Bluebunny Ice Cream Products

Posted on: Fri, 09/07/2007 - 1:15pm
MJMD's picture
Joined: 07/18/2003 - 09:00

Before I rant, I want to say how much I value this site! We've been here off & on for almost 6 years now (ugh!) and it's always such a great place for information.

My son's school (private), like others, sells ice cream products to the kids. He's in 1st grade, 1st time at the nut-free table, etc. I thought I'd check out the ice cream products & see if there was anything "safe" for him, although I doubted it. I found 2 products made by Bluebunny ([url][/url]). The first was the Orange Dream Bar, the second was the Bombpop (similar to a Popsicle Firecracker). The Orange Dream Bar listed Dairy, the Bomb nothing (all sugar & corn syrup...yum). I decided to write down the info & call b/c I don't trust ice cream very often. Good thing I didn't!

The customer service agent "Faye" told me that there were no peanuts or tree nuts in either product, but that they were not produced in a nut free plant. I calmly asked why they weren't labeled for cross-contamination, and she point-blank said "the Federal Government only requires us to label for products that actually contain one of the 8 common allergens."

Maybe I've had a little too much "nutty" stuff this week w/it being our 1st week back at school, 1st nut free table, 1st cafeteria....I was not happy! I told her that I thought that was an unacceptable excuse, that there are over 2 million people out there with nut allergies who could potentially die from injesting a trace of a nut in one of their products & they should really reconsider just putting a few extra words on their packaging to include cross-contamination. She said thank you & that was it.

I guess I'm just so annoyed at myself, that I've created a false sense of security around the new food labeling law. I look at a package, and think, "Hey, they're labeling for allergens, so they must be on top of things." And then you run into companies like this that have no compassion for people with allergies, and only label what they really have to.

Sorry for the vent, but I just wanted to let you know about their products.

Posted on: Fri, 09/07/2007 - 3:45pm
gw_mom3's picture
Joined: 02/14/2000 - 09:00

I understand and I agree. Another thing I hate is the companies that put allergens in bold, either in or at the end of the ingredient list, leading you to believe they label well, and when you call they say that the item is on shared lines. No warning.
btw I was told by Blue Bunny a year or two ago to just use the products like you mentioned (non-ice cream) and they would be fine. We haven't used them though.

Posted on: Fri, 09/07/2007 - 10:10pm
VariegatedRB's picture
Joined: 11/23/2005 - 09:00

It always makes me happy when a company chooses to list this info, but I don't get upset if they don't.
I don't know- maybe because I have been dealing with it so long and am just so happy to not have to worry about hidden ingredients any more.
Keep in mind not EVERYONE with an allergy avoids may contains/shared lines- let alone "made in a facility with." I guess I just feel for those of us who do, the ball is in our court to check it out...
From a company's perspective: Adding the warnings to labels will decrease sales. There are no guidelines to what "in a facility" or "on shared lines" means. If people are worried about xcont and see a warning, they will most likely just put the product down.
But if there is no warning and it is a company the person is not familiar with... they will call and make a judgment of whether it is in their comfort zone.
A consumer looking at two similar items- one labeled with a warning and one not-- would probably choose the item without the warning, even though the risk might actually be **greater** in that item.
For instance- there are several products out there that some people feel comfortable with, even though they are made "in a facility with" or "on shared lines." Kit Kats and certain ice creams come to mind.
"In a facility" might mean there are peanuts being shelled and ground in the same room... or it might mean that there is peanut butter added to crackers in an isolated area of another floor or several rooms away...
Because there is no standard for these warnings, it is a judgement call. The warning just doesn't give the whole story.
Tara P

Posted on: Fri, 09/07/2007 - 10:41pm
McCobbre's picture
Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

I know you asked about the plant, but did you ask about shared lines? I would be okay if they are on another floor but were diligent about keeping contaminants out.
It's so interesting you bring this up. A good friend brought by some Blue Bunny ice cream for us--thinking I think that she had found our own special Blue Bell ice cream (which we trust--but they do have nuts in the same facility--actually, it is technically a shared line, but having talked with them a lot and visited the place, we are actually comfortable with this--but for anyone else I avoid shared lines). I wasn't planning to give this to DS, but I was going to at least call to see about DH and I consuming it.
[This message has been edited by McCobbre (edited September 08, 2007).]

Posted on: Sun, 09/09/2007 - 10:24am
momll70's picture
Joined: 09/26/2006 - 09:00

Just this year my friend's son had a bluebunny icecream. She noticed a piece of peanut on it. It was supposed to be a plain ice cream treat and the label said nothing about nuts. Thankfully her son is not allergic but she knows my son is and assured me that I am right for not trusting that company. This was from a Bluebunny icecream machine at Chucky Cheese's. If it hadn't been for these boards where I read that a couple of children had allergic reactions from these I would have probably read the label and trusted them. I've learned so much from these boards.
My friend is the only person I trust and she knows what I go through and she even started having nightmares about my DS having a reaction.
[This message has been edited by momll70 (edited September 09, 2007).]

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