How UNsafe is "Processed in a facility that also processes nuts"?

Posted on: Tue, 04/07/2009 - 11:54pm
anonymous's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

We have a 4 1/2 year old son who tested 4/5 for peanuts and tree nuts. We had him tested around 2 1/2 and while we never gave him anything that we knew had nuts in it before we were aware of his allergy, I'm sure he must have had something that was labeled "Processed in a facility that also processes nuts". Thank god (and I'm knocking on wood!) he has never had an anaphylatic reaction. Now that we know of his allergy, we read everything and avoid anything with the mildest warning. He has occasionally gotten hives form something we were never able to identify (eventhough we don't give foods with the "facility warning) and were wondering just how important avoiding foods with the "Processed in a facility" is.

Posted on: Fri, 04/10/2009 - 5:27am
BestAllergySites's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/15/2009 - 21:46

Hi MikesDad-welcome to PeanutAllergy.com.
Unfortunately there is no way to know how "safe" a food with a warning label is unless you test it. I know it seems extreme to avoid those foods but studies have shown that items with warning labels such as "may contain" or "processed in" have indeed had detectable amounts of peanut and nut protein. I believe up to 10% of products tested had some level.
It's a bit like Russian Roulette. Your son may not have had a reaction to date, but he may in the future. Batch one of pretzels might be fine, batch 2 may not. It's taking a chance and a risk.
Currently there are no labeling laws regarding warning statements. So companies put them there and some don't. I for one believe that if a company puts one there, it's not just for legal purposes but b/c they truly are not 100% comfortable with their cleaning practices or they don't test for allergens.
Some food allergic individuals do not avoid such foods with warning labels. I personally say, "why take the chance?".
For what it's worth, there is no difference between warning labels. "may contain" or "manufactured in" both had levels of detectable proteins in the study.
We too are avoiding pnut and tree nut and have been able to find safe foods. You just have to look a little harder and switch some brands.
Hope that helps!
Ruth

Posted on: Sat, 04/18/2009 - 11:16pm
barbfeick's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/18/2009 - 05:48

There are nut products in medicines and vaccines that do not have to appear on the label. It comes under "trade secret" protection. Your child probably got first exposure from being vaccinated.
Avoiding foods depends on the severity of the food allergy. People can eat food that they react to frequently if the reaction is minimal.
If your child has a fatal allergy, then you have to take every precaution.

Posted on: Sun, 04/26/2009 - 12:20am
anonymous's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Thanks Ruth,
We stopped bringing home anything with any kind of nut warning when we found out our son was allergic, and would never give him anything to eat that had. My wife is concerned thought that if I eat something with the warning and later kiss him, he could react.

Posted on: Sun, 04/26/2009 - 12:21am
anonymous's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Accidental double post, sorry

Posted on: Sun, 04/26/2009 - 12:28am
anonymous's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Thanks Barb,
Our son has never had a reaction (to nuts) that we could pin on anything in particular. He has gotten mild hives a couple times, once from a virus and the other time we just never knew. The only reason we know he has the allergy is my wife had him tested and he reacted quickly with itchiness and hives. She has two brothers with peanut allergies. One can't eat anything, the other has been slowly eating more and more to desensitize himself, and so far successfully.
The thing is we don't have any real way of knowing whether our son is highly allergic like my wife's oldest brother, or less so like the younger. We don't want to find out the
"hard" way.

More Community Posts

Peanut Free and Nut Free Community

create a new community post
Latest Post by penelope Mon, 10/14/2019 - 12:56pm
Comments: 0
Latest Post by penelope Mon, 10/14/2019 - 12:52pm
Comments: 1
Latest Post by Italia38 Tue, 10/08/2019 - 12:19pm
Comments: 3
Latest Post by Italia38 Tue, 10/08/2019 - 12:18pm
Comments: 1
Latest Post by penelope Mon, 10/07/2019 - 7:19pm
Comments: 2
Latest Post by penelope Mon, 10/07/2019 - 7:16pm
Comments: 10
Latest Post by penelope Mon, 10/07/2019 - 7:13pm
Comments: 13
Latest Post by penelope Mon, 10/07/2019 - 7:10pm
Comments: 9
Latest Post by mom2two Mon, 09/16/2019 - 1:03pm
Comments: 18
Latest Post by desmond Mon, 09/16/2019 - 1:00pm
Comments: 1
Latest Post by desmond Mon, 09/16/2019 - 12:58pm
Comments: 19
Latest Post by TeddyCan Mon, 09/09/2019 - 4:32pm
Comments: 10
Latest Post by DTurner Mon, 09/09/2019 - 4:31pm
Comments: 5
Latest Post by B.M.18 Mon, 09/09/2019 - 4:30pm
Comments: 3
Latest Post by abolitionist146 Mon, 09/09/2019 - 4:28pm
Comments: 2
Latest Post by nutfreenyc Mon, 09/09/2019 - 4:19pm
Comments: 4
Latest Post by AllergicTeen2 Mon, 09/09/2019 - 4:18pm
Comments: 2

More Articles

You might have wondered if small amounts of an ingredient can be added to a food product without being declared on the food’s label. The FDA...

Is it possible to eat your way to a food allergy cure? Scientists think it’s...

There are many reasons why you may want to substitute almond flour for wheat flour in recipes. Of course, if you have a...

Not all oils are created equal. Some oils are high in saturated fats or in trans-fatty acids – not good for general health. Some are partially...

It may never be safe to begin feeding peanut butter to your baby or toddler if you have peanut allergies in your family. If either parent or one...

More Articles

More Articles

What is a peanut allergy? It is a reaction that occurs in the body after eating peanuts or peanut...

For those with severe food allergies, flying can be a stressful process. Here are...

Approximately one out of 13 children under age 18 are allergic to at least one food, though many of them will outgrow their allergy by the age of...

Fact 1: Over a third of food allergy reactions happen after the first known oral...

The reason why some people are affected by allergies while others are not begins in their genes. Allergies are passed down from generation to...

Here’s a tip that might someday save your life, or that of a loved one: two to four times a year, review the proper way to use your epinephrine...

Lactose intolerance is the inability to process lactose, a sugar found in milk, caused by the lack of a needed enzyme. Those with lactose...

Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA)

An important part of peanut allergy awareness was enacted on January 1, 2006...

Tomato allergies are very rare. They are a "type 1 allergy," which means a contact allergy. When a person with this type of allergy touches a...

Milk allergies are becoming more common, especially in babies and small children. There is some confusion about what is an allergic reaction and...

Recognizing food allergy in babies or toddlers is not always easy, but there are specific risk factors and signs that parents and other caregivers...

Burlap bags are often used to store and ship coffee beans, potatoes, rice, seeds, nuts, and peanuts. They can be one of the disguised...

People with pollen allergies need to stay away from some foods. If you have allergic rhinitis in the spring or fall, you may not realize that you...

Of course, everyone knows that if you have a peanut allergy that you should avoid peanuts, peanut butter, peanut butter cookies and foods that...

Eating at a nut-free lunch table in school is a safety precaution that causes some students to feel isolated from their peers. Unfortunately,...