Compiling dangerous foods list for new parents

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I could use some help. I daughter has been allergic for 5 years. Our doctor often calls me to visit with newly diagnosed parents.I am a nurse, and do the best I can to help these parents. I try to keep a list of foods to avoid. This is so scarry for these parents. So many of these foods do not appear to have peanuts in them. Is there a list I could use? I understand this would be an every-changing list, but we all need something to follow. This hit-and miss method of word of mouth is not good enough! Any suggestions? Thanks!! Janie, from Wichita

------------------ Janie

On Apr 6, 1999

Janie...I think this is a great idea. I have been looking for some sort of reference list online but have not been successful. Thanks for the post! [img]http://client.ibboards.com/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Apr 6, 1999

The Food Allergy Network (see [url="http://www.foodallergy.org)"]http://www.foodallergy.org)[/url] has a small yellow laminated card that you can order (for $1 each, I think) which lists ingredients to avoid. The card says:

********** Avoid foods that contain any of these ingredients: beer nuts, cold pressed peanut oil, ground nuts, mixed nuts, Nu-Nuts flavored nuts, nut pieces, peanut, peanut butter, peanut flour

Foods that may indicate the presence of peanut protein: * African, Chinese, Indonesian, Thai, and Vietnamese dishes * baked goods (pastries, cookies, etc.) * candy * chili * chocolates (candies, candy bars) * egg rolls * hydrolyzed plant protein * hydrolized vegetable protein * marzipan * natural flavorings * nougat

Studies show that most allergic individuals can safely eat peanut oil (not cold pressed peanut oil) ***********************

[Note: our allergist says stay away from all peanut oil.]

I bought 10 cards to give to family and friends. You can make your own just as easily, but I want to support FAN for all the good work they do.

As a rule, our son doesn't eat any packaged sweets (no candy, cookies) from the grocery store and we stay away from bakeries (too much risk for cross contamination). We won't let him have ice cream from ice-cream parlours or frozen yogurt stores because of the nut toppings that tend to spill everywhere. It all sounds very negative (avoid this, avoid that), but on the bright side, we are forced to adopt healthy eating habits... something many parents would like to do with their children, but have a hard time enforcing.

Parents of newly diagnosed children really need to learn (and teach their children) to read labels and how to ask restaurant chefs questions, so I think teaching those skills right away is very important. FAN has other educational materials that can be very helpful. They have a children's video that explains the allergy, for example.

--Tracy

On Apr 6, 1999

Tracy: Thank you for an informative reply! [img]http://client.ibboards.com/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Lynda

On Apr 6, 1999

I have been a member of FAN for 5 years and do support them in every way. What I am interested in,however, is a list of brand name foods that suprise people, such as the Ritz-Bits with cheese, the plain M&M's, etc. This is always such a shocker to people. We have always followed the generic list from FAN, but there are so many foods that one would never suspect. Does anyone post a list of name brand foods to avoid????? If it was not for word of mouth, I would not know about the jelly beans, the Chees-Nibs. What can we do? Yes, we always read labels, but it would be nice to have a list to give friends, teachers, and family. Then, they would not be so nervous while having our children over!! Thanks, Janie

------------------ Janie

On Apr 6, 1999

Hi Jane -

Here are a few off the top of my head:

1. Philadelphia Cream Cheese - Even plain is produced on same line as nut containing one

2. Quaker Rice Cakes - All produced on same line as nut containing cakes

3. Hersheys Chocolate - All Hershey's chocolate unaccepatable. If you call Hershey's, they'll tell you too much airborne nut in their factories in the U.S., so all Hershey's products (even unsweetened baking chocolate) not reccommended for peanut allergic.

4. Near East Rices - All rices go through same machine as rice with pine nuts.

As I think of more, I'll let you know!

On Apr 6, 1999

Careful. This information is not true for Canada. This is a global bulletin board service. I would much rather see a list of foods that are safe from manufacturers that we know choose to label may contain. Have you asked the FAN why they don't have a bad list? I think we loose a lot of ground and credibility when we start saying you should steer clear of... You will be handing this info to people who work for these companies or whose family members do. Huge problem if you are handing a list that is not 100% accurate. If you recognise the rights that are contributed to this cause, you will not cause any damage to the companies that choose to be helpful. (In some cases they are already on your list.) Just a bit of food for thought.

On Apr 6, 1999

I understand your concerns about making an "avoid list". But does it really matter what the people that work for these company think? If it did, they would not put in peanut products, knowing how deadly they may be!!!! This would never be an official, legal document. It would only be an FYI aid. Yes, we all read labels, but sometimes, it helps to be told ahead of time to look out for, or beware of, certain foods. These foods ambush you!!! And it helps prove to others that peanuts are in foods that one never would suspect! There are more foods that are okay, and peanut free then there are with peanuts. That is why I would like to start a list!! Who cares what the companies and factories think! Maybe they would take notice and change the ingredients! I doubt it, but it would help all of us to know ahead of time what to avoid! What do you think?

On Apr 6, 1999

I understand your concerns about making an "avoid list". But does it really matter what the people that work for these company think? If it did, they would not put in peanut products, knowing how deadly they may be!!!! This would never be an official, legal document. It would only be an FYI aid. Yes, we all read labels, but sometimes, it helps to be told ahead of time to look out for, or beware of, certain foods. These foods ambush you!!! And it helps prove to others that peanuts are in foods that one never would suspect! There are more foods that are okay, and peanut free then there are with peanuts. That is why I would like to start a list!! Who cares what the companies and factories think! Maybe they would take notice and change the ingredients! I doubt it, but it would help all of us to know ahead of time what to avoid! What do you think?

On Apr 6, 1999

Do the jelly beans and cheese nibs Jane mentions below not mention peanuts as part of their ingredients? I know M&M's list peanut traces...

--Tracy

On Apr 6, 1999

Laura, WOW, thanks for the info on the cream cheese!! I didn't know they have a cream cheese with nuts in it--I haven't seen that in the store I shop at. I wouldn't have thought to check on cream cheese. I did notice Near East Rice is coming out with a new flavor--Pecan. (also, I too appreciate all the legal tips/advice you have been posting--it is invaluable information).

I don't think it will hurt to have a foods to avoid list--the cream cheese is a good example of how there may always be something somebody will miss no matter how diligent one is. And its frustrating not knowing where these peanuts are "hidden".

Another product to stay clear from is snackwells--alot of them contain peanut flour.

[This message has been edited by brenda (edited April 06, 1999).]

On Apr 6, 1999

I agree with the suggestion of an "unofficial" list. As the parent of an 18 month old I am just learning about all of the things to look out for concerning his allergy. The cross contamination issue never crossed my mind until I read about it here! Thank you for making me aware.

Also, thank you to everyone who recommended that I take my son to a Board Certified Pediatric Allergist/Immunologist. We recently had our first visit and will be learning how to use the Epipen when the rest of his blood tests come back on the 15th.

--Kelly--

On Apr 6, 1999

I also agree with an "avoid" list, and I don't think in the the context it would offend manufacturers. In fact, in light of the dangers of peanut allergy, I would think they might welcome it. Of course, the list would have to be accurate, and not just a "rumoured" product list, and this might pose a few problems.

On Apr 6, 1999

Hi all-

Coco is right. There is a difference between the U.S. and Canada. For example, on the many occassions when I called Hershey's, they told me if I purchased Hershey's in CANADA, and there was no mention of nuts on the label, then it would be safe. (Coco- any input on this)? I've gotten the impression that Canada is ahead of the U.S. on the labeling issue. Things may be safe there, that are not safe here. So any list should make a reference as to which country deems the product unacceptable. People, of course, should always check in their own area or own country as well. But, I'm sure there are some more "real stinkers" out there...... those we should never touch under any circumstances. I'd like to learn more too!

On Apr 6, 1999

Rice Cakes and Cream Cheese:

have a letter from Quaker Oats dated February 23, 1998 stating that chocolate, apple cinnamon, butter popped corn, cinnamon crunch, blueberry and strawberry large rice cakes are produced on shared equipment with a peanut containing rice cake and that products manufactured under these conditions will say "may contain traces of peanut." The large caramel corn, white cheddar, monterey jack, plain salted and salt free are not produced on shared equipment with peanut containing products. I haven't checked back with Quaker since February 1998.

Does anyone know of any other cream cheese besides the Philadelphia cream cheese?

On Apr 6, 1999

As another parent of a toddler new to this I agree that a list of foods to avoid would be extremely helpful. I was on pins and needles waiting for my FAN card to arrive, and afraid of feeding my daughter until it arrived...and it took 1 week because the first copy got lost in the mail!!! I think the FAN card is a wonderful reference, but I have learned from this board to avoid foods that I would have thought were safe just reading the FAN card. It would be important to state that the information was for the US only, and you could word it diplomatically and still get the message across. In most cases wouldn't the information just be capturing what the manufacturer had said in response to a call for information? I don't think they could argue with that. You could even submit it to them and give them the opportunity to reply if you wanted to. In every case you could give the date the information was collected and the company's phone number so that the person could call to verify that the information was up-to-date. All the information I've obtained from calling is already posted on the Manufacturers discussion board. I look forward to reading more posts from parents more experienced than I am!

On Apr 6, 1999

Hersheys is a company that I have contacted in Canada and been told that none of their products are free of peanut contamination. Some of their previously unlabeled products have begun to carry a warning. Perhaps they are still utilizing old packaging and will follow through? Mini anything can be bad news from Mr. Christie oreos, rainbow chips, etc. These "minis" are all packaged on same line when last I called. Pepperoni on pizza has caused anaphylaxis resulting in death (sorry I don't see any report of a brand name). Clear candies ie. lollipops and butterscotch mints etc. often have come in contact with peanut. Anything in bulk could have been contaminated. Sunkist "fruity shape" products carry a warning here. Soda licious by Betty Crocker list peanut oil as an ingredient. Spaghetti sauces contain peanut as a thickening agent occasionally. Veggie burgers can be mostly peanut. Cake Mate trimmings for cookies & candies may contain peanut. You can purchase tiny colorful cake toppings that are candy coated peanut (don't know brand, seen these only in bulk). If it wasn't made in your own kitchen and it is baked there is much chance of cross-contamination...even from a wooden spoon that has been through a dishwasher. Most ice creams surprisingly popsicles and most everything frozen on a stick, the brand Good Humour comes to mind. Anything from Laura Secord candy shops. Nut crusts are popular in some gourmet restaurants...if you get one do not smooch your little one. Yoghurt toppings that come inside the container are not safe. Any buffet item is not safe unless the buffet is in your home. Salad bars are not safe. All of these things are relevant in Ontario, Canada the last time I checked.

On Apr 6, 1999

Hi Coco, I was curious about a few things: does pepperoni usually contain a peanut product and how come a dishwasher wouldn't remove peanut from a wooden spoon? Does the wood absorb the protein ? I've asked FAN what removes peanut residue and they said hot soapy water works best. Thanks for the info.

On Apr 7, 1999

I don't know the answer to the pepperoni question. Since deli counter food and cold meats are often cross-contaminated I don't usually buy them. My husband likes pizza and so does my son. I have asked about the pepperoni several times and since this is a huge chain (Pizza Pizza) and the people that I have talked to seem knowledgeable, Charles eats it. I'll see if I can track down the source of that problem. As for the dishwasher, warm soapy water is great if you are hand-washing (according to an allergist). Anybody who has ever put a sticky peanut-buttery (I mean lots) utensil in the dishwasher knows that there can be visible traces left. Because of its adhesive quality it is not recommended to wash things in a dishwasher for an allergic person along with peanut buttery dishes as traces may adhere to other dishes. I mentioned particularly a wooden spoon because of its porous quality, things stick well to it.

On Apr 7, 1999

Hi -

Pepperoni sometimes contains licorice extract (can you believe)? and licorice is a peanut cross react. My son has tried pepperoni, but does not like it.

Anyway, as I read this thread one word keeps pounding in my head. CONFUSION. There is so much confusion as to what is safe and unsafe. Something may be safe one day, and unsafe the next day, or vice versa. Do we really want to spend the rest of our lives making eighty five million phone calls and receiving inadequate responses? The best way to produce an unsafe list, or a safe list would be to implement LABELING changes that would eliminate the confusion for everyone. Alot of people have responded to this thread. Let's get to work on uniform labeling practices!

On Apr 7, 1999

I agree, we need to uniform the labeling practices, but in the meantime, would it be possible to post a list of unsafe foods on this web page? Try to remember what we went through trying to learn what was safe and not safe when our children were first diagnosed!!! It is overwhelming! What a help this would be for parents new to this. This would not be an official, legal list. Just an aid!!! We learn so much from word of mouth. What do we have to do to start a list on this web page? Anyone know?????Janie

------------------ Janie

On Apr 7, 1999

Chris has just posted an article under links. The thread is called "Cross-contamination What is peanut (nut) free?". This is very helpful for new folks. I agree with you Laura. Labeling is a logical solution. You sound as though you have something in mind? Would you like me to see if I can track down the source of our changes?

[This message has been edited by Coco (edited April 07, 1999).]

On Apr 7, 1999

Hi Coco, I have another question now: how are deli meats cross contaminated with peanut products? I've been buying my deli meats from a meat market that only sells meats and cheese. I couldn't think of a reason the deli meats like roast beef, ham, turkey and chicken breast, and cheese wouldn't be safe. Thanks.

On Apr 7, 1999

Again, I suppose this is a regional thing. Most of these types of counters in my area sell many varieties of the ever popular cheese ball. These are generally fully coated in a mixture of nuts. This is also one of the "foods to watch out for" in many publications, I'll check in to this further for you.

On Apr 8, 1999

Just a comment on Hershey's in Canada... My aunt lives about 15 minutes away from the Hershey's plant in Smiths Falls and often goes to buy herself chocolate there. They still have a sign posted in the store on site saying ALL products could be contaminated with peanuts. You can tour the facility and watch all of the production lines and nut products are in separate area, but the plant is pretty small and there are obviously lots of areas with potential for cross-contamination. I have noticed, however, that recently they seem to be adding the "may contain" to labels.

On Apr 9, 1999

I live in Ontario, Canada. I cannot believe that with the amount of people with peanut allergies, there are not MANDATORY LABELING LAWS. We should all contact our local MPP'S, and start DEMANDING that companies start to take responsibility. I believe that if my son ate something that I had read and that did not have the MAY CONTAIN label, I should be able to take legal action against the manufactures. WE CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS!!! WE CAN AND MUST MAKE THINGS SAFE FOR OUR CHILDREN!!!!

On Apr 12, 1999

Hello everyone, I am glad you are motivated to do something about labelling, we have started to put people together to work on labelling. If you want to help please send me email and state that it is okay to give the others your email address. Try to always use the labelling board to discuss labelling so we can keep things organized better.

email [email]"Labelling@PeanutAllergy.Com"[/email]

Together we can make a difference!

------------------ [email]"Chris@PeanutAllergy.Com"[/email]

On Apr 27, 1999

Could someone please clarify the Kraft Cream cheese problem? I hace called Kraft and they did not help. What type of nut do they use in one of their cream cheeses? Thanks for the help.

On Apr 27, 1999

Thanks for the info on pepperoni. My 17 month old PA son had a reaction after eating pepperoni pizza and at the time I had no idea why. It is nice to know what caused it. Has anyone had a problem with KFC chicken or mashed potatoes and gravy? My son had a reaction after eating these. I called KFC and the manager said there were no peanut products listed on the ingredients so I am not sure what caused it.

On Apr 27, 1999

Hello, There is a thread on Kraft on the Food Manufacturers (Safe and Unsafe) board, please use that thread (to keep things organized) so others can see everything posted about Kraft.

Also, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) can be done on the "All about Restaurants" board. Just start a new thread (Post a new topic" if there is nothing there on KFC yet. This just keeps things so the information is more organized and usable.

Keep on contacting companies! The more they hear from us the more likely they are to address our needs!

Stay Safe,

------------------ [email]"Chris@PeanutAllergy.Com"[/email]

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