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M&M and Mars

16 replies [Last post]
By angelahensley on Wed, 06-18-03, 17:21

starburst and skittles
only peanut safe candies they make.
just called them, i said "don't you have enough parents calling in w/ peanut allergy concerns to consider dedicating a line to m&ms to make them peanut free?"
she said "yes, but we haven't yet, i'll pass it along."
duh.......
angela

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By samirosenjacken on Wed, 06-18-03, 17:44

I just have to add that my friend who has a dd allergic to tree nuts called M/M mars as well. Basically she was told not to trust ANY of their products! They would only use a label for peanuts b/c peanuts are the only allergy that can kill people. She begged to differ! He said that some of the their new bags have warnings but the old bags don't and there really isn't any sure way to tell which food is made in which plant etc.. Basically, eating their foods is a death wish for a child with a food allergy! We used to let the girls eat m/ms but not anymore!

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By erik on Wed, 06-18-03, 18:42

I also talked to M&M/Mars and was told that the following candies were made in peanut-free facilities:

- Starburst
- Skittles
- Bounty chocolate bar
- Dove caramel chocolate bar

(I am in Canada)

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By Bootsy on Wed, 06-18-03, 19:48

I am always interested in these M&M topics as there always seems to be some debate about whether plain M&M's contain actual peanut in the product - for example, some believe the "shell" contains peanut. I tend to not believe this as I would think that they would have to list this as an ingredient and they don't - they are merely labeled made in a factory... Just find this interesting, what do others think - maybe I should have put this in Erik's debate thread.

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By angelahensley on Wed, 06-18-03, 20:30

I read once how difficult it is to candy coat the m&ms perfectly, and this was an interview question for a job.
With this in mind, I imagine that machine that does it is very expensive, and they use it for peanut m&ms and plain m&ms.
The lady said they thoroughly was the machine between batches, but I can almost taste a hint of peanut when I have eaten them myself.

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By Anne Parrish on Wed, 06-18-03, 23:08

Not that this will change anyone's mind about this topic, but I will toss in my 2 cents...

When I have called Mars about M&M's (I do this about once a year, just to see if anything has changed), I have consistently been told that the actual production lines for *making* the M&M's are different foor plain & peanut. The shared aprt of the assembly line is actually where they are bagged.

And, for what it is worth, I do let my PA child eat M&M's once in a while (as long as both parents are home, etc.) & she has never had a reaction. She has reacted to other things (both times a mistake on our part, not a manufaturing error), so I know she really does react to trace amounts of peanuts, but never to M&M's.

Anne

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By Driving Me Nutty on Thu, 06-19-03, 03:15

My nephew is an operations engineer at an M&M/Mars ice cream plants. He has advised me that starburst and skittles are the only peanut safe candies they make. These are part of the Sugars division and made at separate facility than the chocolates.

Bounty is on a shared line with other bars that contain nuts/peanuts. Dove caramel chocolate bar is made in the same factory as other peanut products.

Their policy is that in order for it to say 'nut free' it has to be in a separate area of the factory with a separate ventilation system (Dove caramel choc is not).

They are considering making a nut-free plant -- "duh!" to quote Angela. Imagine how many millions of plain M&Ms this company makes. I would think there would definitely be enough of those and other non-nut products to fill an entire facility.

My nephew also told me that they only have plants in the U.S. and France that ship the products worldwide.

Everyone has different comfort levels, but wanted to share some this information.

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By erik on Thu, 06-19-03, 03:35

Quote:Originally posted by Driving Me Nutty:
[b]Bounty is on a shared line with other bars that contain nuts/peanuts. Dove caramel chocolate bar is made in the same factory as other peanut products. [/b]

Hi Driving Me Nutty,

I think the situation in Canada may be different. I phoned M&M/Mars Canada (Effem) and was told that both the Bounty bar and the Dove caramel bar were made in peanut-free facilities. Maybe they are safe in Canada but unsafe in the USA? (we do have M&M/Mars facilities in Canada that do manufacture chocolate bars) Do they have an allergy warning on the American labels?

In Canada, the Mars, Three Musketeers, Twix all have peanut warnings on the label. But Bounty and Dove caramel have no warnings here in Canada.

I will call them again to confirm the manufacturing conditions for Bounty and Dove caramel. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Thanks for your post.

[This message has been edited by erik (edited June 18, 2003).]

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By tgab on Thu, 06-19-03, 04:16

FWIW, the plain M&Ms that I have seen DO list peanut as an ingredient. So I don't know whether it really is an ingredient, or whether they just add it to the ingredients list instead of stating may contain, similar to the way Nabisco adds peanut flour to some of their Oreo labels.

We've never allowed our dd to have M&Ms. She does love Sixlets and Skittles.

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By Scruffy on Thu, 06-19-03, 04:59

I miss the Crunchy M&M's soooooooo much. I used to eat these even though I knew I was taking a risk. I finally stopped when I started getting an itchy throat. :-(

[This message has been edited by Scruffy (edited June 19, 2003).]

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By Peg541 on Thu, 06-19-03, 05:38

Our allergist told us that M&M shells USED to be made with peanuts.

Our problem with M&M's aside from the may contain warning is how do you know if you are popping a peanut one into your mouth? They can get mixed up and if you are eating handfuls you can get a bad one.

DS does not eat them any more.

Peg

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By becca on Thu, 06-19-03, 12:49

I have definately had a surprise peanut M&M in a bag of plain ones. More often in crunchy or almond ones. Generally the size and shape is different and you know it. Back in the day it was a welcome surprise. Ugh!

It sure would be nice if they decided to have a nut free facility for plain ones. I do prefer them to the Canadian Smarties we get. They have a thinner, crisper shell. Uh, oh, chocolate cravings kicking in! becca

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By maggie0303 on Thu, 06-19-03, 13:24

Our situation is similar to Anne's. My dd does react to trace amounts, but has not reacted to regular M&Ms, she has had these plenty of times in the past with no problems. However, she did react to the mini M&Ms and now we stay away from them all.

Maggie

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By Tamie on Thu, 06-19-03, 13:32

My son got some MRI's (military food) from his Aunt and some of the food packs have M&M's in them, they all have peanut listed as an ingredient on those packages, but I haven't seen that on the kind we have in the stores, only for the military ones.
Tamie

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By erik on Thu, 06-19-03, 14:26

Quote:Originally posted by Driving Me Nutty:
Bounty is on a shared line with other bars that contain nuts/peanuts. Dove caramel chocolate bar is made in the same factory as other peanut products

Hi Driving Me Nutty,

I just called Effem Foods of Bolton Ontario at 905-857-5700 (M&M/Mars of Canada) and was told that the only safe chocolate bars that they make for PA Canadians are the Bounty coconut bar and the Dove caramel bar. She said they are safe for peanut allergic individuals.

The other bars (Mars bar, etc) are not safe, as Snickers is manufactured in the same facility.

So for those of you in Canada, Bounty and Dove caramel are safe to eat. She also mentioned Skittles and Starburt are safe. The Bounty bar in Canada is actually manufactured in Spain (it used to come from England).

So I am glad to know that I can continue to eat Bounty and Dove caramel when I am in Canada (although it sounds unsafe in the USA from what you wrote). I wonder why it is so easy to find PA safe chocolate bars in Canada but so difficult to find them in the USA?

[This message has been edited by erik (edited June 19, 2003).]

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By MeCash on Thu, 06-19-03, 18:39

Just thought I'd say that I, too, have found a peanut M&M in a bag of plain M&M's before! And not that long ago... I don't risk M&M's with my kids. Fact is, neither of them really cares for chocolate anyway. Vanilla kids on this end... more popsicle crazed than anything else, luckily.
~Melanie

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By Driving Me Nutty on Fri, 06-20-03, 02:57

Hi Erik,
Thanks for following up with M&M/Mars Canada. I wish we were able to find as many safe candy bars as you lucky Canadians have! I'd like to get some of that Chapman's ice cream too. Oh well... someday.

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