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Posted on: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 10:59am
Marizona's picture
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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
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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.
Anyhoot...
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' status...so 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 now...it 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's...you 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]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Adrienne
------------------
30-something survivor of severe peanut/tree nut allergy

Posted on: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 12:41pm
Carefulmom's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Going Nuts:
[b] Same here, from Haagen Dazs. Once burned, twice shy - KWIM?
Amy[/b]
I feel the same way. Dd also had a reaction to ice cream on shared equipment and not stated. She had eaten it hundreds of times without problems. I called the manufacturer and he insisted that their cleaning was so good that it was impossible to have any residue. Her allergist said that due to the cracks and crevices in the equipment, even after a long thorough cleaning a fraction of a peanut can get stuck in a crevice and released many batches later. He said that what probably what happened with her. That is why may contains are so risky, because you can eat them hundreds of times with no problems until the time that the fraction of a peanut gets released. He said that is why testing of the product doesn`t help---99.99% of the time it can be free of peanut residue except for that one bite with the fraction of a peanut. He also said that the limit of detection of the test is higher than the amount of peanut that it takes to cause a reaction in a very allergic person. There is no test that can detect an amount that low. Dd is allergic to milk, so it was actually soy ice cream that this happened with. I told the manufacturer that he should put on a "may contain" so that consumers can make an informed decision. He said his cleaning was so good that he didn`t need to. I emailed Dr. Hugh Sampson and asked if he thought that lengthy thorough cleaning would eliminate all peanut residue. Dr. Sampson said no, it doesn`t, and any time there is shared equipment there is risk no matter what the cleaning process is. He also said the the testing has a limit of detection higher than the amount that can cause an allergic reaction, and that the testing is usually random. They don`t test every batch. He said that in all cases if the equipment is shared the manufacturer should put on a may contain. I forwarded the email from Dr. Sampson to the manufacturer who finally agreed to put a warning on their website.
From reading this board it does seem like Ben and Jerry`s has better cleaning than other ice cream companies. But based on my emails from Dr. Sampson, I would be afraid to try Ben and Jerry`s because of concern that a peanut fragment would be stuck in a crack even with cleaning.

Posted on: Sun, 10/01/2006 - 1:05pm
milosmom's picture
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Joined: 05/30/2006 - 09:00

I think whether you choose to serve Ben & Jerry's to your PA child or not, you can agree that the fact that the manager of the store took such care in light of this child's allergy is something to be commended. To give a child whose parent's feel comfortable with the manufacturing the opportunity to do what other non PA kids do without a second thought.

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