do you buy only off of dedicated lines?

Posted on: Tue, 01/29/2002 - 4:22am
nicoleg's picture
Joined: 03/30/2001 - 09:00

With all the issues of cross contamination I was wondering how many people make it policy to only buy products made on pn/tn free lines? How or when do you feel comfortable with the cleaning of equipment? It just seems like if I only buy off of dedicated lines then it's almost impossible. I of course, avoid things where there is a strong chance of cross contamination. But I generally don't worry too much about things that seem to have a smaller chance (meat, dairy products, fruits & veggies...)

Just wondering...

Posted on: Tue, 01/29/2002 - 5:06am
amymarie's picture
Joined: 01/13/2001 - 09:00

I know what you mean!!
I am getting frustrated interpreting some of the labeling. Of course, we all want our children safe but how best to do that rationally is the question. I have emailed various organizations trying to get a concrete answer about this risk. The reason I started to email is that my son has eaten a brand of chocolate chip cookies for almost two years without incident. Just yesterday, I saw a package of this cookie now labeled "made in a plant that processes peanuts". So what does that mean to me? It is so frustrating. He eats these all the time but how can you continue giving them to him when it has this label? Is the company just trying to cover any lawsuits? Who knows. I will post some of the reply I received from FAAN recently when I asked for information on contact/airborne reactions.
Hope this helps-take care! Love, Amy
More Commonly Asked Questions About Anaphylaxis
by Robert Wood, M.D.
6. Can airborne food exposures cause anaphylaxis?
This question may lead to more confusion and controversy than all others
combined. First, there is no doubt that severe anaphylactic reactions may
occur with airborne exposures. I would divide this into four levels of risk.
The greatest risk occurs while foods are being cooked, such as while fish
or eggs are fried or peanuts are roasted. Further, the closer the exposure
to the cooking, the greater the risk. Second, significant airborne
reactions may also occur when food is being manipulated or disturbed, such
as when peanut shells are crushed on the floor of a restaurant or sporting
The third level of risk relates to peanuts on airplanes and other similar
exposures. While it is clear that small quantities of peanut protein become
airborne when bags of peanuts are opened, this exposure most often does not
lead to serious reactions. This is not to say that serious reactions will
not occur, but rather that the risk is very low for all the peanut-allergic
patients on all the flights serving peanuts, reactions are extremely uncommon.
The fourth level of risk relates to the types of exposure that might occur
in a restaurant or cafeteria where foods are being eaten, but not cooked.
In these cases, in the absence of direct contact, there is essentially no
risk that a reaction will occur just because someone is eating a peanut
butter sandwich or drinking milk across the table from a person with a food
Robert Wood, M.D., is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Director,
Pediatric Allergy Clinics, at the Johns Hopkins University Hospital in
Baltimore, MD.
This article appeared in the August/September 2001 issue of Food Allergy News
Copyright 2001 The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network
The Most Commonly Asked Questions About Anaphylaxis Part III
by Robert Wood, M.D.
1. How dangerous are "contact reactions?"
This is a very important question because even the most cautious patient
may accidentally come into contact with a food to which he or she is
allergic. It is also important in terms of the need for peanut-free
schools, classrooms, tables, etc.
Fortunately, the vast majority of these reactions are localized to the site
of contact or the surrounding area. We cannot say that there is no risk of
a more severe reaction because this could occur if the food is swallowed or
absorbed, such as by a child putting a hand in his or her mouth or rubbing
his or her eyes. In general, however, the risk is very low, especially if
the area is washed as soon as possible after contact with the problem food.
Debbie Scherrer, Member Communications
The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network
10400 Eaton Place, Suite 107
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: 703-691-3179 Fax: 703-691-2713

Posted on: Tue, 01/29/2002 - 5:11am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Amymarie, maybe that cookie company has changed their manufacturing process and that is why the new statement. If you call them, you could probably find out just how close those cookies come to a peanut.

Posted on: Tue, 01/29/2002 - 8:51pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

My husband and I both agree that this is becoming a very difficult issue that will only get worse before it gets better. Company mergers and co-packing for other companies may be great for the companies' bottom lines, but it's potentially hazardous for people who have to worry about cross contamination. I can only say we try to buy most of our food off dedicated lines, whenever possible, and peanut-free facilities are better yet, but there seems to be fewer and fewer of them as time goes on.

Posted on: Tue, 01/29/2002 - 9:25pm
Anna's picture
Joined: 07/20/1999 - 09:00

FWIW, I'll only consume products made on dedicated lines. That is to say that I avoid most processed foods. It's not impossible. We've just become so accustomed to convenience foods that it seems odd not to be able to buy them all.
Given the proliferation of peanut products in foods, combined with the severity of my reactions and coexisting asthma (higher risk of severe reactions), I don't risk it. It's a personal decision based on comfort zones. Good luck!

Posted on: Wed, 01/30/2002 - 4:04am
Sandra Y's picture
Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

My PA son eats many products that are most likely produced on shared equipment. I read ingredient labels carefully and don't let him eat anything with a warning, but I do not call manufacturers and request info about dedicated lines. In 4 years following these guidelines, he has not had a food reaction, thank goodness (he had a severe reaction before diagnosis). I stick with major, well-known manufacturers and avoid store brands and off-brands.

Posted on: Wed, 01/30/2002 - 5:00am
Going Nuts's picture
Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

One of the most frustrating aspects of this problem relates to teaching our children to take responsibility themselves. Even if the odds of the product coming into contact with a peanut are 10,000,000 to 1, once it has that warning on it, how could you possibly rationalize giving it to your child and saying, "Oh, just ignore that label honey, it really doesn't mean anything". This is an example why it is so important that labelling be consistent and meaningful.
Ooh, that was sounding awfully preachy. Guess I'm preaching to the choir today! [img][/img]

Posted on: Wed, 01/30/2002 - 5:22am
amymarie's picture
Joined: 01/13/2001 - 09:00

Amy-I totally agree. That is my frustration. I firmly believe the chances of Josh having a reaction to a cookie that he has eaten for 2 years is 10,000 to 1. That is what is so irritating. Once there is a label even if nothing has changed (i.e. new plant), you can't give it to him in good conscience. I feel like some safe products may be slapped with a warning to avoid lawsuits, etc. And, it seems reactions from cross contamination are very rare, yet that "one" time is all it takes. Yikes! I guess it is struggle through the confusion as best we can. take care-Amy

Posted on: Wed, 01/30/2002 - 6:17am
Going Nuts's picture
Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

Actually, Kevin did have a reaction due to cross-contamination from a product that he had eaten many times, that wasn't labelled "may contain". Just makes you realize how dicey this all is.

Posted on: Wed, 01/30/2002 - 6:34am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

I also don`t call manufacturers about this issue, although I do call for other reasons. If it has a may contain or shared equipment or manufactured in a plant that processes peanuts, I don`t give it. If it doesn`t and it is a major company, I give it. I have been doing this for 5 years, and my daughter who is extremely allergic to peanuts has never had a reaction.
We had a scarey experience with a bag of a cookies which did not have any sort of may contain or warning. Ingredients were all fine. After my daughter had eaten about a hundred bags of these cookies, I found a peanut in one. I called the manufacturer and they weren`t the least bit concerned, so I reported it to the FDA. They went out and inspected. It turned out the company also made trail mix cookies, and were using paper pan liners twice each, once on one side then they would turn it over and use it in a different pan. The FDA cited them and told them to stop doing it and put on a may contain. That was last April. Last time I was in the store I looked and there was still no may contain. The brand was a small company called Uncle Eddies. What I learned from that was not to use these small Mom and Pop operations, because they may not be high enough volume to use dedicated lines. Also, when I called them they were SO allergy unaware it was frightening. Now I won`t buy from a small company, even if there is no warning or may contain on the package.

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