First time using Epi


Hi, I don't post much but I visit the boards almost every day and I have to say that this site and everyone on it have really helped me educate myself and showed me that I am not alone in this! I thought I should share what happened to my son last night.

A little history...My ds, who is now 7, has always had eczema since he was very young, but never developed FA until he was almost 5. He started eating peanut butter, peanut containing products, and almonds when he was around 2 or 3. He ate those fairly often, and one of his favorites was a peanut butter sandwich which he would sometimes want to eat twice a day! I didn't actively give him any tree nuts, but never prevented him from having anything that might contain them.

One month before his 5th birthday I was eating out of a container of mixed nuts and my son came in the room and wanted to taste them. Since he was almost 5 and had never had any problems I let him eat whatever he grabbed out of there. I think it was cashews that he ended up eating. Long story short he reacted with a swollen lip and vomiting and was subsequently diagnosed with a TN allergy to all nuts but Brazilian Tree Nuts and Macadamia. His peanut scores were borderline but we still avoided completely.

Fast forward to now. Since his initial diagnosis he has not had another anaphylactic reaction and we have never had to use the Epi until now.

Last night my son was eating some Breyers Neopolitan ice cream and right after complained that his throat had lots of phlegm in it and his stomach felt "hot". He was also coughing a little, but I had forgotten to give him his allergy medicine that day so I gave him some Benadryl hoping that maybe his stomach was just full and his allergies were acting up. Soon after that though, he began to wheeze loudly enough that I could hear it just by sitting near him. Still not wanting to admit it could be a reaction I began an albuterol treatment to help with the wheezing. About 5 minutes into the treatment he complained of chest pain and felt he needed to go to the bathroom as well as feeling the need to vomit. At this point I guess I finally realized that this was what I had been dreading. I called 911 and they reassured me that I should give the epi if I thought he was getting progressively worse. Since he obviously was we did give the epi and the ambulance came to take us to the hospital. He was shaking quite a bit and his heartrate was obviously high, but by the time the ambulance got there his oxygen level was 100, no wheezing, and his heart rhythms were good. He was taken to the hospital where they observed him for a bit and he seems fine now.

I just wish I knew for sure what he reacted to. He did have some Corn Pops, a Kid's Cuisine, and an Otter Pop in the last couple hours before he reacted but I am assuming it's the ice cream because this all happened immediately after he finished his bowl.

I did call the company today and spoke to a woman named Linda and she assured me that they would investigate it and let me know what they find. Now I just wonder how long I will freak out for [img][/img] I'm so scared to even feed the poor kid!


Christopher 3-8-00 (PA/TNA, Oranges, Asthma)

Brandon 8-17-02 (Asthma)

Madison 4-1-05 (NKA)

On May 23, 2007

Wow Angela, I know you are stressing! We eat lots of neapolitan ice cream. I am so sorry this happened to your son. I hope he is feeling better.

You did great.


Have a blessed day, Bridget

On May 23, 2007

I'm glad your son's fine now, Angela. You seem to have remained calm, which could only help, but I'm sure on the inside you were freaking out. What's in the Neapolitan ice cream - is it the one with the vanilla, choc & strawberry?

On May 23, 2007

Thank you both for your kind words and support! [img][/img]

When it was all happening I was flipping out and just couldn't quite bring myself to get the Epi. Luckily dh was here and did not hesitate to use it on him. I'm sure I would have done it if he wasn't there, but it scares me to think I froze up when it came time. In my mind if I had to give it to him it was admitting that his reaction was that bad [img][/img]

And yes, it was the chocolate/vanilla/strawberry one which, in addition to other flavors, he has had before on numerous occasions. I was aware that they don't run ice cream on dedicated lines but from a little research I felt comfortable enough to let him have it on occasion. I just feel so bad that he had to go through this. It makes me feel like you can't trust manufacturers as much as you think you can sometimes.

I do hope that Breyers researches this, and I will let you all know if I hear anything from them. I'll have to look around but I know I've seen that you can have food tested to see if they contain traces of nuts? If anyone can tell me where that thread might be that would be great!

Again, thanks so much for the support!


On May 23, 2007

My dd had something similar happen five years ago. She is allergic to milk so it was soy imitation ice cream made by the company WholeSoy. It was on shared equipment with peanuts and not stated, because they think they clean the lines really well. Her allergist said that most likely a fragment of a peanut got stuck in the equipment and so it was not removed when they cleaned the equipment. Then it got released many batches later. That is why it is so dangerous to give items on shared equipment with peanut, no matter how well the equipment is cleaned----because there is always that chance that a fragment of a peanut can get lodged in the equipment and released many batches later.

I did send it for testing to FAARP in Lincoln Nebraska. Do a search on the Main Board and there are posts with their phone number. Her allergist said that the testing is only helpful if it is positive. If it is negative, all that tells you is that what remains is negative. It tells you nothing about the part your ds ate. If a fragment of a peanut gets lodged in the equipment and released many batches later, then the part your ds ate would have tested positive, but the part that remains will still test negative.

At least you got to see how fast the epi works. Maybe practice a lot so you will feel better about using it?

On May 23, 2007

(((Hugs))) to you--and good for you for reacting the way you did. I know that was scary for him, but how wonderful it was for him to see how this was handled.

I hope you do send a sample in for testing.

On May 24, 2007

Yes this must have been very traumatic, I am sorry you all had to go through this, but it does show , me to stick to my guns about what I will not allow my PA child to eat, we have Chapman's ice cream which is nut and peanut free so the only ice cream my kid eat its that , her grandma wants to always giver her breyers , but it says may contain or processed on shared equip etc at least here in Canada , you are proof for me , however I am curious what did the label say? This just proves , that if it was fine before it will be fine every time, is not the way to think. Hope you all feel better soon, it is hard to trust things are safe for a while ,be careful and safe, PEACE

On May 24, 2007

Carefulmom - Thanks for the info about the testing. I will definitely look it up. Also, what you said makes sense. If they don't find anything there isn't any proof that it wasn't there if it was only his portion that was contaminated. What luck [img][/img]

McCobbre - I appreciate the support! He seems to be handling it so much better then I thought he would. Before he was horribly afraid of the Epipen, but today even told me "You had to do it mommy! Sometimes it just has to happen." I was so proud to here him say that [img][/img]

maphiemom - I am in the US and the label did NOT have any cross contamination warnings, although I was aware that they were on shared lines. Their cleaning practices were supposed to be very good, but unfortunately we learned the hard way that this is not always the case. I am usually pretty strict with what he eats, I make all his baked goods, and we don't eat out many places, but this was one thing I felt comfortable with. I have never seen Chapmans where I live so I may have to search around to see if I can find it anywhere, although it may be better just to make our own since he is allergic to oranges too.

On May 24, 2007

Babygirl2613, before we had this incident, every now and then when dd ate this imitation ice cream by WholeSoy, she would cough a few times. I thought it was because it was cold. After the reaction, I started making all our own ice cream. When she eats the ice cream that I made, she never coughs. That means those times she coughed a little when eating the store bought ice cream, she was probably having a slight reaction to cross contamination. Just something to think about. Dd probably had minor reactions to the store bought WholeSoy ice cream that I did not realize were minor reactions.

On May 27, 2007

So this is the mailed response I received from Unilever regarding the research they did on the Breyers ice cream he ate.

Thank you for contacting us about Breyers All Natural Vanilla/Chocolate/Strawberry Ice Cream. We are sorry to learn of your disappointing experience. We value the confidence you have in our products and appreciate the opportunity to respond.

We strive to make the highest quality products and follow stringent control measures so that all our products reach the consumers in optimum condition. While the incident you reported followed the consumption of one of our products, illness can be attributed to a wide range of causes. Please be assured that we use extensive processes to ensure that all our products are safe to eat.

We have checked with the manufacturing plant regarding the production records for this product. They had no production issues during the manufacturing of this product. In addition no products containing any type of nut were run the week prior to the manufacturing of this product. We do have a very strict allergen-handling policy. After manufacturing a product, the machine is disassembled and flushed with a hot sanitizing solution for several hours followed by a hot water rinse. If a product containing a known allergen has been produced, the equipment receives a double process of the sanitation and rinse process.

So either we have really bad luck or it could have been something else he ate earlier..Ugh..

[This message has been edited by Babygirl2613 (edited May 27, 2007).]

On May 27, 2007

If you still have the ice cream (which I doubt because you probably through it out after the scary experience)--get it tested through the lab in Nebraska (??I think it is Nebraska). I am more and more skeptical of food manufacturers and ALL of their procedures (cleaning as well as labeling).

Sorry you haven't been able to resolve this! The fact that your son's anaphylaxis started right after eating the ice cream leads me to think it was definitely the ice cream. That makes the most sense whether or not they quadruple washed it or not [img][/img]


On May 28, 2007

I really dislike their copout. Illness can be attributed to a number of causes? Sure but anaphylaxis cannot. The oral symptoms seem to indicate it was the food he's just eaten (maybe someone who has more experience with this can clear this up) but even if not, the possibilities are very limited.

I'm sorry you had such a scare. luvmyboys

On May 28, 2007


Originally posted by Babygirl2613: [b]I have never seen Chapmans where I live so I may have to search around to see if I can find it anywhere,[/b]

I'm pretty sure Chapmans is only available in Canada.

However, Phillyswirl is available in the US.


I was looking through the site -- click on products, then click a product, You get nutritional information, then can click on something to get ingredients. On that page, it lists peanut/nut free, as well as other allergy information.

I did see citric acid as an ingredient of the product I was looking at. Would that be a problem with an orange allergy?

On May 28, 2007

So sorry for this just plain awful experience!

Please report this reaction to your local FDA contact, and to FAAN.

[i]Both organizations NEED to know that 'cleaned' isn't 'cleaned enough' for some allergic people, and that such things must be taken much more seriously. [/i]

I am certainly well aware that even testing isn't foolproof, since the LOD (limit of detection) may be too high to reveal cross-contamination, plus the contaminated portion may have been consumed..... but still. The powers that have influence over the food industry NEED to know about these problems. Not the companies involved-- they [i]like[/i] the idea of 'self-policing' alright, but if that had really [i]worked[/i] at all, then FALCPA would never have been needed.

And personally, I think that the FDA needs a wake-up call on this one. So that they understand what all that cross-contamination and 'reaction threshold' data in the 2006 report means to real people.

On May 28, 2007

Hi Babygirl,

We had the same issue with Haagen Dazs several years ago. My son had been eating it with no incident, until one day he ended up covered in hives.

IMHO, there is no way they can guarantee that the equipment is cleaned thoroughly enough. That's why I now make my own! A little trouble, but worth it. [img][/img]

Glad he's OK now! Amy