower), Soy oil (no synthetic antioxidants, cold pressed okay). Check labels as large containers usually contain synthetic antioxidants. Rice Bran oil (e.g. Alfa one)

Cordial, None in supermarkets (make your own, see Magic cordial recipe) (Despite what some failsafers recommend elderflower cordial is NOT listed by RPA and therefore not suitable for your strict elimination diet).

Corn, sweetcorn, maize, canned, processed or fresh (Not suitable for your supervised elimination diet • now upgraded from moderate to high because of moderate salicylates plus glutamates • for people who can tolerate limited amounts of salicylates and glutamates, corn and all other corn products except cornflour - fresh, canned, cornmeal, polenta, cornflakes and other corn containing cereals, popcorn, corn oil)

Cornflour (gluten-free if made from corn, e.g. White Wings) is low in salicylates because it is highly processed and that probably applies to corn syrup as well.

Couscous (e.g. San Remo) CONTAINS GLUTEN

Cream of tartar (e.g. McKenzies)

Crispbreads, Ryvita

Crisps and snacks Arnott’s ‘French Fries’ potato Straws Colvan plain chips Kettle Original Salted chips Red Rock Deli plain chips, Parker Pretzels (now failsafe again).
Crumbs, e.g. Orgran All Purpose Crumbs, Casalare Rice Crumbs or make your own breadcrumbs from failsafe breads (Not crushed cornflakes due to salicylates, crushed Rice Bubbles would be suitable)

Cruskits, Arnott’s

Custard powder (no artificial colour, no annatto 160b, e.g. Orgran gluten-free custard powder)

Dried fruit, preservative free. For those avoiding sulphites, any of the suppliers below. For failsafers, pears only (Must be peeled ripe soft varieties such as Packham, William, Bartlett, Beurre Bosc, no crisp varieties such as Nashi, no sulphite preservatives 220-228)

•    Absolute Fruitz Freeze Dried Pear Slices are peeled sliced freeze dried Williams pears, available from health food stores, the website also from  - thanks to Melissa
•    Totally Pure Fruits - Freeze Dried Organic bananas for non-amine responders 
•    Mrs May’s pear chips, Kakadu Dried Fruits, Bega Dried Foods are no longer available


Drinks: alcoholic: gin, unflavoured vodka, whisky (Scotch or Irish e.g. Jameson's - not bourbon or American whisky).

Drinks: lemonade etc See Soft drinks

Drinks: sake appears to be low in salicylates and sulphite free but high in amines. “In spite of my numerous intolerances (gluten, lactose, salicylates, amines, soy, MSG, sulphites, benzoates, annatto, sorbitol), I seem to be fine with Sake. I have been regularly challenging myself with it since Christmas ... I am very happy with 'Go-Shu', which is brewed in Australia using traditional Japanese methods, and readily available at liquor stores, for just under $16. The only warning - it is 15% alcohol, so take care!’ – Thanks to Lynn

Drinks: wines. Wines made from grapes are very high in salicylates, amines and glutamates, but persimmon wine appears to be failsafe (if you can make or get it!). Preservative-free (not failsafe) wines (Not suitable for your supervised elimination diet • for people who can tolerate the natural levels of salicylates, amines and glutamates in wine)

•    Pure Wine and SO2GO make small vials of dilute food grade hydrogen peroxide that removes 50% to 80% of the sulphite preservatives in your wine by turning sulphites into inactive sulphates. Based on a process used by wine makers to remove high sulphur levels prior to bottling, it does not affect the taste of your wine or champagne. BUT of course wines are very high in salicylates and amines if you react to them, and the treatment does not remove those! Useful for that one bottle a year. and

•    Preservative free (not failsafe) wines from a little winery called Cowangerup in southern WA, called Settler Settlers Ridge run by Kaye & Wayne Knobbs – thanks to Simone

•    Preservative-free (not failsafe) wines, both red and white available from Happs, Not suitable for salicylate and amine responders, but excellent if you are avoiding sulphites.

•    Preservative-free (not failsafe) dessert wines, Harris Organic Wines, in Perth's Swan Valley WA have been making a range of preservative-free dessert wines for over 10 years.   

•    Red wines - for those who can tolerate salicylates and amines or who are willing to suffer the consequences for the sake of celebration, here are some red wines grown biodynamically with no nasty chemical sprays in the vineyard and no additives to the wine. To anywhere in Australia from Albany WA, from one bottle to one dozen they can post using the wine producers discounted postal rates - thanks Irene Bunn 08 9842 6266

•    Preservative-free (not failsafe) wines For sulphite sensitive wine drinkers: Hardy’s now make a range of preservative-free (not failsafe) wines that are available in most bottle shops for around $15 bottle. 'They taste great and no headaches! I won’t drink anything else after trying this wine.' Thanks to Jacqui Vanderzee

•    Preservative-free (not failsafe) wines For an online retailer selling about 40 brands of no added preservative wines (although of course they still contain salicylates and amines to which many react): 

•    Artisanal Potato Vodka (40% alcohol) and a failsafe gin. Now near Glen Innes NSW. New website email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  phone (02) 6732 1424. Expensive but special, avoid the flavoured varieties to be failsafe.

Egg replacer for people with egg allergies, e.g. Orgran No Egg

Ensure powder nutrition supplement vanilla flavor (contains milk and soy; ***Warning*** some of the Ensure liquid formulas contain artificial colours - thanks to Diane)

Flavours - vanilla, caramel and musk are the safest flavours. There are several thousand flavor additives approved for use in Australia that do not have to be listed by name or number because they are considered to be a trade secret and are not suitable on this diet. Obviously a food, drink, supplement, medication or toothpaste that has a strong fruit, vegetable, herb, spice or tasty flavor e.g. orange, raspberry, tomato, mint, cheese, chili will contain high salicylates/ amines and/or glutamates. It doesn’t matter whether they are natural, artificial or nature identical e.g. natural vanilla and synthetic vanillin contain the same chemicals, it’s just that the synthetic version is often used in higher doses because it is cheaper – and as always, reactions depend on the size of the dose. ***Warning*** flavor additives with unlisted benzoate preservative (211) - under the 5% labeling loophole additives in flavours do not have to be listed.

Reader report - ‘My son had 1/2 cup of Organic Vanilla Icecream on Sun, Mon and Tues. Sun he was loud and noisy, we thought he was just excited to have had icecream … Mon he was worse but I never made the connection since this product is Certified Organic and claims to contain to no artificial flavours or preservatives .... Tues he threw a huge tantrum when I dropped him off at daycare, Wed had another huge tantrum at the end of the day when I picked him up ... and the only thing new he had was the ice cream. I emailed them and they told me it was 'natural vanilla flavour'. With my son tantruming in the background, I phoned them and spoke to a very helpful lady in quality control, and asked her to check if the natural vanilla flavour contained alcohol or a preservative ... she got the fact sheet and started reading and sure enough, it contained sodium benzoate 211!!!!!!!! How can a product that is certified organic contain 211 - is there a loophole somewhere that even organic foods can use?’ No, and this has since been checked. But products labeled ‘all natural’ that aren’t organic may contain benzoates in e.g. ‘natural vanilla flavour’ and ‘natural orange flavour’. These would only be small quantities – but some of the children in our network are very sensitive …

Fats: Lard, None. Moderate in amines; suet is high in amines.

Flaxseed oil (linseed oil) is very high in salicylates. Not suitable for your strict elimination diet. See reader story: ‘We recently introduced Melrose flaxseed oil which appears to have helped our son in the attention span/concentration area. We were told to give 5ml per day, however I have only been giving him approx 3 - 3.5 ml - I did bump it up to 5ml and we started to see some problems so dropped it back and he's been good.’ Failsafe sources of omega 3: egg yolks, canola, sunflower and safflower oils and margarines. See our Supplements factsheet.

Flour, plain or self-raising flour (e.g. Defiance), arrowroot flour (gluten-free, e.g. McKenzies), cornflour (gluten-free if made from corn, e.g. White Wings)

Fluff is a failsafe marshmallow spread from the USA that used to be sold in the spreads section of Coles supermarkets. Ingredients: glucose syrup, sugar, dried egg white and artificial flavour (vanillin) – limited for sensitive people who react to sulphites (glucose syrup) and the tiny amount of salicylates in the flavour. Thanks to Ingrid 

Garlic, garlic powder or granules (e.g. MasterFoods)

GDL glucono-delta-lactone (baked products texturiser)

Gelatine (powder e.g. Davis or leaf) (may contain sulphites, can usually be driven off by boiling)

Glucose syrup (contains sulphites driven off when boiled, e.g. Herb Valley)

Gluten free foods (Gluten-free, gf) - see Gluten free foods section

Golden syrup (CSR) Golden syrup should be CSR not Lyle's which tastes stronger

Golden syrup Warning Some extra sensitive people have problems with low salicylate items including golden syrup. White sugar and maple syrup are safer than golden syrup and brown sugar, which although technically low, are at the higher end of the low category.

Reader report: "every time I use golden syrup (CSR) both kids react (itchy & rashy) yet they both tolerate maple. I just read on the Salicylate mistake list about the golden syrup.     Wow! I don't use it often & not in large amounts. Usually just in the Big Anzacs but have seen a pattern of both of them reacting after eating the anzacs. Thanks!

Gravy, None (even home-made with flour and meat juices because of amines in the meat juices, see recipes for alternatives such as leek sauce)

Guar Gum used in baking e.g. Lotus (although failsafe, can cause bloating and irritable bowel symptoms if eaten in large quantities or by the very sensitive)

Gums: guar and xanthan

Honey, None (honey is very high in salicylates*). Use Rice Syrup e.g. Pure Harvest as an alternative

Ice cream cones – always check ingredients as they change frequently:


Aldi waffle cones are failsafe.
Betta Ice Cream Gold Cones are failsafe (not the Kiddy Cones with 160b annatto).
Eskal Eskal Ice Cream Original Cones (gluten-free)
Woolworths Essentials icecream cones and Select original waffle


Altimate (coconut oil)
Black & Gold cones (four artificial colours 102,110,133,155)
Coles Smart Buy cones (110, 155), Coles Ice Cream Cones and Waffle cones (coconut oil)
McDonalds Sundae Cone (artificial colour 110 sunset yellow and possibly antioxidant 320)
Woolworth’s Homebrand cones (coconut oil) or Homebrand ice cream cups (319)

Icing sugar Warning: pure icing sugar is gluten-free, icing sugar with cornflour may not be.

Indian foods: Besan (chickpea) flour, dried chickpeas, lentils, pappadums (Warning may contain unlisted BHA 320) e.g. Sharwood’s plain Ready to Cook, not Ready to Eat snacks

Jam, None (make your own pear jam see Pear jam below)

Jellies and puddings, None (make your own, see recipes)

Juices, None (see recipe for Magic cordial and other suggestions; coconut water/juice is moderate in salicylates and amines.

Lard, None. Moderate in amines; suet is high in amines.

Lecithin 322 (made from soy, lupin or eggs - check if you are allergic to eggs). Moderate if used in large amounts as a supplement

Lemonade, no preservative 211, e.g. Schweppes bottled BUT NOT CANS. Not suitable for your supervised elimination diet due to moderate salicylates and amines in the natural lemon flavor • for people who manage limited salicylates and amines. Or make your own, see the Magic cordial recipe)

Lentils and dried beans, (e.g. red, brown and green lentils, chickpeas, split peas, red kidney and all other dried beans except broad beans)

Longlife milk, see Dairy for other products

Malt extract e.g. Saunders (contains gluten because it is made from barley)

Malt vinegar (moderate in amines)
Maple syrup, 100% pure e.g.

• Camp, O’Canada (no added flavour)

• Maple products made from pure maple syrup - Maple Spread or Maple butter (no added flavor) e.g. Shady Maple Farms Organic Creamy Canadian Maple Spread from health food stores; O’Canada, Melrose  or Available in supermarkets in North America and the U - thanks to Lesley and Lyn
• hard maple candy

Maple syrup candy tastes delicious and is suitable for failsafers. Ingredients: pure maple syrup, glucose, sugar. It does not contain added flavour. It is available online in Australia ( ). - thanks to Sam

Mayonnaise,None (make your own, see recipes, e.g. Mighty Mayo, or use pear puree or pear ketchup instead)

Meringues, home-made or commercial when made from permitted ingredients (egg white, sugar, cream of tartar, vanilla essence, not vinegar),eg plain meringues from the Tasmanian Meringue Co. (ingredients: sugar, egg white, flavour.) Ph. 03-62251682. ‘Whilst flavour is listed, 'when I rang she said it was just egg white and sugar, and so far they are fine.’ – thanks to Veronica. Warning RPA warns that a large number of egg whites eaten in a single meal can be a problem for amine responders.In our experience, old eggs can be problem for amine responders – thick white means fresh, the more thin white, the older the egg.

Mexican foods, these are popular with a failsafe filling. Old El Paso Stand 'n Stuff Mini Tortilla (contain wheat)  (also make your own tortillas and burritos, see Failsafe Cookbook)

Milk Arrowroot biscuits, Arnott’s

Milk Coffee biscuits, Arnott’s

Milkshake syrups,Smoothies

   Bickfords Milkshake Mix - Vanilla Malt (ingredients: Sugar, water, flavours acidity regulator (citric acid), vegetable gum (466), colour caramel (150D) – note that we recommend avoiding any commercial products containing 'flavours' if the diet isn't working. – thanks to Tracey

   Brownes Vanilla Malt Supa Shake (ingredients: skim milk, milk, sugar, glucose syrup, whey powder, barley malt powder, vegetable gums (407, 412, 466), flavour) – note that we recommend avoiding any commercial products containing 'flavours' if the diet isn't working.

***WARNING*** 'Natural' fruit smoothies'. Homemade banana and mango smoothies can be suitable for failsafers who tolerate limited moderate amounts of amines or salicylates. However, we checked the ingredients of a mango smoothie at a 'natural' food court outlet and found it contained two artificial colours and sodium benzoate 211. If you can't see bananas or mangoes going into drinks, ask before you buy. If they won't tell you, let us know.

Millet (e.g. Lotus French hulled millet, Demeter whole millet for home grinding)

Muesli bars, None (make your own, see recipes and Failsafe Cookbook)

Noodles, Bean vermicelli (e.g. Lion brand, gluten-free)

Noodles, Japanese buckwheat soba (Spiral Foods are 100 per cent buckwheat, but most contain wheat including in Japan)

Noodles, Rice (e.g. Pandaroo, Fantastic, gluten-free)

Noodles, Wheat (no antioxidants, colours, flavours, e.g. Changs.  Changs Fried Rice Noodles (purple packet). Ingredients: Rice Flour (58%), vegetable oil, salt, raising agent 500. Their staff confirm that their are no antioxidants in this product. Great in a crunchy noodle salad with wombok/red/green cabbage, shallots, dressing with canola oil, salt, golden or rice malt syrup - thanks Amelia.

***Warning*** Maggi Noodles The actual noodles in Maggi 2-minute noodles used to be OK, but now contain synthetic antioxidant 319 TBHQ, so both the noodles and the flavor sachet have to be avoided. Fantastic Long Life Noodles (Wide or Thin) and Fantastic Dried Noodles - Thin, are made from Wheat Flour and Salt but ***Warning*** the Instant Fantastic Noodles (just like 2 minute noodles) are not failsafe because of an unlisted non-failsafe antioxidant (319). Fantastic rice noodles are failsafe.

Nuts & nut butters & nut or seed butters or spreads

•    Nuts, none except cashew nuts (raw, not roasted, not suitable for people with nut allergies, healthy nut intake limit is a small handful less than 10 per day. All other nuts are high in salicylates and amines if raw, very high in salicylates and amines if roasted or processed e.g. almond meal, hazelnut meal)

•    Nut butter, none except homemade cashew paste from raw cashews, see recipe in Failsafe Cookbook. Commercial cashew butter made from lightly roasted cashews e.g. Melrose Cashew Spread is moderate in amines. (Peanut butter and other nut or seed pastes, spreads and butters including hazelnut and chocolate spread, sunflower seed spreads and tahini sesame spreads are very high in both salicylates and amines. There is a very delicious cashew and carob spread recipe in my books.)

•    Coconut water (juice) is moderate in salicylates and amines.
Oats, rolled oats, oatmeal, oat bran, oat milk (no additives or flavours, traditional or quick cook, e.g. Uncle Toby’s, Home Brand, Lowan, Freedom Foods; Pure Harvest Oat Milk.

Oats & Gluten: oats can be tolerated by most but not all people who are intolerant to gluten, tlherefore oats and oat products are not permitted on the gluten free version of the RPAH Elimination Diet. A 2011 study of oat varieties suggests that tolerance for oats can depend on the variety of the oats (some Australian varieties may be a problem). Canadian certified contamination free oats endorsed by the Canadian Celiac Association are available in health food stores e.g. Cream Hill oats ‘guaranteed gluten free’ Thanks to Leharna from Victoria for her warning: 'Levels of no detectable gluten in Australian are lower than those in the northern hemisphere … At this stage oats are considered to contain gluten on the Australian GF diet.' Coeliacs should discuss oats with their dietitian.

Oils, cooking oils, vegetable oils

***Antioxidant warning*** if added oil forms less than 5% of any product then the oil may contain unlisted antioxidants that are used to preserve fats and oils but not show on the ingredients label due to the 5% labeling loophole. While antioxidants 304-307 (tocopherols) are failsafe, 310-312 (gallates) or 319-321 (TBHQ, BHA, BHT) are not. The only way to find out is to phone the supplier, and even then, they can give you the wrong answer. We know this is outrageous and have been lobbying FSANZ for years.

Reader report from a dietitian: ‘The labelling issue for antioxidants in oil is one that ticks me right off I have to say. I know the labelling laws have improved things a lot but to have to call the company before you eat a product is crazy’.

Canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, soy oil, rice bran oil, cottonseed oil and palm oil (no synthetic antioxidants 310-321; canola oil, sunflower oil and safflower oils should not be cold pressed oils. Cold-pressed oils are not as refined and contain higher levels of salicylates; the extra refining in oils we recommend as failsafe has removed these salicylates; cold pressed soy and rice bran oil are okay; no corn oil due to moderate salicylates; no coconut or peanut oil due to high salicylates and amines; no nut oils such as almond due to very high salicylates and amines; no olive oil which ranges from moderate for lite deodorised to very high in both sals and amines for extra virgin).  Margarines made from the above oils, if they do not contain preservatives, colours or annatto 160b may be failsafe.

Some safe oils

•    Canola oil e.g. Golden Fields, Gold’n Canola (see warning below)

•    Canola cooking spray e.g. Pro chef

•    Safflower oil, e.g. Sunfield Safflower oil available in NZ supermarkets

•    Sunflower e.g. Crisco Sunflower (see warning below)

•    Soy oil (often called ‘vegetable oil’, ‘blended vegetable oil’ or ‘cooking oil’ and is blended with canola, palm or cottonseed oil; many avoid palm and cottonseed oils on environmental and other health grounds)

•    Rice Bran oil e.g. Alfa one

***Warning*** complaints about Crisco sunflower and sometimes canola oil - suggest avoid: The facebook group has carried many complaints about a recent change of labels, but Goodman Fielder tell us nothing else has changed: “The (sunflower) oil comes from Argentina in the crude form. We then refine it at our manufacturing plant. The refining process removes all the impurities that are present in the crude oil. It is then bleached to remove colour and finally deodorised to remove odours and flavours to produce a bland product. Under no circumstances is antioxidant added. The only antioxidant present is what's naturally occurring in the oil (alpha tocopherols) as it is not completely removed during the refining process.”

***Warning*** about Rice Bran Oil and wholegrain sensitivity: This oil is listed as safe by RPAH but it is possible that people who are sensitive to wholegrains in general may be affected:

Reader report 1: ‘I have tried the Rice Bran Oil by Alpha and I thought it was Ok at first. I had been using it for about two weeks when I noticed that my two kids and myself were unusually more irritable and angry - it was at my husband's suggestion (not fully failsafe but very supportive) that it might be the Rice Bran Oil causing this. He knew we all reacted badly to a switch over to Baker's Delight Wholemeal Bread (instead of White) and said that the "Bran" might be causing the same reaction. At his darling suggestion I stopped using the Rice Bran Oil and within a couple of days we were right as rain again.’ Thanks to Lisa

Reader report 2: I feel that Rice Bran Oil does make me cranky and give me sore joints. The sore joints are slow onset. We are now switching to Sunshine Canola Oil and I have also stopped having boiled millet and millet flour. It's back to white rice and organic white rice flour. My mood and joints seem a little better.’ - thanks to John

•      Flaxseed oil (which is also called linseed oil) was previously recommended as the best of the omega supplements for failsafers but is now listed as containing very high amounts of salicylates because flaxseeds (linseeds) are listed by RPAH as high in salicylates and amines.

Reader report: ’We recently introduced Melrose flaxseed oil which appears to have helped our son in the attention span/concentration area. We were told to give 5ml per day, however I have only been giving him approx 3 - 3.5 ml - I did bump it up to 5ml and we started to see some problems so dropped it back and he's been good.’ Thanks to Linda

***Warning*** check labels. In Australia most cooking oils are now free of nasty antioxidants but large or catering size containers are not e.g.Crisco sunflower oil in large packs such as 15L contains synthetic antioxidant (320, BHA) but is BHA-free in smaller containers. Catering packs of products such as oil, pastry and cake mixes used in cafés are more likely to contain additives. This means when you eat out e.g. hot chips will probably contain one of these additives. In Australia, MacDonalds French Fries most times contain 320.

A reader wrote ‘I am contacting you in the hope you can spread the word for me. My 2 year old son is EXTREMELY sensitive to antioxidant 320, we found this out from McDonald's fries. I have been trying to contact McDonald's asking them why they use 320 in their fries instead of a safer antioxidant’

***Warning*** NZ Cooking Oil: in New Zealand virtually all cooking oils and products such as snacks, biscuits and bread contain at least one of these nasty additives (residents and travellers beware!) - Sunfield Safflower Oil is recommended.

***Warning*** Lard, None. Moderate in amines; suet is high in amines.

Organic foods & pesticide avoidance

Salicylates are natural pesticides. Organically grown fruit and vegetables may develop higher levels of salicylates due to the lack of synthetic pesticides and herbicides. Therefore, organic fruit and vegetables may be not suitable for your supervised elimination diet.

The following hints for avoiding salicylates can also reduce pesticide intake

•    peel pears, apples and other fruit and vegetables thickly
•    discard outer leaves of lettuce, cabbage and similar vegetables
•    avoid fruit juice, fruit drinks and fruit canned in natural juice
Foods that are naturally low in salicylates including organic grains such as wheat and rice, and organic animal foods such as beef, lamb, veal, chicken, eggs, milk, butter, cream, cottage cheese, cream cheese and quark are suitable for your supervised elimination diet.

In the long term - after challenges - if you can choose to eat organic fruit and vegetables, remember that they may be higher in salicylates and you may have to eat less of them.

Pancakes, Plain premixes, many brands, e.g. Greens, White Wings Original Shaker pancakes. Or to avoid commercial flavours you can make your own pancakes, see recipes.

Pappadums (may contain unlisted antioxidants such as BHA 320, e.g. Sharwood’s plain Ready to Cook, not Ready to Eat snacks)

Pasta (e.g. San Remo), plain pasta in any shape (no colours, flavours, fillings, e.g. spaghetti, twists, alphabet) Contain gluten. See also Gluten free list. These are popular with a failsafe filling: Old El Paso Stand 'n Stuff Mini Tortilla

Pasta, fresh – may contain sulphite preservatives (220-228), check label.

Peas, green canned or dried (e.g. Surprise) No mint (Not suitable for your supervised elimination diet • for people who can tolerate limited amounts of glutamates)

Peanut butter, None (make your own cashew butter from raw cashews, see Fed Up recipe)

Pears, canned in syrup not natural juice, e.g. supermarket own brands, eat only the soft pieces of pear. Thanks to lobbying by Food Intolerance Network members, most supermarkets still carry this product.

Pears, puree Babyfood can also be eaten as a tomato sauce substitute (e.g. Heinz, Nutricia pear Puree)

Pears, snackpack ***Warning*** You'll Love Coles Diced Fruit Cups in Syrup are NOT failsafe due to concentrated pear juice. According to Coles, syrup on the label means sugar is added to thicken the juice – thanks to Jen. Read the label and trust your eyes: one mother wrote ‘I have noticed that in the Coles brand diced pears in syrup tubs (sold in 4 packs) on the failsafe shopping list, have concentrated pear juice in them - is this still okay? [NO] My daughter has been taking one tub a day to school over the last three weeks and is suffering quite a bit … Nothing else in her diet has changed … I suspected they weren’t good for her, but did not want to believe it!’                

Pear jam: Birgit's Pear Jam & Ketchup are no longer available, thanks to Birgit in Darwin for supplying both for over 10 years. Pear jam is listed by RPAH as low in salicylates if made from permitted ingredients at home and moderate in salicylates if made commercially (pears must be ripe, soft and thickly peeled. Pears are limited to 2 per day or equivalent, jam is a concentrated form of pears, so should be used sparingly). Some alternatives:

• Pear jam (pears canned in light syrup, sugar, citric acid, Vitamin C, pectin) made by Kitchen Kreations now available from Local stores can request stock from this website. Price $9.60 per 345g bottle plus postage. Being made by a disability support organisation, low in salicylates and delicious!
•    Yumarada - low salicylate foods - has Pear jam, Pear Vanilla Jam, Pear Sauce and Pear and Celery Chutney sold through and more detail at – thanks Selena.
• Pear jam from Melinda, who makes and sells it. For anyone living in Adelaide she is at The Adelaide Night Markets every fortnight on Sunday 5-9pm and at the Blackwood Markets every first Sunday of the Month 10-4pm. She uses ripe local packham pears, CSR sugar, citric acid and pectin. “I do cook the jam for longer than the cookbook says as I get a better set, and the jam develops a lovely red colour. I make sure that the fruit is very ripe before it is used.” Failsafe pear jam can also be ordered This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or messaged through Facebook but at this stage Melinda delivers only in the Adelaide CBD, or around the Blackwood, Glenalta, Belair and Stirling areas.
• Hank’s Pear and Vanilla Jam from also from (in our experience, vanilla can be a problem for many children, best to avoid if the diet isn’t working)
• Pear Jam from The Small Food Caterers in Adelaide, run by Debbie Kelly who comes to our Adelaide talks with heaps of delicious products including pear jam and sweets. Debbie makes recipes from the Failsafe Cookbook
• OzzyFrank no longer does Pear Jam through ebay ***Warning*** Ozefranks “Low-Salicylate Sour Apple Jam” is NOT failsafe (According to RPA there are NO low salicylate apples, and cooking certainly doesn’t reduce salicylate content, it is the opposite, making jam will concentrate the salicylates because the water is boiled off). As with any salicylate containing food, do not expect to see an immediate reaction - you need to keep a food and symptom diary and watch for a slow build up with symptoms coming and going with no obvious cause. - thanks to Heather.
• In Canberra you can buy pear jam from a little boutique shop called Food Lovers in the Fyshwick Markets, ingredients: Pears (flesh only, no skin), White Sugar and Water - thanks to Kirra.
Pectin (for jam-making, e.g. FowlersVacola Jamsetta)

Pepper, None. (all spices are high to very high in salicylates)

Petticoat Tails or any other shortbread with flour, sugar, butter only

Pizza Bases, preservative free, made from permitted ingredients (no herbs, no spices, no olive oil) ***Warning*** unlisted antioxidant BHA(320) is in many products (eg McCains Healthy Choice), see Antioxidant Warning

•    Gluten free pizza bases from Silly Yaks are failsafe (Rice flour, tapioca starch, soy flour, canola oil, soy lecithin, baking powder (glucono delta-lactone (575), potassium bicarbonate (501), sodium bicarbonate (500)), xanthan gum (415), guar gum (412), salt, water added)
•    Failsafe Pizza bases: Coles "Pizza Vita Premium Thin & Crispy" (wheat flour, water, vegetable oil, yeast, salt, flour treatment agent (920), citric acid - they have twice confirmed that the vegetable oil does not have antioxidants thanks Kathleen & Jo (FinM)
•    Pizza base alternative - make your own or use Coles Naan bread instead (contains dairy products)
•    Baker’s Delight pizza bases are not failsafe due to herbs but one failsafer reports “My local store said they would be happy to make some plain ones for me (on order)”. Ingredients are: Wheat Flour, Water, Iodised Salt, Yeast, Vegetable Oil (Soya Bean), Garlic, Herbs, Emulsifier (481), Soy Flour, Vitamins (Thiamin, Folic Acid) - thanks to Vera

Polenta or maize meal is high in salicylates and glutamates.
Poppy seeds e.g. MasterFoods (All other seeds including sesame, sunflower, pepita and nigella are high to very high in salicylates and amines*. Chia seeds are a member of the mint family and now listed as high in salicylates and amines.

Psyllium husks, psyllium hulls fibre supplement to prevent constipation (dairy free, gluten free) e.g Bonvit, Sunsol, Meriam unflavoured psyllium husks in supermarkets, plain Metamucil (no orange or other flavor, no artificial colour) in pharmacies, see Psyllium factsheet

As with other seeds there have been rare reports of IgE mediated allergies in people exposed to large amounts of psyllium, such as nurses.

Reader comment: ‘Metamucil in the Smooth Orange, Smooth Lemon/Lime and Granular Sunset contains food colouring 110 but because it is a pharmaceutical it is listed as yellow FCF CI 15985. I was taking the Lemon/Lime flavour for my irritable bowel symptoms whilst trying to figure out why some of my other food intolerance symptoms (irritability, insomnia and urticaria) were increasing. Their newest product FibreCaps contain Red 40 Lake, Blue 1 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake - according to our classification system, these are the harmful colours 129, 133 and 110 respectively’. - thanks to Liz

Puffed rice, millet, buckwheat, amaranth (many brands, e.g. Good Morning, Micronized Foods)

Rice Bran, e.g. Ener-G rice bran (no fruit juice sweeteners)

Rice Bubbles, no synthetic antioxidants e.g. Kellogg’s

Rice Cakes plain unflavoured, e.g. SunRice Original (ingredients: wholegrain brown rice), Pure Harvest (ingredients whole brown rice)Can be eaten dry, with spreads, or crumbled with milk as a breakfast cereal. (No corn, pepper, sesame, cheese, sour cream, roast chicken or other flavours; no rosemary extract or herb extract as preservative e.g. in the plain IGA brand; no colour 160b e.g. in Sunrice Caramel rice Snacks).
Rice crackers, plain unflavoured e.g. Sakata Plain Rice Crackers are failsafe, others are usually not (no flavours, flavor enhances, glutamate-containing ingredients such as yeast extract, hydrolysed vegetable protein and/or synthetic antioxidants which can be unlisted, see Antioxidant Warning). ***Warning*** Although plain Sakata rice crackers are technically failsafe, many of the failsafe groups report that a few Sakatas are OK on rare occasions, but any more and reactions occur, no-one knows why because the ingredients all look safe, but we do wonder about MSG contamination on the line. If the diet isn’t working, avoid them.

Rice flakes (no added fruit or juice, e.g. Rice Flakes Medium from JK International)

Rice malt (e.g. Colonial Farm) and Rice syrup (e.g. Nature First)

Rice noodles (e.g. Pandaroo, Fantastic, gluten-free)

Rice paper (e.g. Banh Trang, gluten-free)

Rice, plain rice (e.g. Sunwhite, Calrose, medium or long grain, Arborio, Doongara, white glutinous rice, quick cooking rice, but not flavoured such as basmati, jasmine or wild rice all listed as moderate in salicylates)

Roasted chickpeas (e.g. Chic Nuts salted flavour)

Rolled oats (no additives or flavours, traditional or quick, e.g. Uncle Toby’s, Home Brand, Freedom Foods wheat-free quick oats if gluten intolerant)

Ryvita Original crispbreads (ingredients: wholegrain Rye Flour (97%), Rye Flour, Salt), not onion or black pepper flavours

Saffron threads (powder can be adulterated with artificial colour, read labels) e.g. MasterFoods

Sago (e.g. Lion Brand; we tested for sulphites and found none, should be driven off by cooking)

Salad dressings, None (make your own from oil and citric acid, see recipes)

Salada biscuits, plain

Salmon, fresh or canned in spring water or failsafe oils, no flavours (Not suitable for your supervised elimination diet • for people who can tolerate limited amounts of amines)

Salt, sea salt, table salt or rock salt preferably iodised e.g. MasterFoods sea salt grinder on the table and Saxa iodised salt for cooking (No vegetable or flavoured salts except McCormick garlic salt. Chicken salt is very high in salicylates, amines and glutamates)

Failsafe diets have the potential to be low in iodine if you are avoiding seafood and most packaged food containing added salt. Low thyroid levels seem to exacerbate food intolerance sensitivities. Australian soils are generally low in iodine and iodised cleaners are no longer used in dairies so dairy is no longer a good source of iodine. So it would be worth choosing a salt with added iodine unless you are certain that it causes problems. Rock salts that you grind yourself generally don't have additives apart from iodine. Perhaps try Saxa iodised rock salt from the supermarket. - Marie Hazelwood, Qld dietitian, from our facebook group

Saltine crackers, Arnott’s

Sao, Arnott’s plain and wholemeal

Sardines in spring water or failsafe oils, no flavours (Not suitable for your supervised elimination diet • for people who can tolerate limited amounts of amines)

Sauces,None (make your own, see recipes, e.g. Leek sauce, Birgit’s pear ketchup). Carob sauce is very popular and can substitute for soy sauce.
See and 

Scotch Finger biscuits, Arnott’s

Seaweed, None. Seaweed is listed as very high in salicylates, amines and glutamates* - this would include nori, hijiki, wakame, kombu also known as kelp, and kanten

Seeds, none except poppy seeds (all other seeds including linseed, pumpkin seeds, sesame and sunflower are very high in salicylates or amines; black nigella is very high; mustard and tahini are very high). See chia seeds

Semolina - see recipe 

Shortbreads, Glengarry or any other shortbread with flour, sugar, butter, such such as Walkers shortbread, Unibic Shortbread Fingers and Petticoat Tails

Shredded Wheatmeal biscuits, Arnotts


Crisps/chips ***Warning*** Smith chips - now contain rosemary extract. No longer failsafe.

We have also had many reports like these:

•    “my daughter has a physical reaction to foods including puffy lips and tongue. She appeared to have reacted after eating the apparently-safe Arnotts French Fries, and definitely reacted after eating Kettle Original chips.”:
•    'After reading on your website that Smiths crisps were failsafe I bought some for my children I just thought I would let you know that they were loud, irritable, extremely hyperactive and aggressive for four days although I have no idea what set them off all I know is that it was those crisps. They only had a small bowl each and the crisps were the only thing different that they had.'
•    “Just want to comment on the potato chips issue. I am sulfite, dairy, wheat and oat intolerant. I find Kettle sea salt chips are fine. I have no noticeable reaction to them. Smiths original crisps make my face itchy and tingly and give me a headache” – thanks to Sascha
•    “You'll Love Coles brand plain chips must contain something as my son went troppo when I challenged them a couple of weeks ago. He is highly sensitive to antioxidants but it's hard to tell if it was that or just contamination I guess The Aldi Blackstone brand kettle-style chips are the only ones he does not react to”
These items are considered failsafe and we have asked the manufacturers who claim the labels are accurate. All we can think is that there is cross-contamination on the line with other flavours, possibly 635 flavour enhancer. The 5% labelling loophole does not apply to vegetable oil in chips that have a higher than 5% oil content, so any antioxidants in the oil should be listed on the label. Some people suspect they react to palm oil.

Kelloggs LCM bars (Rice Bubble treats, plain not flavoured e.g. not chip) contain a small amount of nasty antioxidant 320 and 220; now recommended by RPAH with a limit of 1 per day but we would say one per week or avoid altogether if the diet isn’t working - thanks to Anne

Rafferty's Garden snack bars no longer contain annatto 160b. This will not be necessarily be reflected on the packaging, however, any products with an expiry date of March 2013 onwards DO NOT contain annatto (more details  though obviously not for failsafers with sals or amine sensitivity.)

Spiral Foods Genmai Mochi is a steamed, pounded sweet brown rice cake that is easy to prepare. Genmai Mochi (literally, brownrice cake) can be baked, fried, steamed, added to soup, eaten as a dessert, microwaved briefly until it puffs up, or heated in a waffle maker for a small gluten free waffle. (Ingredients: Sweet brown rice) 

Soft drinks, Lemonade (no preservative 211, e.g. Schweppes bottled ‘natural lemon flavour’ but not ‘traditional with 5% lemon juice (211), now listed as moderate due to salicylates and amines in flavour, or make your own, see the Magic Cordial recipe) Soda water (no flavours, no additives, make your own with Sodastream Sparkling mineral water (no flavours, no additives); Tonic water (no preservative 211, e.g. Schweppes, listed as moderate)

Soup and soup mixes, None, (make your own, see recipes, e.g. Andra’s chicken noodle, Kerry’s vegetable hater)

Soy butter (Freedom Foods) is no longer available, unfortunately

Soy sauce, none NOT FAILSAFE (glutamates). Try carob sauce above.


Special K, and other plain additive-free wholewheat based cereals

Spices and cooking needs, garlic powder or granules (e.g. MasterFoods), poppy seeds (e.g. MasterFoods), saffron threads (powder can be adulterated with artificial colours) e.g. MasterFoods

Spirits, gin, unflavoured vodka, whisky (Scotch or Irish e.g. Jameson's - not bourbon or American whisky).


No honey, no commercial jam, no Vegemite, no Vege Spread, no peanut butter.

Commercial spreads

•    Butter, margarine e.g. Harmonie Organic Butter
•    Cashew butter from lightly roasted cashews e.g. Melrose is listed as moderate in amines (Not suitable for your supervised elimination diet • for people who can tolerate limited amounts of amines)
•    Cream cheese (no preservatives) e.g. Philadelphia
•    Fluff marshmallow spread
•    Golden Syrup e.g. CSR - others appear to be higher in salicylates
•    Malt Extract e.g. Saunders
•    Maple Spread e.g. Shady Farms Maple Spread or Maple Butter (do not refrigerate)
•    Pear Jam see under Pear.
•    Quark (a mild yoghurt cottage cheese) e.g. B-d Paris Farm
•    Rice Malt e.g. Pure Harvest Organic Rice Malt Extract
•    Rice Syrup e.g Pure Harvest, a honey alternative (may contain traces of gluten)

Homemade spreads

•    Carob spread (mix milk, butter or Nuttelex with carob powder
•    Cashew butter (peanut butter alternative)
•    Nutella alternative (cashew butter with carob)
•    Pear jam, see Fed Up or the Failsafe Cookbook, commercial pear jam may be moderate in salicylates if made from hard unripe or unpeeled pears
•    Vegemite Substitute, see Recipes

Stocks, stock cubes bone broth, None (very high in salicylates, amines and glutamates)
Sugar: white sugar, caster sugar, icing sugar (pure icing sugar is gluten-free, icing sugar with cornflour is not), brown sugar (not raw, no molasses for colouring). Maple syrup, caramel syrup, rice syrup, CSR golden syrup and glucose syrup are failsafe, (not raw sugar, honey, molasses or treacle due to high salicylates). Although both low, white sugar is lower in salicylates than brown sugar. A number of failsafers have reported that brown sugar and golden syrup can cause problems. Unless the diet is working well for you, we recommend sticking to white sugar and pure maple syrup except for special occasions. Note that RPAH now list palm sugar and coconut sugar as moderate in salicylates and amines.

Contrary to popular opinion, white sugar does not cause children’s behaviour problems or so called ‘sugar highs’, except when triggered by salicylate intolerance, a condition known as salicylate-induced hypoglycemia. Usually when children seem to be affected by sweet foods e.g. at a party, additives are to blame. More in factsheet.

Sugar free sweeteners e.g. Sorbitol, Mannitol, Xylitol and others in foods and medications. Not suitable for your supervised elimination diet because products containing these polyols must display the following warning ‘excess consumption may have a laxative effect’ . In sensitive consumers even a small amount may cause gut symptoms such as bloating, wind, stomach pain and diarrhea, including from chewing gum (‘I didn’t swallow it’ means you didn’t swallow the gum but you swallowed the flavor.) Some failsafers can tolerate polyols e.g. ‘Just to let you know my son is tolerating the Xylitol fine. I use it instead of sugar to make the magic cordial. It's expensive though...’ thanks to PP and dietitian Liz Beavis, see our Sugar free factsheet.

Tapioca flour and balls e.g. Lion Brand (we tested for residual sulphites and there were none)

Tartaric acid.

Tea, None
Alternative drinks – decaffeinated coffee, carob powder, a slurp of maple syrup in water, or ‘green bean’ tea (boil up some permitted green vegetables e.g. green beans, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, with a small potato for flavor (optional) and drink the vegetable water

Toppings and ice-cream cones, Betta natural ice-cream cones, Nestlé Caramel Top ’n’ Fill

Tuna in spring water or failsafe oils, no flavours, e.g. John West sandwich tuna in canola oil) (Not suitable for your supervised elimination diet • for people who can tolerate limited amounts of amines)

Unibic Shortbread Fingers or any other shortbread with flour, sugar, butter

Vanilla essence (natural, or artificial vanillin, e.g. Queen) but used to be limited to three drops per day – we use rarely, see Cleaners)

Vegemite, Promite, Marmite, Mighty Mite, None. Yeast extract is like a natural form of MSG. See Recipes for Vegemite substitute or see spreads in the Failsafe Cookbook for alternatives.

Vegetables, canned: beans (no spices or flavoured sauces as in baked beans), e.g. red kidney beans, chickpeas, butter beans, borlotti beans, three (or more) bean mixes, green beans, Surprise dried green beans, see also dried beans and lentils in Soup Mix section (Not suitable for your supervised elimination diet: beetroot no spices, asparagus, corn kernels, canned green peas no mint, Surprise dried green peas no mint)

Vinegar, None (except as a household cleaner; malt vinegar is mod in amines all others including apple cider vinegar are very high in sals & amines. Balsamic vinegar is very high in salicylates, amines and glutamates) You can use ½ tsp of citric acid in 1 cup of water as a vinegar substitute.

Vitamin C for cooking (we use Melrose ascorbic acid powder from pharmacies)

Vita-Weat original

Vodka, see above under Drinks

Walkers shortbread, or any other shortbread with flour, sugar, butter

Water crackers, Arnott’s Original (no flavours eg pepper, sesame)

Water, spring water (unflavoured all brands, e.g. Mount Franklin), still mineral water, see also Soft drinks

Weet-Bix, Sanitarium and other plain additive-free wholewheatbased cereals

Weeties, Uncle Toby’s and other plain additive-free wholewheatbased cereals

Xanthan gum often used in gluten free cooking, e.g. Nu-Vit

Xylitol, one of the sugar free sweeteners called polyols, can cause irritable bowel symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea in large doses or sensitive consumers (not suitable for your supervised elimination diet)

Yeast baked in a product is failsafe e.g. Lowan, Tandaco, Kitchen Collection, Defiance dried yeast (No brewer’s yeast, no yeast extract. Dried or fresh baker's yeast is moderate in amines, salicylates and glutamates.  Warning some brands may contain gluten)

Thanks to failsafer Sonia Gulwadi for the great graphics 


The above list shows the most common items. For a comprehensive list see RPAH's Friendly Food 2019 available from our shop, Target and BigW.

update February 20223