The US Food and Drug Administration has recognized that approximately 1 in 100 people suffer from sulfite allergies. For asthma patients, that rises to 1 in 5. A variety of foods contain sulfites as an additive, primarily an anti-oxidant, to prevent discoloration and also a sterilizing agent – these are recognized on the label as sulphur dioxide, sulfite, bisulfite and metabisulfite. Foods with added or natural sulfite include baking ingredients, manufactured soup mixes, canned and pickled foods, gravies, dried fruit, jams, potato chips, dried fruit “mixes”, beer, wine, vegetable juices, some fruit juices, tea, condiments, molasses, fresh or frozen shrimp, guacamole, maraschino cherries, and pre-prepared potatoes.
Sulfite additives must appear on the label, by law. But beware: sulfites may appear in food presented in food chains, cafes and restaurants, which can be a hidden source of danger, because this is not covered by the law.