is FALCPA backfiring?

Posted on: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 2:47pm
starlight's picture
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Just looking for some opinions, do you think that FALCPA is going to backfire on us, with more CYA labelling from companies who don't understand FALCPA?

The reason I ask is because today my father came home from work (he's an assistant manager in a major grocery store) and he told me he could not find one package of cookies without a "manufactured in a facility w/ tree nuts" or "may contain tree nuts" statement on the label (although I asked about the chips ahoy and oreos and he hadn't checked those). Like Salerno's Butter Cookies (the ones shaped like flowers with the hole in the middle) now have a warning for tree nuts. I grew up on those cookies.

It doesn't matter too much about the butter cookies because I'm not TNA so as long as they don't have a peanut statement I'll still have them, but is it going to become impossible to find stuff to eat? I've never reacted to cross-contamination or trace amounts, so I was fine with companies not labelling "may contain" if the peanuts are used in a different part of the building, but I don't eat things that have warning labelling. I live on cereals and cookies, and those are the things I imagine are the most likely to get label changes.

For adults with PA, if it DOES become an out of control CYA situation, will you take the chance and continue to eat what you always did or will you try to adjust to an even more restricted diet?

Posted on: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 3:35pm
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I haven't found this is an issue for me so far. I call companies and ask about their manufacturing processes before I buy anything. So any products that suddenly have a "may contain" label that I have seen were products I wouldn't have purchased anyway. (e.g. Twinkies manufactured in the NJ plant)
As an FYI the "may contain" labeling is NOT required by FALCPA, although many companies may think it is.
Quote:Originally posted by starlight:
[b]Just looking for some opinions, do you think that FALCPA is going to backfire on us, with more CYA labelling from companies who don't understand FALCPA?
The reason I ask is because today my father came home from work (he's an assistant manager in a major grocery store) and he told me he could not find one package of cookies without a "manufactured in a facility w/ tree nuts" or "may contain tree nuts" statement on the label (although I asked about the chips ahoy and oreos and he hadn't checked those). Like Salerno's Butter Cookies (the ones shaped like flowers with the hole in the middle) now have a warning for tree nuts. I grew up on those cookies.
It doesn't matter too much about the butter cookies because I'm not TNA so as long as they don't have a peanut statement I'll still have them, but is it going to become impossible to find stuff to eat? I've never reacted to cross-contamination or trace amounts, so I was fine with companies not labelling "may contain" if the peanuts are used in a different part of the building, but I don't eat things that have warning labelling. I live on cereals and cookies, and those are the things I imagine are the most likely to get label changes.
For adults with PA, if it DOES become an out of control CYA situation, will you take the chance and continue to eat what you always did or will you try to adjust to an even more restricted diet? [/b]

Posted on: Tue, 01/10/2006 - 1:03am
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I haven't seen a lot of new warning labels on things we buy. Someone mentioned bread in another thread, but that hasn't happened with our usual brands; I haven't checked others. With at least one product, we've started using it again because the label is now more specific. So we now know it doesn't have peanut ingredients, whereas before the type of lecithin wasn't specified. So far, so good with our shopping.

Posted on: Tue, 01/10/2006 - 6:22am
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There are two other threads related to this - one is about Costco Yogurt under Manufacturers, and I can't remember where the other one is.
Yes, I've seen an explosion of "Made in a facility that..." and it completely p*sses me off. I want to know what it means, and so far it seems to mean is that I have to keep calling only to get more ambiguous info, LOL.
I emailed FAAN about two weeks ago asking them to address this, and so far I haven't heard anything back. Perhaps you'd like to try as well.
Believe me, I feel your pain.
Amy

Posted on: Tue, 01/10/2006 - 7:30am
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I shop at Wegmans, and other health food stores now. All baked goods we make here from scratch, waffles, pancakes taste quite nasty GLUTEN free, without syrup. I have adjusted our diet, but I'm not going to search thru regular grocery stores checking labels, when I can go to a health store and get the same thing, end up paying more, and not have to worry about checking the label, becuase those foods are clearly labeld , egg free, wheat free, soy free,nut free and milk free, they also taste pretty good.

Posted on: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 2:37am
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I am thinking the same thing. If there is a warning about "made in a facility"...but then find out that the food is made on a different line and there is no risk it is very ambiguous. Especially for a ten year old! Also, it is concerning for caregivers and/or teachers. I am worried that this new system will limit our options even further.
Time will tell. I think FAAN will be happy about it from an informational standpoint, but from a "living with FA standpoint" I think it may make it more difficult.

Posted on: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 3:13am
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palofmine, just a little bit of information, my ds is severely allergic to wheat and possibly celiac, he was repeatedly sick after eating "wheat free" waffles from vans. Because of the new labeling laws, they now have a disclaimer that they are made on the same equipment as wheat products (thats how we found out wahat the culprit was). We eliminated this waffle and he has not been sick since (almost 3months). So even plainly labeled packages need to be scrutinized.
Kathy

Posted on: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 3:41am
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I absolutely disagree (from our personal perspective) with "in a facility" warnings being purely CYA... We, too, require this level of awareness. Really. I realize that many do not, and I am sure this is frustrating for you. BUT-- please think about how much safer life is for kids like mine before you blanket such statements as "totally unnecessary," OK?
We ALWAYS know when one of our regular products changes to share a production line. We know because even if the label DOESN'T say so, my daughter knows. Most companies will verify it when we call. And this is certainly not required under FALCPA.
What would I personally like to see happen? I think that ultimately, there are many many people who probably DO tolerate traces of their allergens in products just fine. So the FDA needs to define what exactly "traces" means and issue a guideline about when it needs to be used (ie- shared lines or in a facility). Because right now it can mean anything from "below the detection limit of our test" to "large visible chunks of the allergen might be found." This is where the real problem lies, in my opinion.
So I think that we need to know that there are traces and what the maximum is for that word to be used. If you are not sensitive (ie- haven't reacted to the product in the past) then call them and find out if this is a change in production or just an improvement in labeling. Comfort zone, you know?
Sorry, but given all the trace exposures that we have to live with because of a lack of "in a facility" or "shared lines" warnings, you won't get much sympathy for this kind of labeling being a PITA. Just agreement that calling about it sure is. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Posted on: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 5:14am
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I think it may w/ some businesses. I went to The Fresh Market the other day and EVERYTHING that was prepared on the premisis said..."may contain wheat,dairy, soy, treenuts, peanuts and eggs"
I was so upset since it looks like a blanket label to cover their butts...so now everything is off limits to us.

Posted on: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 7:00am
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Dr. Wood addressed this question about our support group meeting. Basically, he said to trust the warning labels now. So if you bought a food without a warning label before but it now has one, don't continue buying it. He said some companies may actually change their procedures with double cleanings etc.. because now they have the warning to fall back on.
And.. he did say they see lots of reactions due to "may contain" statements. He strongly encouraged avoiding any food with the warning.

Posted on: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 7:02am
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I agree that it will be easier and cheaper for many companies to blanket the warning on all their products rather than conduct safe manufacturing procedures. Even though there are peanuts in a facility, the product can be considered safe, no matter how sensitive you are. my child does react to trace amounts. I give him Hershey kisses, but not KitKat. Kisses do not have a warning and Kit KitKats do. When I originally asked, they were made in the same facility, but in different rooms than the pb containing products. They have strict manufacturing practices that I deem to be safe (my comfort zone). Will this new system require them to label the kisses differently?

Posted on: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 7:19am
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Quote:Originally posted by Lidia:
[b] Kisses do not have a warning and Kit KitKats do. When I originally asked, they were made in the same facility, but in different rooms than the pb containing products. They have strict manufacturing practices that I deem to be safe (my comfort zone). Will this new system require them to label the kisses differently? [/b]
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/007107.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/007107.html[/url]
?

Posted on: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 8:13am
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[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum16/HTML/000212.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum16/HTML/000212.html[/url]

Posted on: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 11:15am
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Quote:Originally posted by samirosenjacken:
[b]Dr. Wood addressed this question about our support group meeting. Basically, he said to trust the warning labels now. So if you bought a food without a warning label before but it now has one, don't continue buying it. He said some companies may actually change their procedures with double cleanings etc.. because now they have the warning to fall back on.
And.. he did say they see lots of reactions due to "may contain" statements. He strongly encouraged avoiding any food with the warning.[/b]
Thanks for posting this. I thought of the CYA labelling being a pain the butt but those are good points.
Although limiting, I would have to say that more accurate, even if a blanket, statements should make things better for us. This way if a package has that warning, even if it is a treat she has had before, her teachers or a neighbor won't give it to her. When she is with others, I definitely want to err on the side of caution.

Posted on: Fri, 01/27/2006 - 5:52am
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It does appear to be backfiring here, but not for that reason. People (like the other mom of a PA child in DS's class, and his teacher) are assuming that with the new law, if a label doesn't contain a warning, it's safe. I tried pointing out to them that the warnings don't cover items manufactured on shared lines, but they didn't listen.
As far as they're concerned, if there's no warning, it's safe, because the new law says it is. And I'm just overreacting. :-(

Posted on: Fri, 01/27/2006 - 10:48am
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Marina_twinmom, that's been my greatest fear since I first realized that FALCPA didn't provide for mandatory labeling for cross-contamination. Too many people know just enough of the law to be dangerous, and now believe that labels tell the entire story. I take every opportunity to clarify the situation with whomever will listen, but I'm sure that not everyone pays attention or believes that I know what I'm talking about. So we cross our fingers and hope that the cross-contamination labeling loophole is covered sooner rather than later.

Posted on: Fri, 01/27/2006 - 9:20pm
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I have celiac disease (no gluten which means no wheat at all) and I don't consider those "may contain" or "made in a plant that also processes" labels CYA statements. For me they are life savers. I get very ill from just a tiny bit of flour, so if a product is manufactured in a factory where there is also flour flying around, even if it IS made on a different line, I get sick. I can't take that chance with my heatlh.
My daughter has airborne reactions to peanuts, she is really very allergic and I don't feel safe giving her food from ANY factory that has peanuts in it anywhere.
So I guess its all about your comfort level. We still call companies and talk to them, so the labeling law hasn't eliminated that step for us.
Susan

Posted on: Sat, 01/28/2006 - 12:10am
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I'm Canadian, so pardon me for even placing my two cents, but I'm going to anyway.
Often times here I have read about things that my American friends are able to eat that we can't purchase in Canada at all ("may contain" warning). So, when I knew the new law was coming into effect, I wondered if you would end up with labeling quite similar to ours.
It was years ago that I called Good Humour-Breyer's about some ice cream cups (posted here). I really thought that their labeling was CYA, but I explained to them that because the "may contain" labeling was on there, I could not, in good conscience, purchase their product. I mean really, how do you explain to a then 5 year old, and other people, why some "may contains" are okay and some aren't? We've just had a strict no "may contain" or "made in" policy.
It has worked for us. Oh, things like Hostess baked goods or Little Debbie products - they've always been off limits to us.
Now, the positive thing about that, I think is, that some manufacturers in Canada have recognized the need for "peanut free" products and we have companies that have dedicated themselves to that without having food items that are very expensive to purchase (for example, Chapman's, the only "safe" ice cream we can purchase - and only the ones that say "peanut free" - they're the most inexpensive ice cream in the grocery except for store name brands). So, maybe that will happen in America as well.
But then, I had something happen to me a couple of weeks ago (posted here) with the deli barbeque chicken we buy. It had a blanket CYA "may contain" label on it. Now that I'm dealing with a 10 year old and because I know the exact circumstances of what happens with that chicken in the particular store I buy it from, I will now have a "may contain" product coming into my home.
So, I think it's probably what's happening with Going Nuts. A lot of stuff has warnings on it now and it's going to mean a lot of calls to get it sorted and then it becomes a "comfort zone" thing. You have to decide if it was a CYA label or not. And if you want to deal with explaining that to yourself, your PA child, and other people.
Some things for me weren't worth the bother - for example, the Good Humour-Breyer's ice cream. At that time, my son was young; no one seemed to be hearing me at all about his PA; and I just wrote them off.
But the deli chicken thing that sent me for a loop, I've had to re-examine things.
This also happened to me one other time with black pepper (posted about here).
I know it's hard and especially because it is new to you, when I don't think it's been new to us in Canada, but I think once everyone gets it sorted for themselves, you'll probably find that it does cut down on mystery reactions, etc. KWIM?
Definitely a PITA with something you've eaten for x number of years, but well worth it probably in the end.
As far as the study about 1 in 5 ("may contain") and 1 in 12 ("made in") - how old is that study and would people still consider that a valid number?
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
------------------
"That was Polanski. Nicholson got his nose cut."

Posted on: Sat, 01/28/2006 - 1:56am
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This conversation just came up at a friend's house. She was definitely under the impression that the label would answer all questions regarding safety. When I explained the issue of may contains, I could tell she was puzzled because that wasn't her impression.
This all came up because a mom wanted to put out a brand of raisins I'd never heard of before. Up until a few days ago before all the raisin posts, I would have let ds try them...but not anymore. Meg

Posted on: Sat, 01/28/2006 - 2:55am
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Thank you all for your opinions [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Though I think some people may have misunderstood what I was thinking with the CYA statements.
What I'm concerned with is what robinlp said, blanket labelling of products because they just don't want to deal with it at all, and also the "manufactured in a facility" if the peanuts are used, say, two stories up and on the other side of a 10000 sq. foot building with different workers who never come into contact with the peanuts.
That said, I've been to the store, and I haven't really seen any huge changes, but the store I was at had a lot of products still from December. What I have seen come through my house are a lot of CONTAINS: labels and the oddest one on Life Savers Gummies: "Made on the same equipment that processes milk. May contain milk." I supposed they're doing that for children who may not understand "same equipment", but considering 99.9999% of the time I don't eat anything with a peanut warning no matter what the warning says, I just found it so redundant I had to laugh.

Posted on: Sat, 01/28/2006 - 3:43am
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Quote:Originally posted by starlight:
[b]
What I'm concerned with is what robinlp said, blanket labelling of products because they just don't want to deal with it at all, and also the "manufactured in a facility" if the peanuts are used, say, two stories up and on the other side of a 10000 sq. foot building with different workers who never come into contact with the peanuts.
[/b]
That is exactly what I'm talking about - you said it much better than I. That's my beef in a (pardon the use of words) nutshell.
And that's what has me aggravated. I'm still not using any "May Contains"; I never have. It's this "Made in a facility, blah, blah, blah" that is p*ssing me off.
Misunderstanding of your original post aside, whoever brought up the point about people outside the allergy community misunderstanding the labeling situation is spot on. I know that if I were not intimately involved with this, I'd have the impression that it covered all the bases too.
Amy

Posted on: Sat, 01/28/2006 - 4:18am
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See, the "made in a facility" has always been a strange thing for me although when I see the label I won't buy it for my home.
But allow me to contradict myself. The Kraft/Nabisco/Mr. Christie's products we purchase are, in fact, "made in a facility". There is *supposed* to be a concrete barrier between the two sections of the plant but I have never confirmed that physically by visiting the plant.
Then, I remember asking why people worried about cream cheese and found out that Philadelphia Cream Cheese was made in the same building, but on a different floor, as Kraft Peanut Butter.
The labeling on the deli chicken that I purchased was just assinine. "May contain nuts, milk, eggs, whatever else it listed and OTHER ALLERGENS". I think it was the "other allergens" that ticked me off the most. It was like WT F?
And I know that that gosh darn chicken is still safe for me to purchase. That's where the whole comfort zone comes into play I think, but my soul, trying to explain it to someone outside of your own personal space, and really even trying to explain it within your home, it's difficult.
So, with the examples I gave above, Kraft/Nabisco/Mr. Christie's and then Philadelphia/Kraft (or vice versa) if they wanted to place CYA statements on their products, they could place "made in" on the labels of the products. That's where we'd lose, a heckuva lot more products that some of us (not all) consider okay to buy right now based on how the situations have been explained. We'd lose another line of cookies/crackers and we'd lose cream cheese (one brand).
To me, it just sounds like if manufacturers are going to start CYA labeling, it means a lot more work for the food allergic consumer. You're going to have to phone each manufacturer as Going Nuts mentioned and then decide for your own comfort zone if it is okay or not.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
------------------
"That was Polanski. Nicholson got his nose cut."

Posted on: Sat, 01/28/2006 - 9:50am
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Quote:Originally posted by csc:
[b]
To me, it just sounds like if manufacturers are going to start CYA labeling, it means a lot more work for the food allergic consumer. You're going to have to phone each manufacturer as Going Nuts mentioned and then decide for your own comfort zone if it is okay or not.
[/b]
... and try to explain your reasoning to your child, who you are attempting to teach to take control of their allergy, as well as family members who it is an uphill battle to educate anyway!!!
All I'm asking (can you hear the pleading in my voice? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ) is for a consistent system of labeling that really means something. A label that we can read and trust, that eliminates the need to call manufacturers who end up giving us contradictory information half the time anyway.
OK, off my soapbox now!
Amy

Posted on: Sat, 01/28/2006 - 1:53pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Quote:Originally posted by Going Nuts:
[b] ... and try to explain your reasoning to your child, who you are attempting to teach to take control of their allergy, as well as family members who it is an uphill battle to educate anyway!!!
[/b]
I think it's an okay soap box to be on, Amy.
I mean, when I found that chicken with that assinine labeling, I did have to explain it to my son. Then, I had to explain it to other people. But then, that leads them, not necessarily my son (because he's 10, but say if he was younger it would be a problem), to question why a "may contain" deli chicken is okay but NO okay "may contains" are okay.
My thing right now that I seem to have difficulty explaining, although I'm not clear why, because we've always been cautious with no name/store name brands, is trying to explain to my MIL why I tend not to buy them. Well, why not? They're cheaper. But, yes, with this store, they look like they're labeled okay, but with this store, I have to actually call with the UPC code. I don't expect it to go click in her head, but it does get rather tiresome explaining and explaining and explaining.
And to a general consumer looking at a no name/store brand product, it looks as though it is labeled well. I actually buy some no name/store brand products but they're one's that I've kinda figured out in my head are okay (if they say "may contain" on them), some kind of reasoning I have, but that's for me to figure out. And I actually may be wrong one day, who knows? Hope not, touch wood.
Or darned if the MIL didn't buy a Duncan Hines cake mix awhile ago and yes, it looks well labeled, and yes, I took a chance and let my guy eat it. It's only from being a member here and Jess having a reaction from cross contamination to a Duncan Hines' product a few years back that I've written them off, but how to explain?
Last week she had made a cake (something is wrong with the whole picture because the woman has started to bake [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img] ) and it was from a "no name" mix.
Bang head, brick. Bang head, brick.
Now, with my son (younger than your son), it's like it's too far into the journey to change things or allow them to change things when they're starting to enter what I consider dangerous years. I did explain the deli chicken and that's the only thing with a "may contain" warning that will be coming into my home.
See, with the two examples of "made ins" but not marked as "made ins" that I gave above, I've been able to figure it out if it's okay for my comfort zone (which those particular items I've decided are), and there's no explaining to do to anyone because there is no warning. I don't have to tell anyone I'm trying to educate about the concrete barrier in Kraft/Nabisco/Mr. Christie's.
I kinda got the sense that this was going to be problematic. Again, because I read here about my American friends eating things that we have never been able to eat - always a "may contain" here.
On the hopeful side though, perhaps it will bring out more manufacturers that are willing to say, okay, let's mark things "peanut free". I don't know.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
------------------
"That was Polanski. Nicholson got his nose cut."

Posted on: Thu, 02/16/2006 - 10:19am
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The past two weeks I've been in label **** .
First, a bread product I always used to eat said, "Manufactured on the same equipment as products containing milk, eggs, nuts [b]OR[/b] sesame seeds.
Then on a package of torilla shells, at the end of the lists of ingredients, was "and other edible excipients" WTH?! I can't even imagine that's allowed.
Then today, on ANOTHER bread product I always used to eat (different brand), warning saying, "Manufactured in a facility that [b]may process[/b] foods containing milk, nuts, and seeds.
This is the kind of stuff I was trying to get at with my post. This blanket CYA labelling that makes it so much harder. I mean, how hard is it to look and see if you're actually using those ingredients in your building?! I'm just so disappointed...and I know if I were to try to call, I'd just get more CYA responses from customer service.

Posted on: Fri, 02/17/2006 - 3:18am
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This will probably ruffle some feathers, but lets face it....These companies are in business to make money, like every company. I'm sure the disclaimer will be a CYA for many companies, but that is because if they dont they will be sued!
Food companies are business and money is the bottom line for them. I dont care what they say, but that is the fact. I'm not saying I think its right, but its a fact.
If it says it "may contain" or " made in a facility" then dont buy it...pretty simple to me...or if you really want it, call and get the scoup.
I know I worry about my daughters health and her coming into contact with peanuts constantly, which is why I'm here, but lets face it. Why should we expect all companies to cater to sever allergies??? Some do, smaller ones usually, you just have to find them and stop complaining. I deal with this everyday too, but I dont expect hand outs and sometimes when I read this board thats the impression Im left with.

Posted on: Fri, 02/17/2006 - 4:52am
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Quote:Originally posted by TarynsDad:
[b]
Why should we expect all companies to cater to sever allergies??? Some do, smaller ones usually, you just have to find them and stop complaining. I deal with this everyday too, but I dont expect hand outs and sometimes when I read this board thats the impression Im left with.[/b]
I don't expect companies to "cater" to allergies. All I'm asking for is truth in labeling, nothing more, nothing less. It shouldn't be an unrealistic expectation. I don't regard that as a hand-out.
Amy

Posted on: Fri, 02/17/2006 - 5:08am
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yeah, but isnt the label "may contain.." or "processed in the same facility..." truth in labeling? Regardless of whether it processed on a different floor of a 500000 square foot facility, it is still in the same facility.
I totally understand your point, I'm just saying if they didnt say that and someone had a reaction they would be sued in a heartbeat. So is it a CYA, yes, but its also the truth.
They cant say "processed in the same facility as peanut, however on a different side of the building and 3 machines down with different employees" [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I was just being a smart ass there...hehe
You have to think, what is a machine breaks down at these places and they have to use another machine that uses peanuts? They cant just change the label for those produced products for the day or two it takes to fix the "other" machine. Therefore they use a blanket label.
Tim

Posted on: Fri, 02/17/2006 - 1:57pm
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Quote:Originally posted by TarynsDad:
[b]yeah, but isnt the label "may contain.." or "processed in the same facility..." truth in labeling? Regardless of whether it processed on a different floor of a 500000 square foot facility, it is still in the same facility.
I totally understand your point, I'm just saying if they didnt say that and someone had a reaction they would be sued in a heartbeat. So is it a CYA, yes, but its also the truth.
They cant say "processed in the same facility as peanut, however on a different side of the building and 3 machines down with different employees" [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I was just being a smart ass there...hehe
You have to think, what is a machine breaks down at these places and they have to use another machine that uses peanuts? They cant just change the label for those produced products for the day or two it takes to fix the "other" machine. Therefore they use a blanket label.
Tim
[/b]
I respect and understand your opinion also, it's just not the way I see it. I understand them not wanting to get sued, but the food manufacturers *have* to test food for certain things anyway. There's a government limit on how many rat droppings, hairs, bacteria, etc. can be allowed in foods (and it's way more than you'd think). While they're doing these tests, can't they test for minute traces of peanut protein and adjust their labels accordingly? I've never heard of anyone dying from eating too many hairs, but plenty die from peanuts. If they can regulate rat droppings and find out the risk of mold blowing through air vents into products (I remember a few years ago that a product was recalled because something bad had gotten into the air ducts at the facility), why can't they figure this out for peanuts? Like GoingNuts said, all I want is [b]accurate[/b] labelling, that gives some sort of idea what the risk is. Even if they have to add a new type of warning label to the existing battery that states "manufactured in the same room".
As for the breaking equipment problem, a very simple, cheap solution is to have "shared equipment" stickers on hand in case they need to switch to a shared line. Then they'd just need to add a warning sticker to the bottom of the ingredient list. It'd take about 2 seconds per package, and save us all a lot of grief.
Again, just my opinion, and I don't know how food manufacturers actually work so none of this may be feasible. I guess it's just so frustrating to me because they don't care about us, their consumers, and in general it makes me sad when people choose making money and covering their butts over caring about other people's well being.

Posted on: Fri, 02/17/2006 - 9:15pm
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I agree with those that say they don't think this is all CYA labeling, I don't either.
My question to many of you is: Have you ever been in a large factory?
I have and I believe there are ways that, with the peanut butter made on one floor (for example) and the cream cheese on another floor, for accidents to happen.
The floors are not air tight and sealed off, various people go from floor to floor, superisors, union people, admin people, supply delivery, trash guys. In many factories all employees share a lunch room and a locker area, shower areas. Its not impossible for contamination to happen. I'm sure there are rules in place to minimize this happening but we are dealing with real people that make mistakes.
They do not hire seperate trash guys to only go on the peanut floor. I can't tell you how many times, in my stint as a factory worker, the wrong supplies were delivered to our floor and in some cases (lazy) we didn't realize it until we opened the box of supply.
So as much as we hate these statements I'm not sure they are CYA statements. Yes some of us have to continue calling companies and find out what their statement really means, but for others (myself), if the statement is there, I just write that product off my list. My daughter is SO reactive that I won't chance it and lately there are more and more small niche companies coming to the market that are peanut/allergen free.
Best, Susan

Posted on: Sat, 02/18/2006 - 10:51am
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I agree with your post Susan!...
tim

Posted on: Sat, 02/18/2006 - 11:28am
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Well, I am going to jump in here -- hadn't really planned on it, but now have had my own frustrating situation with labeling.
My husband came home with a bunch of bread from the grocery store. Several loaves of Alfaro's bread (sourdough and some wheat one) and some Sara Lee mini bagels. All of the bread is made by Sara Lee, though the names may appear to be different. Well, the Alfaro's Hearty Grain and Seed had a little sentence, past the ingredient list, past the 'Contains' portion and below the statement about organic ingredients. It stated the following:
'Because we hand clean nuts and seeds, please help us watch for hard pieces of seeds or shells'
Yes, two things came into my mind -- why the he!! did he buy something with that on it -- even though it doesn't put anything in the allergen 'Contains' section of the label. Then I thought, well, maybe it is a good thing he bought it, because clearly they have bread that is potentially contaminated, but aren't labeling appropriately. There was nothing on the sourdough -- and clearly it came from the same place. So I called. I wanted to know if the sourdough was made on the same equipment. Why they don't put 'May Contain', 'Made in a Facility...', 'Shared Equipment', etc.
The lady, Chastity, was very nice. She listened, took bar codes, told me that yes that bread came from a plant that had nuts, took my info, contacted the plant, and called me back the next day. The basics of the information that I got was that yes, there were nuts in the facility, but they weren't using them anymore. They were going to be thrown out. So, the plant should be nut free, but I should call back every now and again to make sure, in case they reintroduce nuts. Of course though, even when they were using nuts, it was safe, because they made all of the bread containing nuts, then did a wash, and made the bread that didn't have nuts after that. (I of course, was rolling my eyes -- good thing she couldn't see me) When I asked why the bread wasn't at least labeled 'Made in a facility' or 'Shared Equipment' -- or a similar variation -- I was told that the wash took care of possibility of contamination and nothing in the new labeling laws made it so they had to put any type of warning to the effect.
Now, I am thinking about getting a bread maker. And, frankly, I want to have the choice to not buy bread, or other foods -- because I do want to know, even if it is on a different floor, if there are nuts in the place that is making food for my son. If I am not going to let him eat something from his grandparents house because that could be considered 'Made in a facility...' I want to have the choice to turn down stuff in the grocery store. It might start to limit the choices available to me, but I'd rather be warned -- slimmest chances even -- than not at all because someone thinks they've washed a machine. I mean, our allergist was just talking to us about not letting our son eat things from other people (especially at school) because you don't know how they handle food, how they clean things, cross-contamination, etc.
I have to confess, that I used to think that it seemed a bit over-board to me, when people would post about calling to make sure about products -- even if labeled. You know, double checking about dedicated lines, washes, etc. Now, well, I think I'm becoming a believer.

Posted on: Sat, 02/18/2006 - 11:41am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Another convert!!
I hear ya sister. Glad to know that you only think I am a [i]wee bit tetched[/i] now. LOL!
General Mills ought to be laughing all the way to the bank. I hope so. They, I notice, have nothing to "figure out" since they've been doing it [b]right[/b] all along. Good for them.
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Sorry for anyone going through the learning curve on this, though... definitely "sucky". [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sun, 02/19/2006 - 9:45am
anonymous's picture
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I dont know, I still think its the parents responsibility to call these places if you dont feel comfortable with the labeling. Eventhough the laws seem to be getting better about labeling, we all still take a chance when we pick something of the store shelf. I just feel if you dont feel comfortable with the labeling, you should call and thats that.
Eventhough peanut allergies are on the rise, we are still a small percentage of the total population. This being said, these major food companies are in the market to appeal to the larger consumer. They will follow the labeling rules, but will always find loopholes, which means its up to the consumer to decide if they feel comfortable with the labeling.
It is perfectly acceptable to call and confirm ingrediants, I will do it too. I just dont understand posts that say they will give them and "earfull" or "let them have it".
Tim

Posted on: Sun, 02/19/2006 - 10:12am
gvmom's picture
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[b]Eventhough peanut allergies are on the rise, we are still a small percentage of the total population. [/b]
I know we are a small percentage -- but, I do think there is a responsibility to listen to your market. And guess what, if you eat, then you are the target market for a grocery store & the manufacturers of the foods contained within. Especially since in our home we eliminate a product completely if it isn't safe for either of our sons. So, while the Alfaro's bread might be found to be something we are uncomfortable feeding to our son, we will completely stop purchasing it, because if one can't have it in our family, the rest don't either. The company is effectively losing 4 customers instead of just the 1 who is allergic. Additionally, since it is Sarah Lee, and we know the plant number, products we might have previously purchased, we won't now -- thus eliminating even more products -- for 4 customers, not just one. And then lets just add in, for the sake of argument, those of you who actually have supportive friends and family who also won't purchase brands or items that could endanger your child. More lost customers. I mean, the one person I could say this of would be my Dad. He knows we love their sourdough (Alfaro's), he likes it too -- but if he knew it were unsafe (which he will probably think it is, when I tell him my latest adventure)- he wouldn't think twice about not buying it for something my son might be involved in (like a trip to Grandpa's -- my boys love to eat toast there for some reason).
I agree that there is a huge responsibility that lies with the parent to insure that what they feed to their children is safe. At some point though, it would be nice, if those companies that were entrusted with manufacturing/preparing/packaging/handling, etc., the food we purchase in the stores, would just do what was right -- instead of always just trying to cover their a**, walk on a loophole, or save 1/100th of a cent.

Posted on: Sun, 02/19/2006 - 12:44pm
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Quote:Originally posted by gvmom:
[b][b]Eventhough peanut allergies are on the rise, we are still a small percentage of the total population. [/b]
I know we are a small percentage -- but, I do think there is a responsibility to listen to your market.[/b]
Has anyone noticed the surge in products labeled "Gluten Free" lately? They're a small segment of the market as well, but they're getting somewhere. Why can't we?
And of course I realize that the ultimate responsibility lies with us, the parents. However, now I'm focusing on transitioning my son to independence as he's entering his teen years. And let me tell you, the combination of "what does that label really mean?" labeling and the teen psyche is one scary prospect.
I hope my son will grow to be as careful and responsible as Peg's son is, but there are no guarantees. I just don't want him looking at all these "made in a facility" labels and thinking that they probably don't mean anything, KWIM?
Amy

Posted on: Mon, 02/20/2006 - 3:20am
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The company is effectively losing 4 customers instead of just the 1 who is allergic.
I think that is a very good point! So now we have changed from 1 percent to 5 percent of the population. This means 95 percent "dont care", maybe thats the wrong term, but you know what I mean. 5 percent is still a small population for some companies to target, but I think we will get our time....Again, good point.
Has anyone noticed the surge in products labeled "Gluten Free" lately? They're a small segment of the market as well, but they're getting somewhere. Why can't we?
Thats another good point, unfortunately I dont have anything to say about it. I have never really noticed it, but then again I have never looked for it. I will keep my eyes open though and try to see what they are doing that we may not be.
Also, on a different note, I am the same person as TimB. I just didnt have my password at home this weekend so I posted under a different name [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
And, Going Nuts, what does "KWIM" mean?? Im obviously new to this site and I just cant figure out what some of these acronyms mean???
Tim

Posted on: Mon, 02/20/2006 - 3:29am
gvmom's picture
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'KWIM' = Know What I Mean
Also, it can help make things clearer if when you put a quote from people, you bold it. How you do that is by putting [b] in the front of the quote.
And then you put the same thing but with a / between the first bracket and the 'b' at the end of the quote. You won't see the brackets & B when you post -- but the quote will be bold.

Posted on: Mon, 02/20/2006 - 3:39am
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[b]I think that is a very good point! So now we have changed from 1 percent to 5 percent of the population. This means 95 percent "dont care", maybe thats the wrong term, but you know what I mean. 5 percent is still a small population for some companies to target, but I think we will get our time....Again, good point.[/b]
What if you put it another way. Yes, maybe a company doesn't care if they pick up another 5% because we don't buy their stuff. Well, why don't they care about losing 5% when they change their recipes. I mean, like PopTarts for example. My other son is allergic to eggs. We used to buy tons of PopTarts. Well, one of our favorites, changed to include eggs. Now, instead of buying 4 or 5 boxes of these nice, yummy, fattening things -- we buy zero (and we probably would have gone through those in a week or two - tops). So, they have lost 5% -- plus, lost an additional amount because we probably bought enough for our quota and a couple other families, partly because it is hard to find things that both our kids like that are peanut, treenut and egg free. I mean, why change a recipe for something that works just fine the way it is, then you go and add something to it -- that isn't going to change it really -- but now excludes 5% or more of your previous purchasing base. That seems stupid to me. Clearly the bottom line is the most important thing for these companies, but moves like that cut into profits -- and screw those of us with few choices at the grocery store.
(I know, I know -- why rant about PopTarts -- it is an example -- it is better we don't eat all those, but seriously, my butt hasn't gotten smaller since we stopped buying them)
Edited to add: re-reading my post, yes, I realize it is a variation of my same beef with the companies -- it just seems different to me, because at least the change showed up on their label. Also, I am just tired of having to keep cutting more and more stuff out of our diets because of crappy labeling or adding ingredients!! I think I'm also frustrated because we should be thinner given how much stuff we can't eat now that we used to -- darn it!!!!!!!!!!! Plus, so many of the products actually are part of the same company, so they lose more than they think if we start to cut out manufactures because we think their practices stink -- Sara Lee, for example, covers lots of brands & products.
[This message has been edited by gvmom (edited February 20, 2006).]

Posted on: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 3:35pm
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I haven't found this is an issue for me so far. I call companies and ask about their manufacturing processes before I buy anything. So any products that suddenly have a "may contain" label that I have seen were products I wouldn't have purchased anyway. (e.g. Twinkies manufactured in the NJ plant)
As an FYI the "may contain" labeling is NOT required by FALCPA, although many companies may think it is.
Quote:Originally posted by starlight:
[b]Just looking for some opinions, do you think that FALCPA is going to backfire on us, with more CYA labelling from companies who don't understand FALCPA?
The reason I ask is because today my father came home from work (he's an assistant manager in a major grocery store) and he told me he could not find one package of cookies without a "manufactured in a facility w/ tree nuts" or "may contain tree nuts" statement on the label (although I asked about the chips ahoy and oreos and he hadn't checked those). Like Salerno's Butter Cookies (the ones shaped like flowers with the hole in the middle) now have a warning for tree nuts. I grew up on those cookies.
It doesn't matter too much about the butter cookies because I'm not TNA so as long as they don't have a peanut statement I'll still have them, but is it going to become impossible to find stuff to eat? I've never reacted to cross-contamination or trace amounts, so I was fine with companies not labelling "may contain" if the peanuts are used in a different part of the building, but I don't eat things that have warning labelling. I live on cereals and cookies, and those are the things I imagine are the most likely to get label changes.
For adults with PA, if it DOES become an out of control CYA situation, will you take the chance and continue to eat what you always did or will you try to adjust to an even more restricted diet? [/b]

Posted on: Tue, 01/10/2006 - 1:03am
bethc's picture
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I haven't seen a lot of new warning labels on things we buy. Someone mentioned bread in another thread, but that hasn't happened with our usual brands; I haven't checked others. With at least one product, we've started using it again because the label is now more specific. So we now know it doesn't have peanut ingredients, whereas before the type of lecithin wasn't specified. So far, so good with our shopping.

Posted on: Tue, 01/10/2006 - 6:22am
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There are two other threads related to this - one is about Costco Yogurt under Manufacturers, and I can't remember where the other one is.
Yes, I've seen an explosion of "Made in a facility that..." and it completely p*sses me off. I want to know what it means, and so far it seems to mean is that I have to keep calling only to get more ambiguous info, LOL.
I emailed FAAN about two weeks ago asking them to address this, and so far I haven't heard anything back. Perhaps you'd like to try as well.
Believe me, I feel your pain.
Amy

Posted on: Tue, 01/10/2006 - 7:30am
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I shop at Wegmans, and other health food stores now. All baked goods we make here from scratch, waffles, pancakes taste quite nasty GLUTEN free, without syrup. I have adjusted our diet, but I'm not going to search thru regular grocery stores checking labels, when I can go to a health store and get the same thing, end up paying more, and not have to worry about checking the label, becuase those foods are clearly labeld , egg free, wheat free, soy free,nut free and milk free, they also taste pretty good.

Posted on: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 2:37am
Lidia's picture
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I am thinking the same thing. If there is a warning about "made in a facility"...but then find out that the food is made on a different line and there is no risk it is very ambiguous. Especially for a ten year old! Also, it is concerning for caregivers and/or teachers. I am worried that this new system will limit our options even further.
Time will tell. I think FAAN will be happy about it from an informational standpoint, but from a "living with FA standpoint" I think it may make it more difficult.

Posted on: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 3:13am
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palofmine, just a little bit of information, my ds is severely allergic to wheat and possibly celiac, he was repeatedly sick after eating "wheat free" waffles from vans. Because of the new labeling laws, they now have a disclaimer that they are made on the same equipment as wheat products (thats how we found out wahat the culprit was). We eliminated this waffle and he has not been sick since (almost 3months). So even plainly labeled packages need to be scrutinized.
Kathy

Posted on: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 3:41am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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I absolutely disagree (from our personal perspective) with "in a facility" warnings being purely CYA... We, too, require this level of awareness. Really. I realize that many do not, and I am sure this is frustrating for you. BUT-- please think about how much safer life is for kids like mine before you blanket such statements as "totally unnecessary," OK?
We ALWAYS know when one of our regular products changes to share a production line. We know because even if the label DOESN'T say so, my daughter knows. Most companies will verify it when we call. And this is certainly not required under FALCPA.
What would I personally like to see happen? I think that ultimately, there are many many people who probably DO tolerate traces of their allergens in products just fine. So the FDA needs to define what exactly "traces" means and issue a guideline about when it needs to be used (ie- shared lines or in a facility). Because right now it can mean anything from "below the detection limit of our test" to "large visible chunks of the allergen might be found." This is where the real problem lies, in my opinion.
So I think that we need to know that there are traces and what the maximum is for that word to be used. If you are not sensitive (ie- haven't reacted to the product in the past) then call them and find out if this is a change in production or just an improvement in labeling. Comfort zone, you know?
Sorry, but given all the trace exposures that we have to live with because of a lack of "in a facility" or "shared lines" warnings, you won't get much sympathy for this kind of labeling being a PITA. Just agreement that calling about it sure is. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Posted on: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 5:14am
robinlp's picture
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I think it may w/ some businesses. I went to The Fresh Market the other day and EVERYTHING that was prepared on the premisis said..."may contain wheat,dairy, soy, treenuts, peanuts and eggs"
I was so upset since it looks like a blanket label to cover their butts...so now everything is off limits to us.

Posted on: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 7:00am
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Dr. Wood addressed this question about our support group meeting. Basically, he said to trust the warning labels now. So if you bought a food without a warning label before but it now has one, don't continue buying it. He said some companies may actually change their procedures with double cleanings etc.. because now they have the warning to fall back on.
And.. he did say they see lots of reactions due to "may contain" statements. He strongly encouraged avoiding any food with the warning.

Posted on: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 7:02am
Lidia's picture
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I agree that it will be easier and cheaper for many companies to blanket the warning on all their products rather than conduct safe manufacturing procedures. Even though there are peanuts in a facility, the product can be considered safe, no matter how sensitive you are. my child does react to trace amounts. I give him Hershey kisses, but not KitKat. Kisses do not have a warning and Kit KitKats do. When I originally asked, they were made in the same facility, but in different rooms than the pb containing products. They have strict manufacturing practices that I deem to be safe (my comfort zone). Will this new system require them to label the kisses differently?

Posted on: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 7:19am
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Quote:Originally posted by Lidia:
[b] Kisses do not have a warning and Kit KitKats do. When I originally asked, they were made in the same facility, but in different rooms than the pb containing products. They have strict manufacturing practices that I deem to be safe (my comfort zone). Will this new system require them to label the kisses differently? [/b]
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/007107.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/007107.html[/url]
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Posted on: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 8:13am
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[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum16/HTML/000212.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum16/HTML/000212.html[/url]

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