This has been edited from the PeanutAllergy.Com Alerts and Food Recalls Board and posted here on the Labeling Board to help us work on this issue. This is for education purposes to show how you often need to know what to ask to find out if a manufacturer is safe. Many times information is not given to you unless you educate the manufacturer as to what you need them to check for. This takes education, skill and experience which many do not have the knowledge of to stay safe. This is one reason we need better labeling and why PeanutAllergy.Com is so important for all of us. We need to work together and educate each other to stay safe. I hope this experience helps you to learn a little more about dealing with manufacturers and living with the allergy.
Here is a little about one of hundreds of contacts we have had with manufacturers. We are constantly contacting manufacturers as PeanutAllergy.Com. This particular call was made because of our need to know if this company's turkey was safe for our daughter's kindergarten Thanksgiving celebration.
I spoke with Dan Benson at Carolina Turkeys, Mt Olive, NC 28365 919-658-6743.
I was calling Carolina Turkeys because a supermarket donated a turkey to our daughter's kindergarten for Thanksgiving.
The ingredients on the turkey label was 10% Turkey Broth, salt, and spices Added deep inside to enhance tenderness and Juices No artificial ingredients or preservatives Dist. by Carolina Turkeys Mt. Olive NC 28365, USA
The conversation started off with us discussing peanut allergy. We then discussed this particular turkey product, the Just Perfect, or "JP" as Dan called it.
He told me right away that there was no peanut products etc. and that the spice (which was not specified on the label) was white pepper.
This all sound good so far, right?
He did not offer any other info and many people might have thought thought they were all set with this product and hung up.
I went further and asked if they made any other products which might cause any cross contamination possibilities etc.. He said they make a fried, browned and oil product which uses PEANUT OIL, but that there was not a problem with cross contamination etc. and we discussed this. I asked many questions such as: Are they in the same factory? Answer:Yes. Are they in different parts and separated by walls ? Answer:Yes. What about the employees who work on these lines? Answer:I was told they remain separate etc.
He went on to tell me that the company the peanut oil is supplied from has assured them that there is no protein in the oil that would cause a problem. I had asked how the peanut oil was processed and Dan did not know . I asked if the product was labeled peanut oil and he told me it was not. I asked why and he said they just were not labeling this way. I informed him of the number of people in the U.S. that have peanut allergy etc. and was working to inform him why we would like to see it labeled so we would know what was in it etc.. He said they are not required by the USDA to label for it, that they had just gone through this and they were not going to label with peanut oil on the ingredients label. It will state "vegetable oil".
I asked again why etc. and he said simply, we just are not. I could tell after further conversation with him that at this time, it was not going to help or change anything so I thanked him for speaking with me and we ended our call.
From our conversation one still might think that their Just Perfect turkey product might be safe. He did check with me to be sure we were talking about the one labeled 10% Turkey Broth, salt, and spices Added deep inside to enhance tenderness and Juices.
There was a lot more discussed, but I want to keep this short. I have seen lots of information about peanut oil, I want you to understand that I am aware of the different processes etc.
Read on! This is not all and the outcome changes when Patti calls!
I would like to note that his conversation remained calm and professional throughout.
I would now like to note that my wife was calling the same company at almost the exact same time. Neither one of us knew the other was calling, she was elsewhere and did not think I was going to have time to contact the company so she called them. She spoke with a man named Chris Whitley (he, like Dan, also works in Research and Development) She received a different outcome than I did. She was told that there may be a chance of cross contamination, but the person she spoke with thought it was unlikely, he just said he could not guarantee it was 100% safe. She was informed that the turkey with peanut oil and the turkeys without were packaged by the same equipment, which was not thoroughly cleaned and sanitized etc. between the different products.
We would like to hear all of your comments on this and would like your opinions as to whether you believe they and all other manufacturers should include on their ingredients label "peanut oil" or a may contain statement. Post a reply or send e mail, faxes etc. )see e mail address below). Let us know if you think it is correct that they do not have to label for this under the USDA and if you can provide proof send it also.
This example of how you can get two different answers from the same company shows how much work we need to do as a group. This happens often and we want you to understand this to help keep you safe and so you will help us fight for better labeling regulations etc.. While we have seen lots of information on peanut oil and the differences in how it is processed relating to its safety etc. and while this example with Carolina Turkey may not be considered by some to be dangerous, we want to educate you about what you will experience when dealing with your allergy.
We want better labeling. One reason is so that manufacturers are not deciding for us what is safe and unsafe based on what they know (OR DO NOT KNOW) about peanut allergy. Do you want them labeling according to what they might feel you need to see on a label? If there is peanut in a product let the consumer know so they can decide.
Manufacturers are worried about writing certain ingredients and statements on their products because it could effect sales etc..
Do you want them to decide what you are told?
Let us know your opinion!
Contact info below:
P.S. You may want to let Carolina Turkey know how you feel also.
[url="http://www.carolinaturkey.com/"]http://www.carolinaturkey.com/[/url] e mail address [email]firstname.lastname@example.org[/email]
Here is their contact info: Carolina Turkey Mt Olive, NC 28365 USA Phone number (919)658-6743
Here is PeanutAllergy.Com contact info:
Please help us work on labeling, send checks to: PeanutAllergy.Com
Send info and your financial help to:
PeanutAllergy.Com 123 Grant Ave. Medford, MA 02155
Phone today, call (781) 395-9530 to use your credit card for a donation and you can fax, e mail etc. your info (see below).
PHONE NUMBER 1-781-395-9530
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------------------ Stay Safe,