Duncan Hines Brownie Mix...Oh, I\'m SO MAD!!

Posted on: Fri, 02/20/2004 - 11:13am
Timmysmom's picture
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Joined: 10/16/2003 - 09:00

I am so mad at myself and at Duncan Hines right now. I've always used Duncan Hines Brownie mix. It has always been safe (as long as I have been reading labels)for my PA son. I was in a hurry the other day while shopping in Walmart, and grabbed his favorite brownie mix. I didn't bother to check the label because I've used it time and time again, plus, like I said, I was in a hurry.

Today, after he got home from preschool, he asked if we could make them. He loves to help me bake. He's 4 1/2 and just so curious about everything. He helped me crack the egg. While he turned away, I picked out the shells! He stirred the egg, oil and water. I dump in the brownie mix and he stirrs and stirrs and stirrs some more. I noticed in the box, there was another packet of some sort. When I looked realized it was a packet of chocolate fudge syrup. I looked on the box, and it had two separate ingredient listings, one for the dry mix and one for the fudge. At the bottom of the ingredients, it states: "MAY CONTAIN PEANUT TRACES". I about wanted to DIE!! I had bought the chocolate lovers line, not the normal fudge brownie mix. I'm so mad at myself that I didn't notice at first. But now I'm even more mad at Duncan Hines because the warning is all the way on the bottom after both sets of ingredients, and what EXACTLY is the warning for? It's extremely vague, to say the least. The brownie mix has always been safe in my eyes. So, I'm sort of assuming that it must be the fudge packet. But how do I REALLY know?

I put the brownie mix in the oven and get on the phone with Duncan Hines. They can't answer me. They can not say for certain if it definitely is the mix or the fudge OR BOTH but do apologize, and tell me to err on the side of caution...WHAT??? I slam the phone down in anger. I now have an adorable 4 1/2 year old boy, who just made this awesome pan of brownies, and how do I now tell him he can't eat it? I just wanted to cry...

My PA son is touch sensitive and will immediately brake out in hives if it is a may contain or traces. So my husband suggests to rub a little of the batter from the bowl on his back. As he does this, I run to get the epi-pen (god forbid). I'm not a food challenge person. I don't like to use him as a test subject. I cringe as I enter back into the room. He left the batter to dry on his back. After 10 minutes, no reaction!! Thank goodness!

He did eat the brownies without incident, so I'm assuming it was the fudge packet. I just hate this, because I do check everything. I don't allow ANY may contains in my house for fear someone else may give him something without my knowledge. He has had reactions before to traces and may contains.

Thank you so much for letting me vent here and for reading this. I'm still so mad though at Duncan Hines and would still like a straight answer from them, or correction or more clarity on their labeling. I shouldn't need a crystal ball to find out what the may contain means.

Posted on: Sat, 02/21/2004 - 12:32pm
MimiM's picture
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Joined: 10/10/2003 - 09:00

When I called Dunkin Hines they told me that they do not have any dedicated production lines. All of their products share the same equipment. They say that they use an allergen wash between uses but they use walnuts and pecans in a few of their products(maybe not actually peanut but I wouldn't take any chances). Since hearing this, I use Betty Crocker or Pillsbury. They will label for any use of shared equipment.

Posted on: Wed, 02/25/2004 - 3:24am
NutlessinNJ's picture
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Joined: 02/23/2004 - 09:00

Please be careful of Pilsbury. They have changed their sugar cookie recipe to add peanut flour and macadamia nut flour. I am not sure what changes they have made to other products yet. I just found out about the sugar cookies (reaady to bake) when I took my PA son to school and they were going to make valentines for us. There had never been a peanut warning on the label but I decided to double check anyway and thank goodness I did. Right on the label it said peanut flour. I was shocked. I also called the company and spoke to some woman that told me that there must have been a high consumer demand or they wouldnt have changed the recipe. I then recieved an e-mail from General Mills telling me they would send me a refund. I didnt ask for a refund. I didnt buy the cookies another mother did. I just read the ingredients which apparently no one at the school thought to do. But that is a whole nother issue. Anyway, BEWARE of PILLSBURY Ingredients. You just never know anymore.
Julie

Posted on: Thu, 02/26/2004 - 1:33pm
Sharon C7's picture
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Joined: 02/23/2004 - 09:00

Hi Timmy's Mom. I totally understand your anger. However, I would have thrown the brownies out. I think it's more important to teach them to do without it if they don't know for sure than to take a chance when they are uncertain. You MUST be the example for them to learn from.
I am trying to teach my son that things like treats and goodies are frivolous and his health is way more important. I say, "I'm not going to take a chance with something I'm not sure about. There is always something else you can eat if you can't eat this." I'm sure he is disappointed occasionally but he is pretty good about it. He's been living with it since age two and he's now seven.
Maybe you could just apologize and say, "I'm sorry- Mommy made a mistake and bought the wrong kind. I promise I'll buy you a new box as soon as we go foodshopping." It's better to break them in rather than shelter them from the reality of how it is, and believe me, I wish I didn't have to teach him that reality.

Posted on: Sun, 08/08/2004 - 1:41pm
momma2boys's picture
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Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

Just saw a new Duncan Hines product today...Brownies with mini p.b. cups in them. All the other varieties have the warning now [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] . Am I correct that these used to be safe or not?

Posted on: Mon, 08/09/2004 - 2:27am
MQriley2's picture
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Joined: 05/25/2004 - 09:00

Okay, this whole subject is burning me up. I already do not have a good attitude today due to my shopping trip yesterday. And now that I am supplying daily snacks to all 21 students in my DS's class, I am getting even more irritated. I also am supplying all of the birthday cupcakes everytime someone has a birthday and now I can't even trust a simple box of cake mix. UGH! I haven't heard anyone say anything bad about Betty Crocker yet. Is there any updated info we need to know about their product?
Just venting too,
Renee

Posted on: Mon, 08/09/2004 - 3:25am
MimiM's picture
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Joined: 10/10/2003 - 09:00

Betty Crocker is owned by General Mills.
I called them once and asked about their labelling policies. They said that if there is any chance of cross-contamination, it will be labelled as such.
I do not buy Dunkin Hines but I do feel safe with Betty Crocker as well as any GM product.

Posted on: Mon, 08/09/2004 - 3:37am
e-mom's picture
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Joined: 04/23/2000 - 09:00

I have been using Betty Crocker for the past several years and have absolutely no reactions of any kind. I completely trust Betty Crocker.

Posted on: Tue, 08/10/2004 - 2:59pm
mcmom's picture
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Joined: 06/15/2004 - 09:00

Renee, I just called Betty Crocker about two weeks ago. I used Duncan Hines for years without incident, but after reading some stuff about them here, I called and was basically told by their very honest customer service rep that their products were not safe for a PA person! (They make PB cookie mix on the same lines as their other mixes.) The rep I spoke to at Betty Crocker was very nice, and said that they worked with FAAN wrt their labeling, and were extremely allergy aware. He didn't say they had dedicated lines, but said they would label if there was a chance of cross contamination. I'm using them exclusively now [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 08/12/2004 - 2:26pm
marina_twinmom's picture
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Joined: 09/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by e-mom:
[b]I have been using Betty Crocker for the past several years and have absolutely no reactions of any kind. I completely trust Betty Crocker.[/b]
We have, too.

Posted on: Thu, 08/12/2004 - 8:57pm
Claire's picture
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Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

Timmysmom, MY Dh just did the grocery shopping and when he does I always reread what he buys. Sure enough same brownies that you purchased. I took them up to my brothers house and asked him to make them for his kids and i had to buy a different brand. MY Dh felt just terrible but what can one do. MY niece was just a riot because she was so worried about Chris coming over to their house which never would happen but she worries anyway.
What I mean is he wouldn't be going there before they ate all the brownies, and that is why i took them there.
It is so hard to shop but things will be ok Timmysmom. Maybe you could make some from scratch with him. I know mine don't always taste like the box kind but it would be fun anyway.
Good luck to you Claire

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