Delicious/Frookie Company and the \"What do you consider safe\" issue started by Chris

Posted on: Tue, 06/15/1999 - 11:25pm
BCouch's picture
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Joined: 05/18/1999 - 09:00

Yesterday I purchased "Banarama" cookies made by the above company located in Des Plaines Il ( I live about 15 miles from there) They were next to "Butterfinger" cookies so I figured they would be off limits for my 6 yr old who is peanut allergic. I called the compnay altho their number was not listed on the package. I spoke to the proup product amanager and asked if they were made on the same line as the Butterfinger cookies. She said she did no know and that she would find out and call me back. She called back within the hour and said that they were not made on the same line with the Butterfinger cookies but there was another peanut product made on the same line but there were thoroughly cleaned between each production. She also said that there were other peanut products made in the same manufacturing plant. Now, before I had learned of this web site, I probably would have given them to my son, but now I'm not. This is such a gray area and a difficult one to know what is safe and not safe. I'm now wondering how many products my son may have eaten that have been made in plants with other peanut products that I'm not aware of. It opens a whole new problem when faced with eating at friends because I have told other moms that if the label does not have a warning the product if probably ok. Any thoughts from the peanut gallery?(no pun intended) thanks in advance...

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Posted on: Wed, 06/16/1999 - 12:32am
Christine's picture
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Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

It is my practice not to give my son any store bought cookies/candy bars/baked goods no matter what the label says. I feel that the use of peanuts in these products (especially baked goods) is so excessive that no amount of machine cleaning could make me happy. I do, however, let my son eat various cereals and products from the Kelloggs company as I feel they are very well-versed and conscientious regarding the peanut allergy. There are two other products that I use that might be considered risky. The first one is Breyer's Vanilla Ice Cream. In the past few years, Breyers has begun making the Reese's line of ice cream (much to my chagrin). I have talked with Breyer's and also feel that they are responsible in cleaning between production. Plus, if I remember correctly, I think Breyer's runs certain flavors on certain days so it is not like a nut flavor is run, then vanilla, then nut, etc. I think this cuts down on cross-contamination a bit when they run different flavors on different days. The other product I use is Betty Crocker's Stir and Frost Cake. Since my son is egg allergic and I have yet to successfully make a good, egg-free cake, these Stir and Frost cakes have been a lifesaver for us. They are quick and they make small amounts--perfect for impromptu birthday parties at daycare. The Devil's Food and Carrot have no egg, nor do they contain nuts. But, I'm sure that Betty Crocker uses some form of peanut somewhere, so I would assume that this food is not risk free. It all comes down to what you are comfortable with once you know all the facts. While I am fairly strict when it comes to eating snack foods, I'm also probably one of the few people here who keep peanut butter in the house. I am comfortable with that but others are not. But, I've learned all I can about this allergy and I know how to handle it responsibly and am confident in my ability to do so. If you do not feel comfortable with a particular food item or are having doubts about it then do not use it.
Christine

Posted on: Wed, 06/16/1999 - 6:27am
SteveW's picture
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Joined: 04/08/1999 - 09:00

The shared manufacturing line issue is why you are seeing an increase in the number a foods with the "may contain" statement. The decision about using a product made on shared lines/facilities is based on your risk tolerance. Personally, I typically avoid products made on the same line. I don't worry as much about the facility (some exceptions). Certain manufacturers are more food allergy aware than others. I feel much more comfortable with some manufacturers (General Mills, Kellogs) than others. I also give my son Breyer's Vanilla Ice Cream. In addition to what Christine mentioned, Vanilla is the first (chocolate is last) flavor produced in a production run so there is less risk of cross contamination.
As far as risk tolerance, you will find some parents who now make everything from scratch at home, don't eat out, etc. On the other hand, you will find some parents who don't really worry about the allergy. Of course, most of us are somewhere in between. If I feel the risk of cross contamination is 1 in 10,000 would I feed it to my son, probably. If the risk in one in ten, no.

Posted on: Thu, 06/17/1999 - 8:38am
BCouch's picture
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Joined: 05/18/1999 - 09:00

Hi thanks for all your inputand the product suggestions! I echo the feelings about reputable companies ( the bigger ones do seem more informed and careful). As for the Ice Cream issue...I have been giving my son Breyers Chocolate for years with no problems, again, I never thought of the risk of another peanut product being run on the same line. This continues to bring up the issue of what really is safe even though it is not labelled. I'm somewhere in the middle of all this. I feel that if it is not labelled, the risk is closer to 1 in 10,000. At least with the "may contain" we know exactly what to avoid. I will continue to call companies and ask questions about line cross contamination and try to push for better labelling. I too keep PB in the house, my husband loves it. Whenever we use it ( which is not often) we use a paper plate under the bread, and a plastic knife that is immediately thrown away.

Posted on: Thu, 06/17/1999 - 5:24pm
Liz's picture
Liz
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Joined: 01/17/1999 - 09:00

As the adult who does most of the grocery shopping and as the allergic person in the house, I have to say that I take the may contain statements fairly seriously, especially for similar items like M&Ms, other chocolate, nut butters and such like. I haven't yet ended up in the hospital because of product cross-contamination (have with mis-labelled product) but I HAVE had hives , vomitting and itchy throat because of it.
Any possible exposure is not worth the risk in my experience. Try to get your kids trained to snack on fresh fruits & veg, or yogurts, rather than baked goods and packaged candy/chip treats.
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