Help understanding the \"May Contain\"

Posted on: Mon, 04/24/2006 - 8:10pm
mama2sym's picture
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Joined: 04/19/2006 - 09:00

Hi folks...please help me figure this out! I understand the reason manufaturer's place the "may contain" statement on the label, covering the bases from protecting their liability to x-contamination. DD2 was dx'd with EA and PA at 10 months, she is 13 now, and I'm still trying to understand what we feel comfortable having in the house. We have no nuts in the house -- we avoid all nuts, although RAST was neg for TN. We DO have some products in the house that have the "may contain" statement, BUT ONLY after I call/email the manufacturer or research it on this board, and it seems to be a trusted product with trusted procedures to avoid x-contamination. BUT when I compare myself to people who have no "may contains" in the house, I feel like maybe I am being dangerous. I know that this is a very personal family decision, but can anyone help me not to feel so negligent? Are there other families out there who feel that "may contains" are OK if they've done some research, or am I the ONLY one with "may contains" in my house? (How can that be??)
I know this may be repetitive of a post I made a few days ago, so I apologize.

[This message has been edited by mama2sym (edited April 25, 2006).]

Posted on: Mon, 04/24/2006 - 8:36pm
Renee111064's picture
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Joined: 07/05/2001 - 09:00

My son will be 11 this year. We do have minimal amounts of "may contains" in our home. I do sometimes give him certain "may contain" foods as well.
My son, was also never tested for tree nuts, but I do not nor have I ever tried to give him any.
May contain, means that the food may have been processed on a line that may have had the nut/peanut on. So it can contain. They may run more than one food on the line, so as a precaution they put may contain.
An example is M&M's. They may run, plain and peanut onthe same line. So they must put the may contain, because of the slim chance that a peanut could end up with the m&m. This is to cover themselves and the allergic person.
It is taking a chance by giving this product to an allergic person.
I have only ever given certain "may contain" foods to my son. Aproximately 3 different items, that he eats.
I hope that I have explained to you.
Renee

Posted on: Mon, 04/24/2006 - 9:37pm
qdebbie1's picture
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Joined: 02/10/2005 - 09:00

I have given a lot of thought to allowing some manufactured in a facility products. Like you said, only after I called the company.
As for may contains, for me personally it is not worth it to chance that. That label does not seem as commmon as the manufactured in. The way I see it, that products may actually have pn in it, not just have touched it in the facility.
I do think too much labeling is just to cya.

Posted on: Tue, 04/25/2006 - 12:47am
shoshana18's picture
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Joined: 02/02/2005 - 09:00

this was posted awhile ago; but the statistics are very revealing on cross-contamination:
"Here is more information on the "may contain study":
18.2% (4 of 22) "may contain peanut" contained traces of peanut
12.5% (2 of 16) "manufacturer on shared equipment" contained traces of peanut
12.5% (1 of 8) "manufacturer in a facility that also processes peanut" contained traces of peanut
20.8% (5 of 24) where peanut was listed at the end of the ingredients list contained traces of peanuts
Peanut present was measured at concentrations from 1 to 2500 parts per million.
The study was done by LM Niemann, JJ Hlywka andSL Hefle and presented at this year's AAAAI meeting.

Posted on: Tue, 04/25/2006 - 12:49am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I do have *may contain* items in my home - but I don't eat them. They are for the people that do not have food allergies.

Posted on: Tue, 04/25/2006 - 2:41am
kandomom's picture
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Joined: 01/12/2006 - 09:00

My DD does not eat 'may contain' or 'processed in a facility' products. However, on the odd occassion an item labeled as such (chocolate bar, granola bar etc) may be in the house. This item is not consumed in her presence and eaten by the non allergic adults in the house.

Posted on: Tue, 04/25/2006 - 10:34am
starlight's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2004 - 09:00

I will occasionally eat a manufactured in a facility. However, I've never reacted to any "may contain"-type product before and I usually will only do it when my mother buys something that has been newly labelled with a warning (I live with my parents and they don't read labels every single time-the latest was a loaf of bread that was labelled "manufactured on equipment that may have been used to process products containing nuts OR seeds"). And I usually end up paying WAY too much attention to the way I feel for hours after eating it so it's usually not worth it.
See, everyone's comfort zone is different. I know from reading the boards that CSC's comfort zone for her children is more strict than my personal comfort zone, but she still gives her kids a deli chicken that was recently labelled a may contain because she's checked into it and found that it's a CYA label and there's really not a risk with it. Eric, a guy from Canada on the board, I believe also will eat may contains if after he calls the manufacturer he gets an answer that falls into his comfort zone. Personally, I haven't ever asked for ingredients for soft serve ice cream at restaurants (unless they serve PB-flavored ice cream or toppings and then I just don't get ice cream) and I will eat off a buffet line that has desserts with peanuts at one end - big no no's for a lot of people here, but again, I haven't had a reaction in nearly 20 years. I didn't even start carrying benedryl until a few months ago, so I feel comfortable with my comfort zone and I don't plan on changing my eating habits unless I suddenly start reacting.
So really, it's up to how sensitive your daughter is and how comfortable you and your daughter feel eating whatever it is you're eating.

Posted on: Tue, 04/25/2006 - 3:34pm
sebastian's picture
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Joined: 05/26/2003 - 09:00

This is my take on it...we do not give DD may contains of processed in a facility items. One of the main reasons is because she ate the small sample packs of jelly belly's forever, almost 2 years.(it has a "processed in" label) Then one day, she got one pack with some speck of peanut in it and had a horrible anaphylactic reaction. So for me, I just feel like I am risking it KWIM? esp if it was something she ate often because it would be increasing her chances of something happening. I would reconsider though processed in items if I felt comfortable after calling the company. Also she is very sensitive to traces. Some people may not be. She is also allergic to tree nuts, so these are some factors that require us to have a tighter comfort zone.
Best to you and yours,
Shelley

Posted on: Tue, 04/25/2006 - 9:47pm
mama2sym's picture
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Joined: 04/19/2006 - 09:00

Thank you to everyone who responded. It really helps us navigate our way through! I know one day all of this will seem like "normal" life.

Posted on: Mon, 04/24/2006 - 8:36pm
Renee111064's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/05/2001 - 09:00

My son will be 11 this year. We do have minimal amounts of "may contains" in our home. I do sometimes give him certain "may contain" foods as well.
My son, was also never tested for tree nuts, but I do not nor have I ever tried to give him any.
May contain, means that the food may have been processed on a line that may have had the nut/peanut on. So it can contain. They may run more than one food on the line, so as a precaution they put may contain.
An example is M&M's. They may run, plain and peanut onthe same line. So they must put the may contain, because of the slim chance that a peanut could end up with the m&m. This is to cover themselves and the allergic person.
It is taking a chance by giving this product to an allergic person.
I have only ever given certain "may contain" foods to my son. Aproximately 3 different items, that he eats.
I hope that I have explained to you.
Renee

Posted on: Mon, 04/24/2006 - 9:37pm
qdebbie1's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/10/2005 - 09:00

I have given a lot of thought to allowing some manufactured in a facility products. Like you said, only after I called the company.
As for may contains, for me personally it is not worth it to chance that. That label does not seem as commmon as the manufactured in. The way I see it, that products may actually have pn in it, not just have touched it in the facility.
I do think too much labeling is just to cya.

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