Exposure assessment is one of the key parts of the risk assessment process. This task is crucial when evaluating substances for which only intake of toxicologically-important amounts can lead to adverse health effects. Ideally, dietary exposure to hazardous substances can be assessed by combining data on concentration in all food products with data on their consumption. However, it is considered to be neither cost-effective nor necessary to collect detailed data for every substance, and a stepwise procedure is commonly used to focus resources on the most important issues. Screening methods, designed to look for ‘worst case’ situations, are first used to target chemicals that might be of health concern for the general population or for certain at-risk groups. The quality of the dietary exposure assessments not only depends on the quality of the data collected, but also on the integration tools used for initial screening or for the eventual more precise estimations. A particular challenge is the evaluation of food allergens and components causing other forms of intolerances, since no reliable data seem to be currently available on the type of exposure (amounts and duration) required to induce a food allergy. A different approach from that used for dietary exposure to other hazardous substances has to be adopted. However, the methodologies (such as those used to collect food consumption data) and databases (in particular, information about food labels) developed in such a context could be useful to investigate the exposure conditions leading to the development of food allergies.