Kashi Cherry Dark Chocolate Bars

Posted on: Wed, 08/26/2009 - 2:21am
Yael McMillan's picture
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Joined: 08/26/2009 - 09:03

I was so excited when I came upon some Kashi granola bars that contained no nuts. My son, Chad is fatally allergic to peanuts. I am always looking for new snacks.

A woman at Pavillions was giving out samples of the Cherry Dark Chocolate bars and I carefully read the label. I gave a sample to my son and he loved it. I happily took the coupon and bought two boxes.

I checked the box again and grabbed two so that I could use the dollar off coupon.

The next day we went for a boat trip to a local lake for the last day of summer and I brought some of the bars with me. My son wanted a snack so I gave him one of the bars. My husband took the wrapper and before my son could swallow his first bite yelled at him to spit it out. The ingredients on this box contained peanut flour. We quickly gave him Benadryl and waited to see if he needed the epi-pen.

We were all so upset, my husband couldn't believe that I would give my son something with peanut flour, my son was crying, and I was in disbelief... I knew I very carefully checked the ingredients.

When I got home, I saw that the two exact same products had different ingredient labels. I was furious!

I called Kashi this morning and they were very sorry and promised to reimburse me for the two boxes. They also were in the process of changing the ingredients, but there were no nut products in the bar that Chad ate. They haven't made the changes yet. I couldn't believe that on the same shelf at Pavillions the same product had two different ingredient labels.

I feel so grateful that my son is okay, but the incident was very tramatic. I feel a responsibility to other nut allergic people to get the word out about the changes made to these bars.

Posted on: Wed, 08/26/2009 - 10:02am
BestAllergySites's picture
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Joined: 03/15/2009 - 21:46

Wow, I am so very sorry this happened to you.
To clarify-are they changing products to take OUT the peanut flour or add in the peanut flour?
Also, did you file a complaint with the FDA recall people?
I can only assume that more than your packages are mislabeled and this could cause a problem for another allergic family.
Please consider calling Kashi again to investigate further and contacting FAAN or the FDA.
I'm so glad that your son is okay and thank you so much for sharing this with all of us.
Ruth

Posted on: Wed, 08/26/2009 - 12:10pm
Yael McMillan's picture
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Joined: 08/26/2009 - 09:03

Thank you so much for your response, I will contact the FDA.
They are adding peanut and almond flour to the bars in the future. They have not yet made the ingredient change.
It was an important experience for me to have. I often buy products that I assume are peanut free, since I have bought them before. I need to check every label every time I shop or am in a restaurant. I have products that I recommend for the schools and sports teams to use for snacks that need to be checked in case they have any changes in their ingredients. It made me realize that I must check every label every time I shop, even if Chad has eaten it before.

Posted on: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:46am
mom on a mission's picture
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Joined: 08/27/2009 - 18:26

My 6 year old daughter is allergic to peanuts so I also read labels for everything I purchase. I must admit though, I wouldn't think to read the label of more than one box if I was purchasing multiple quantities of something. Thanks for the lesson.
I will say though that Kashi is a favorite at our house. We particularly like the cereal and crackers. I recently contacted the company because while they had a "may contains" statement, I could not find mention on their products as to whether they were "manufactured in a plant that also processes peanuts." Knowing that by law a manufacturer is required to do one, but not the other, I try to always check. I was extremely pleased with their response.
From Kashi's website:
Our production lines are thoroughly cleaned between allergen containing products and we follow good manufacturing practices. We have validated (through testing) our allergen cleaning processes in all of our facilities. We are very concerned about food allergies and want to ensure that our products are safe for food allergic consumers to eat. Scientific evidence has shown that consumers with peanut and tree nut allergies can have a severe reaction to amounts that are below the current detectable limits based on existing technology. For this reason, we have chosen to warn consumers allergic to peanuts and tree nuts of the potential for extremely low levels by using a may contain statement.
I verified that I was reading that right, that if a food item was manufactured on equipment that also processes a peanut product, then peanuts would be listed in the "may contains" statement. I received an e-mail from a Kashi representative stating that they indeed include peanuts in the statement if manufactured on the same equipment.
Now if only other manufacturers would step up and do the same, our jobs as parents would be a lot easier!
I've posted Kashi's full response on my blog, www.peanutclinicaltrial.blogspot.com.
Mom on a Mission

Posted on: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 10:18pm
Bobbi's picture
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Joined: 03/19/2009 - 09:00

I'm not trying to argue with Ruth or anyone else here, but why would it be necessary to contact the FDA? I would understand if they DIDN'T list the peanut and almond flour to their ingredient label but they were being diligent by actually adding it BEFORE they changed the reciped to include them. I guess I just don't understand why they should be reported for that.

Posted on: Mon, 09/14/2009 - 10:11pm
TRexFamily's picture
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Joined: 11/30/2004 - 09:00

I read each and every label of every product I buy - even if I am buying multiples of the same product. This is a firm rule that I set when DD was diagnosed years ago, and I don't waiver.
Information concerning the change of ingredients for these Kashi bars was published on FAAN's website in April:
http://www.foodallergy.org/ingredients.html
Food manufacturers often provide FAAN with the details of upcoming ingredient changes before the switchover, and FAAN posts it in the ingredient notice section. I check this section on a regular basis.
Anne

Posted on: Sat, 10/24/2009 - 1:35pm
mamabearserenity's picture
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Joined: 08/31/2009 - 23:50

I am so glad to hear nothing happened to your son and he is OK! That must have been very scary! We have never had Kashi products but I do remember seeing them frequently in FAAN (Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network) recall alerts for allergens. (I signed up for these on their website and I get the recall alerts in my e-mail inbox.) Kashi has been in there alot I think.
My son could have a reaction from eating trace amounts of nuts. In other words, if the nut-free product is made on shared equipment with other nut-containing products. I know companies are not required by law to label for cross-contamination, something I did not always know in the beginning. I just thought if it doesn't say "May contain traces of..." or made on shared equipment with...", then it must be safe. Then, I found out that not all companies label for this in the U.S., only if it's in the product ingredients.

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