Ben & Jerry\'s

Posted on: Sat, 03/29/2003 - 6:42am
yuck2nuts's picture
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Joined: 02/28/2002 - 09:00

I was so disappointed today to get my food alert that a particular flavor of Ben & Jerry's ice cream is being recalled because of undeclared peanuts (see the Food Recall board). Good for them for doing the recall, but it sends shivers down my spine because we decided a few months ago to allow Ben & Jerry's into our home because we felt they were so allergy aware. Anyway, I will need to rethink this now. So happy that Philly Swirl is now an alternative!!!

Posted on: Sat, 03/29/2003 - 1:05pm
Alex Plotkin's picture
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Joined: 03/28/2003 - 09:00

I have recently had an opportunity to read all of the comments and I just wanted to thank everyone for choosing our products. I personally had a chance to speak with some of you and from the sound of your comments I feel that I need to get a little more involved. I completely understand that our product is not very readily available in most of the markets in U.S. and Canada but in the next few weeks Max and I will put every possible effort to get all five of our products in all the grocery stores. I really wish that the process was quicker & easier but then you never know. We have had hundreds of customers who have requested our product to be available at their respective stores which has proven to be extremely effective. Most of the head store managers of the grocery stores are very considerate of their customer's requests. I only know from the experience my wife and I have had with stores in our area like Publix and Winn Dixie!! I personally have a soft spot for allergies because my 11 month old son Zachary is very sensitive to dairy. My wife has had a very hard time with nursing him because of it. Ever since I have had a chance to speak with some you, we have since removed all peanut/tree nuts and dairy from our house for a long time. Max and I have been working together for approximately 11 years and we have never read, heard or experienced as much care and thoughtfulness as we have from all of you. Please understand that we're doing everything we can to get all of our five products out there. PLEASE!!! PLEASE!!! PLEASE!!!! If anyone has any questions/comments/suggestions about anything concerning our manufacturing process or distribution PLEASE!!!! feel free to call me directly on my cell, as some of you have, at 813.477.41.59 and I will do my best to respond ASAP. I'm aware that it's along distance call, but as soon as I answer I will then call you immediately back. If you happen to reach my voice mail, PLEASE!! leave me a detailed message. We are located in the eastern time zone, which means that my son goes to bed around 10:00 pm eastern standard time. My email address is [email]alex@phillyswirl.com[/email] or you can visit us at [url="http://www.phillyswirl.com"]www.phillyswirl.com[/url] and see which products appeal to you!! PLEASE!!! Under no circumstances should you feel that you're disturbing me in any way. All I ask is please be a little patient with me returning your calls or your emails. Once again, Max and I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts and if there is any way that we can help, we at least would like to try. Max and I have been discussing our coupon situation and I think we have come up with a solution. If any of you would like to hear about it, please let me know. Please tell all of your kids that Max and I said "hello"!! Have a great weekend!!
Alex & Max-owners/co-founders
DIRECT LINE-Alex's (cell) 813.477.41.59

Posted on: Sun, 03/30/2003 - 10:07am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Thank you Alex, for making a truly safe product for our community. Your company is truly a gem!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
As for Ben and Jerry's, as much as I like the philosophy of some companies like theirs, I can't bring them into my house for one simple reason- human beings make food. Human beings also make mistakes. (Even [b]me[/b] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img] ) It is statistically just a matter of time before a mistake gets made in that situation. So if they use peanuts, we don't use them. It's just that simple (for us).

Posted on: Fri, 04/04/2003 - 4:22am
marina_twinmom's picture
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Joined: 09/06/2001 - 09:00

The thing that troubles me about Ben and Jerry's is that they don't consider peanut oil to be a problem (apparently because FAAN told them it isn't). Our allergist told us *not* to feed my son peanut oil. So we don't feed him Ben and Jerry's, either. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sat, 05/03/2003 - 7:16am
Alex Plotkin's picture
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Joined: 03/28/2003 - 09:00

THANK YOU SO MUCH to all of you who have so many great things to say about Max and I and our products. If everyone out there continues to exert this much effort to educate and inform the grocery store managers and their corporate about the 4+ million people with the PEANUT/TREENUT allergy, Max and I can continue to do what we know best and that is to stay away from PEANUT/TREENUTS!!! Please believe me, I would really like to leave the PEANUTS for our competition to deal with!!!!! I know that I have mentioned this before, but PLEASE!!! call me at any "reasonable" eastern standard time and I would be happy to hear some comments and suggestions. My direct (cell phone) number is 813.477.41.59 and my TOLL-FREE office number is 1877.379.47.57. My email address is [email]ALEX@PHILLYSWIRL.COM[/email]. In the last few months I have spoken to approximately 300-400 parents who have children with the PEANUT/TREENUT allergy so therefore, if you do the math, I have approximately 3,999,600+ parents to speak with ASAP!!! Now my wife and I have to figure out what products contain soy and dairy and get rid of all of them or else our ZACHARY is NOT a happy camper!!! I look forward to hearing from all/some of you out there!!!
Sincerely,
Alex Plotkin-owner/co-founder
DIRECT LINE-(cell)-813.477.41.59
TOLL FREE LINE- 877.379.47.57
EMAIL- [email]ALEX@PHILLYSWIRL.COM[/email]

Posted on: Mon, 06/02/2003 - 3:02am
Alex Plotkin's picture
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Joined: 03/28/2003 - 09:00

Dear Corvallis Mom!!!
Thank you so much!!! We're still doing everything we can to stay peanut/tree nut-free, but I will be honest with you, IT'S getting HARDER & HARDER!!! We're actually working on two brand new concepts, one of which includes an ice cream sandwich!! Once again, to anyone out there who has any questions, comments, or suggestions please feel free to call me at the numbers that I have listed below, OR CALL ME COLLECT!!! AT THIS TIME, We really need all the advice that we can get!!! I have listed both my direct cell phone number as well as our TOLL-FREE number. Please give my numbers out to any parent out there that can help us!! I have heard hundreds of moms continue to say to me that they did not want to bother me!!! YOU ARE NOT BOTHERING ME!!!! As I have stated numerous times, my wife and I have a 13 month old son Zachary who seems to be leaning more & more toward the same allergies that all of your loved ones possess. Think of this as a CRY FOR HELP!!!! HELP US STAY PEANUT/TREE NUT FREE!!!!! I always here at your service!!
Sincerely,
Alex Plotkin-owner/co-founder
DIRECT LINE- CELL PHONE-813.477.41.59
TOLL FREE LINE-----------------877.379.47.57

Posted on: Fri, 07/21/2006 - 1:52am
DRobbins's picture
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Joined: 07/19/2001 - 09:00

Ben & Jerry's is the only commercially prepared ice cream we use (I'm not counting Philly Swirl, because they're more like Italian ices than ice cream).
Like all ice cream manufacturers in the US, they do use shared equipment. They seem to take allergies very seriously, though, and have what sounds like a very thorough cleaning process after nuts are used.
When we go to a scoop shop, I usually bring my own clean scoop (I keep it in the glovebox of our car), which, so far, at least, they've been willing to use.
Here's a copy of their last email response to me regarding their cleaning procedure (I've probably posted it here before):
"Hi Debbie,
Thanks for your question. Our equipment is cleaned very throughly every time we switch flavors, but we are extra concerned about cleaning the equipment when there's a chance of traces of nuts or peanuts on the machinery. The cleaning process itself takes about 8 hours and we use a cleansing acid, a neutralizing base and lots and lots of scrubbing and rinsing to make certain our equipment is ready to go.
We have even looked at the possibility of using dedicated lines so as to have absolutely no risk whatsoever associated with cross contamination. At this time this is not an option for us in terms of having a viable production schedule.
Because we can't unequivocally state that the lines have never come into contact with nuts we can understand if you chose not to eat our ice cream, but we feel that we have taken the most precautions possible to create a safe, fun, and enjoyable ice cream eating experience for all.
Thanks for your concern,
Ben & Jerry's"

Posted on: Fri, 07/21/2006 - 2:23am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Just a question -
For those who take along your own scoop, do you ask for an unopened container of ice cream to be opened for your child?

Posted on: Fri, 07/21/2006 - 2:30am
ajgauthier's picture
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Joined: 04/13/2005 - 09:00

I agree that Ben & Jerry's (in the US only) has a really good grip on nut and peanut allergies. Along with the same response DRobbins got in email, I've called them on the phone and have spoken with a c/s manager. He described their cleaning procedures in detail, how they test the batches of icecream for allergens, etc. However note: it's only the US factory, in Vermont, that they consider safe. He explained that the Canadian Ben & Jerry's icecream CANNOT be guaranteed to be peanut/tree nut free from shared lines b/c it's a small part of a larger icecream manufacturing facility...it's not under their complete control like the US facility (much smaller and owned and operated by B&Js)
I've emailed also and asked that they try to find peanut/tree nut free chocolate pieces for their icecream so we can enjoy more flavors! I told them about Vermont Nut Free, and got a reply that they didn't really know about them but will talk to them about using their chocolate [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
I've visited their Vermont plant before...way back in the mid-90s...and they were spectacular even back then with my PA/TNA. Any flavor I wanted to sample they opened a new container. My boyfriend at the time arranged all of that prior to the visit so I could get the full B&Js experience.
Adrienne
------------------
30-something survivor of severe peanut/tree nut allergy

Posted on: Fri, 07/21/2006 - 5:53am
AJSMAMA's picture
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Joined: 06/12/2002 - 09:00

We travel a lot and no matter what state or city we are in, our Ben and Jerry's experience is always great. They are always very careful and allergy aware.

Posted on: Fri, 07/21/2006 - 6:58am
robinlp's picture
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Joined: 05/14/2002 - 09:00

Yes, we have had a great experience w/ Ben & Jerry's and they always open a new tub for us w/out hesitation!

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