Fact sheetDiet specifications

Published: November 2011. Partial revision July 2019. Next review: 2024.

Allergy diet - sulphite low

This document is part of the ACI Diet Specifications for Adult Inpatients. It is not to be used for patient education.


To provide a diet that excludes foods high in sulphur dioxide and other sulphites.


Avoids the following additives: sulphites (220–25, 228).


Sulphite intolerance.

Nutritional adequacy

Nutritionally adequate.


It is not possible to provide a full list of all permitted commercial products; the following are general guidelines only. Ingredient lists of processed foods must be carefully and regularly scrutinised. Potatoes purchased peeled (or in commercial products such as dried mixes) and dried fruits typically have added sulphite preservatives used to prevent discolouration.


Suitable for use in paediatrics when combined with an age-appropriate diet.

Specific menu planning guidelines

Allowed Not allowed
Hot main dishes All plain cooked meat, poultry, fish, eggs and legumes

Processed meats (e.g. ham, silverside, bacon, sausages)

Meat pies

Dishes made with dried fruit or wine

Sauces, gravies All others Chutneys and pickles
Starchy vegetables / pasta / rice

Plain fresh potato

All pasta and rice

Any potato purchased pre-peeled (e.g. frozen French fries)
Vegetables All – fresh, canned and frozen -
Soups All -
Sandwiches Sandwiches using allowed ingredients Processed meats (e.g. ham, silverside, chicken roll) Mayonnaise
Salads, dressings All other salad ingredients (e.g. oil and lemon juice dressing)

Processed meats (e.g. ham, silverside, chicken roll)

Potato salad

Mayonnaise, malt and wine vinegars

Breads, cereals

Breads labelled preservative free. Confirm vinegar as an ingredient is sulphite free.

Bread crumbs

Rice cakes

Most plain breakfast cereals without added fruit, eg rolled oats, Weet-Bix™, Corn Flakes®, Rice Bubbles®

Cereals with added fruit – check label

Butter, margarine

Honey, Vegemite™, jam, marmalade, peanut butter

Hot breakfast choices All others Sausages, bacon
Fruit All fresh fruit and most canned fruits Dried fruit, prunes and commercial fresh fruit salads – check label
Yoghurt All yoghurts -
Desserts Milk-based desserts (e.g. custards, creamy rice), plain puddings, ice cream, cheesecake

Jelly, toppings, fruit cake

Desserts made with gelatine (e.g. flummery)

Milk and cheese

All plain milk

All cheese


Tea, coffee

Only tetra-pack juices or those without preservatives

Juice with non-permitted sulphites added

Cordial and soft drinks

Biscuits All -
Miscellaneous 100% white vinegar created from molassess via microbial fermentation

Gelatine - if heated / cooked

All other vinegar

Fruit toppings and syrups, desiccated coconut

Gelatine - uncooked


  1. Food Intolerance Network. Sulphites (220–228).
  2. Food Standards Australia New Zealand. Choosing the right stuff: the official shoppers’ guide to food additives and labels, kilojoules and fat content. Sydney: Murdoch Books; 2007.
  3. Food Standards Australia New Zealand. Benzoates, sulphites and sorbates in the food supply: report of the 21st Australian total diet study. 2005.
  4. Simon RA. Update on sulfite sensitivity. Allergy. 1998;53 Suppl 46:78-9.
  5. Swain, Anne; Soutter, Velencia; Loblay, Robert (2013). RPAH Elimination Diet Handbook with Food & Shopping Guide (PDF). ISBN 9780980616408.

Change log

July 2019

Section updatedChange
Specific menu planning guidelines - Breads/cereals In Allowed, added after Breads labelled preservative free. Confirm vinegar, as an ingredient, is sulphite free
In Allowed, added Bread crumbs
Specific menu planning guidelines - Miscellaneous In Allowed, added 100% white vinegar created from molassess via microbial fermentation, Gelatine - if heated/cooked
In Not Allowed, added All other vinegar,  Gelatine - uncooked
References Added Swain, Anne; Soutter, Valencia; Loblay Robert (2013). "RPAH Elimination Diet Handbook with Food & Shopping Guide" (PDF). ISBN 9780980616408
Back to top