Ben & Jerry\'s Last Night

Posted on: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 12:10am
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

I will have to say Ben & Jerry's made my DS's night....We went to dinner with our good friends who always eat out on Saturday followed by ice cream at one of the many ice cream places in this town.
Anyway, we usually decline and just say that we can have ice cream at home etc. (you know the drill)
So, my friend says, you know they do have individual things in the freezer, I say maybe if a manager is there they will open a new ice cream for DS. I have never bothered to try this request, just avoid the whole situation.
So we go with the warning to our friend's son that it may not work out and please don't be disappointed if we can't go there.
So, we walk in, I'm looking in the freezer of individual ice cream and DH and my friend ask for the manager. The girl comes out, says oh yeah, we'll sanitize a scoop, open a new bag for any toppings, open new ice cream.
I was expecting a big to do and a a big hassle. She knew exactly what to do. My DS has NEVER had ice cream at an ice cream place. He was nearly in tears. I was nearly in tears.
She ended up opening three new ice cream flavors for him, a new bag of gummy worms and didn't charge for him.
I was completely touched, my DS felt normal for once. He thanked me and everyone in the car. It was a day to remember.

Posted on: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 2:24am
Adele's picture
Joined: 01/31/2005 - 09:00

Ditto! There's a Ben & Jerry's in downtown Charleston, South Carolina that did the same for me. First ice cream I'd had in an icecream store since PA diagnosis.
I'll be back in Charleston next February, and will make a beeline for the Ben & Jerry's!
I'm happy for your DS. What a wonderful 'normal' treat!

Posted on: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 2:49am
Marizona's picture
Joined: 01/16/2002 - 09:00

Is Ben and Jerry`s no longer on shared equipment with peanuts? The last time I checked about a year ago it was on shared equipment. Has that changed? My son would love to try ice cream that is not made by me.

Posted on: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 3:44am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I believe it is still made on the same line. However, Ben & Jerry's seems like a very allergy-aware company, and they do wash the equipment between runs. Many people here trust them, others do not.

Posted on: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 4:16am
Marizona's picture
Joined: 01/16/2002 - 09:00

Oh, then I guess it is not an option for us. My son has had reactions to items on shared equipment and not stated. I don`t want that to happen again.

Posted on: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 5:11am
DRobbins's picture
Joined: 07/19/2001 - 09:00

Marizona, I definitely understand your viewpoint, especially considering your child's reaction to a product made on shared equipment. Ben and Jerry's is the only ice cream brand we let my PA son eat. Actually, it's the only shared equipment product I let my son eat. Like other people, I think Ben & Jerry's does "get it", but of course I understand why you have made the decision you have.
I'm sure I've posted this before, but the following is a copy of my most recent response from Ben & Jerry's regarding how they handle allergens. It's from November, 2005, I think.
"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: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 5:36am
Marizona's picture
Joined: 01/16/2002 - 09:00

The problem is that pretty much all the companies who share equipment and don`t state it claim that their cleaning process is so good that there cannot be any residue. Maybe Ben and Jerry`s does have a better cleaning method than the others. I don`t know. But I have gotten pretty much the same email (excellent cleaning, blah blah blah) from other companies that share equipment and don`t state it, even the one my son had a reaction to. It`s so hard to know.

Posted on: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 9:57am
Going Nuts's picture
Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Marizona:
[b]The problem is that pretty much all the companies who share equipment and don`t state it claim that their cleaning process is so good that there cannot be any residue. Maybe Ben and Jerry`s does have a better cleaning method than the others. I don`t know. But I have gotten pretty much the same email (excellent cleaning, blah blah blah) from other companies that share equipment and don`t state it, even the one my son had a reaction to. It`s so hard to know.[/b]
Same here, from Haagen Dazs. Once burned, twice shy - KWIM?

Posted on: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 10:40am
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

There are no may contains warnings on some ice creams, others clearly state allergen info. he has eaten ben & jerry's at home.
Don't miss the point here, the girls at the store were completely allergy aware. She knew to sanitize the scoop, told us which ice creams were nutty, which were may contains and which were safe. That was amazing.
The nutty ones and may contains were in one part of the freezer and the others on the other side. She still opened new containers and knew which toppings were may contains and which were okay. THAT IS FANTASTIC and what we all are looking for....awareness.

Posted on: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 10:59am
Marizona's picture
Joined: 01/16/2002 - 09:00

So Ben and Jerrys has flavors which are not on shared equipment? Which ones are they? I did not realize that some are may contains and some are not. I thought that all of their flavors are on shared equipment with peanuts. If they are all on shared equipment, I would not serve them at home, so a clean scoop at Ben and Jerrys would not help. D Robbins email from them sounds like all flavors are on shared equipment but if the lady in the store said some are may contains and some are not, then that would mean some are not on shared equipment. Or do all the flavors share equipment but they call some may contain and others they don`t? That would be really misleading. If I look at something from one manufacturer and it has may contain and I see a product from the same manufacturer with no may contain, I would assume the company labels for shared equipment. I would assume the one without the may contain is not shared equipment.

Posted on: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 11:35am
ajgauthier's picture
Joined: 04/13/2005 - 09:00

Some time ago I researched Ben & Jerry's because the Canadian versions all had 'May contain peanuts' warnings, while the US versions did not.
The thread exists somewhere on here, I'm sure you can find it by searching Ben Jerry's and my username specific.
Not all icecream manufacturers clean/test their equipment the same way. Some have a quick 'allergen' wash and call that good enough, some have 8-10 hour cleaning cycles which involve taking apart the machinery then testing a base flavor multiple times.
Ben & Jerry's is of the later variety. I talked to a head customer service rep when I called and had a very lengthy conversation. B&J's has uber strict cleaning and allergen testing procedures as well as running the peanut/nut flavors/add-ins at the end of the runs. This is ONLY in their US facility. It is their facility, they own and run it and only their icecream is made there. The Canadian B&J's is farmed out to various 'icecream manufacturers' and B&Js does not feel those places meet their strict requirements for allergen cleaning of nuts/peanuts. So, they label all the Canadian B&Js as 'may contain peanuts'.
As far as the US icecream, they feel 100% confident there are no allergens present in their non-nut/peanut icecream b/c of their strict cleaning and testing procedures. Not all icecream manufacturers will give you that guarantee. After speaking with them and how much they care, I trust their icecream.
As far as 'may contain peanuts/nuts' labels on US Ben & Jerry's, there are icecreams that have chocolate bits and graham bits and whatever other non-nut bits that are made by someone else...therefore B&Js cannot guarantee their 'non-nut' B&J's labels those icecreams as 'may contains' specifying it is the chocolate fish or chocolate dinosaurs, for example.
So...that's why some on here trust Ben & Jerry's. That is also why other icecreams are not trusted for their cleaning procedures...they can't articulate or describe or show allergen test results for their cleaning of their equipment like B&J's can.
That being said...I've never trusted Haagen Daaz. I got some chocolate once, oh, about 10 years ago was just plain chocolate with a fudge ripple through it. Well, I opened it and it just smelled 'nutty', like a toasted almond nutty smell. Ever since I haven't eaten Haagen Daaz, and I've heard other stories on here about that brand too.
But as far as B&J' can find my old thread and see what they told me in more detail.
Everyone's comfort zone is different, and if you aren't comfy with B&Js, then don't eat it. If you don't know what to make of them...that's why some of us post good experiences for if/when your comfort zone changes.
[img][/img] Adrienne
30-something survivor of severe peanut/tree nut allergy



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