FDA is holding hearing on cross contamination labeling

Posted on: Wed, 08/27/2008 - 10:29pm
robyn's picture
Joined: 07/15/2008 - 02:54

On September 16 the FDA will be holding hearings to talk about cross contamination labeling. It's about time!! They will be discussing a possible uniform in these labels and what wording would be most effective. They are asking for consumers to comment on whether these labels are helpful in our purchasing decisions.

Here is the FDA document about these hearings: [url="http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/%7Elrd/fr080808.html"]http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/%7Elrd/fr080808.html[/url]

Here is where you can submit your comments: [url="http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocumentDetail..."]http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocumentDetail...

If you would like to see what I wrote, I published it on my PA blog here: [url="http://www.peanutallergykid.com/2008/08/fda-need-to-hear-from-pa-parents..."]http://www.peanutallergykid.com/2008/08/fda-need-to-hear-from-pa-parents...

This is such a great way for our voices to be heard on a platform that really can make a difference!!

They will be accepting these comments until July 2009.

Posted on: Thu, 08/28/2008 - 12:44am
tommysmommy's picture
Joined: 10/15/2007 - 08:30

Thank you so much for the head-up! I was so happy to have the opportunity to lend my voice to this important hearing. My submission is below:
As a mother of a 5-year-old peanut-allergic child, I am thrilled to see the topic of food labeling coming up for discussion in this format. I cannot stress enough how incredibly important specificity in food labeling is to families dealing with food allergies. As it stands now, I spend an exorbitant amount of time calling manufacturers from my kitchen -- midway through meal preparation -- to check and double check if their seemingly "clean" label in fact means that there is no chance for peanut protein to be present in their product, or if there is a chance, but because current law doesn't mandate labeling for cross-contamination, no "may contains" was noted. These nuances can mean the difference between a safe eating experience and a fatal allergic reaction. Many, many times, I find that customer service reps give conflicting answers, or are not equipped with the kind of details on their procedures that could have put this mother's mind at ease. I have known children to react from seemingly safe foods whose label did not indicate that child's allergen. These foods were run on shared lines, but labels were absent of any such statement. It is vital that food manufacturers be made to label not just for the known presence of a top 8 allergen, but for the POSSIBILITY of a top 8 allergen as well. Possibility, to me, means running their product on a shared line with an allergen and/or manufacturing their product in the same facility as an allergen, no matter how "careful" they think their cleaning processes are. I also need to know that no one involved in the manufacturing process could have potentially contaminated the food product via personal habits. As to current labeling standards, I like the labels that include a bold statement below the ingredients list with the allergens listed after the word "Contains:" I also very much like the labels that note "May Contain," or "Manufactured in a facility..." I would recommend that all companies include either a "May contains" OR a "No possibility of cross-cont." We need clarity. I would also like to suggest restaurants have a better protocol for dealing with food allergic customers. There are many of us out there. Many restaurants serve bread that comes from an off-site bakery, and service staff have no idea about potential allergens. I know of some restaurants that provide a spearate "Allergy Menu" with items guaranteed to not have even come in contact with a top 8 allergen. I love this idea. At present, my family rarely eats out. One needs only read the story of a 13-year-old girl who died in a mall bathroom after eating at what I believe to have been a Subway; her sandwich was one she had ordered many times before, and it did not have any peanut prodcuts in its indredients. After her death, however, it was found that the sandwich had somehow contained a large amount of peanut protein. I know from firsthand experience in these restaurants that the case housing peanut butter cookies is directly above the paper they wrap their subs in; it doesn't take much to see how easily cookie crumbs could fall inside a peanut-allergic person's food. Food allergies need to be taken more seriously. Care should be taken as if a top 8 allergen were raw ground beef or some other known potential threat to food safety.

Posted on: Thu, 08/28/2008 - 1:40am
MommyOfTwo's picture
Joined: 11/08/2007 - 09:44

Thanks for the heads up! I submitted a comment as well. I hope good things come from the hearing!

Posted on: Thu, 08/28/2008 - 3:02am
peanuts4yucky's picture
Joined: 12/10/2007 - 08:35

Sent my letter! I was hoping Robyn would post this info from her blog! Tommysmommy-what an excellent letter!!! Let's hope that there will be changes soon!

Posted on: Thu, 08/28/2008 - 3:33am
tommysmommy's picture
Joined: 10/15/2007 - 08:30

Thank you so much for the compliment. I feel so strongly about this, I wish I could have articulated more. Robyn: Thank you for your original post. I hope everyone will consider submitting a testimony.

Posted on: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 4:05am
Mmom's picture
Joined: 09/29/2008 - 11:00

I just wanted to let everybody know that there is still time to submit FDA comments regarding this advisory labeling issue.
This link contains some helpful info:
For anybody dealing with a sesame allergy, please make sure to read page 3 of the above link.

Peanut Free and Nut Free Community

Click on one of the categories below to see all topics and discussions.

Latest Discussions

Latest Post by krisztina Thu, 02/20/2020 - 4:49pm
Comments: 1
Latest Post by chicken Thu, 02/20/2020 - 4:45pm
Comments: 3
Latest Post by lexy Tue, 01/28/2020 - 12:21am
Comments: 6
Latest Post by JRM20 Sun, 01/26/2020 - 11:15am
Comments: 6
Latest Post by JRM20 Sun, 01/26/2020 - 11:11am
Comments: 5
Latest Post by Italia38 Wed, 01/15/2020 - 11:03am
Comments: 10
Latest Post by Italia38 Wed, 01/15/2020 - 10:52am
Comments: 2
Latest Post by penelope Tue, 01/14/2020 - 1:03pm
Comments: 1

Peanut Free Store

More Articles

If children begin to eat many different foods at a young age, there is much more of a chance that by the time they are in school, they will eat...

Those with peanut allergies often find that they are unable to enjoy dessert since there's always the...

If you've ever tried to find...

For those with peanut allergies, baked goods present a serious risk. Many baked goods do not appear to contain peanuts, yet were baked in a...

Those who have peanut allergies know to avoid peanut butter cookies, of course – but what about other...

Which candy bars are safe for those with peanut allergies? Those without allergies are accustomed to...

Are you looking for peanut-free candies as a special treat for a child with...

For those who have wondered whether airport x-ray machines negatively affect epinephrine auto-injectors, the folks at Food Allergy Research &...

Molecular allergy component testing identifies the specific food or environmental proteins triggering a person’s allergic reactions. Component...

An epinephrine auto-injector provides an emergency dose of epinephrine (adrenaline) to treat life-threatening allergic reactions. Those who have...

Misunderstanding the significance of food allergy test results can lead to unnecessary anxiety and dietary changes. The three tests used most...

It can be easy to overlook the presence of nut allergens in non-food items because the allergens are often listed by their Latin or scientific...

Tree nuts and peanuts are distinctly different. An allergy to one does not guarantee an allergy to the other. Peanuts are considered legumes and...

Welcome to the complex world of being a Peanut Allergy Parent. Get ready to proofread food labels, get creative with meals, and constantly hold an...

Take control of your food allergies! Get results in ten days and change your life forever! If you are tempted to use a home testing kit...

What can you eat if you can't eat peanut butter? Fortunately for people with a peanut allergy, there...

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, one out of five people in the U.S. has an allergy. Because there is a...

Eliminating peanut butter is the best way to handle a rash caused by this food

If your baby or toddler develops a rash caused by peanut...

Nearly all infants are fussy at times. But how do you know when your baby's crying means something wrong? Some babies are excessively fussy...

For those who don't have experience with peanut allergies, going 'peanut-free' often seems as easy as avoiding peanut butter sandwiches and bags...