Eating Ice Cream out with a Peanut Allergy

Posted on: Tue, 07/10/2018 - 11:57am's picture
Joined: 07/10/2014 - 18:42

Hi everyone. I am a mom of a toddler who was recently diagnosed with a peanut allergy. I also have an 11 and 13 year old who both love to go out for ice cream. How do you handle ice cream shops with a peanut allergy? I have heard some people say that they ask for the scooper to be washed with soap and water first. I am concerned that a scooper that is in peanut butter ice cream and then in a peanut free ice cream is contaminating the "safe" flavor. My son had a moderate to severe reaction the first time he was exposed so I don't think it will take much to set him off and I don't want to take any chances. Am I being overly cautious or do I have valid concerns? I think the decision we make now will set the precedent for years to come so I want to get it right. Thanks!

Posted on: Fri, 07/11/2014 - 12:17am
PAmom101's picture
Joined: 09/11/2013 - 12:23

This can be tricky to navigate because as you mention, cross contamination is possible with hand-dipped ice cream. In general, my daughter only eats soft serve from a machine where they do not rotate flavors with peanut ingredients-- ice cream or self serve froyo. If we think about it, she takes a small baggie with a topping like hersheys choc chips, mini oreos, or mini fudge stripe cookies to crush in it. This has gone a long way toward easing the jealousy of others having the fun of picking from a ton of toppings. I took her to the grocery store one day and let her have as much time as she wanted looking at all the options for safe mix-ins that we could buy and take when we get ice cream. When we are traveling, mcdonalds hot fudge sundaes are our go to. They do have peanuts as an option, but they are self contained in packages the customer opens so we feel it is safe. My daughter prefers chocolate ice cream so we just stir the fudge into the vanilla and it makes chocolate ice cream. We do occasionally go to a local farm stand that makes their own ice cream. We have talked with them about their process and they are very accommodating when it is not busy. They always start with vanilla then continue with non peanut flavors then end with nuts so there are a few flavors she can have besides vanilla and chocolate. We go in off peak times, they reglove and get a new scoop, and get her ice cream out of a new container in the back. They are awesome and the only place i would let her eat hard ice cream. DQ and Friendlys have open containers of peanuts in the prep area so we avoid them. But once a large group was going and she was able to eat a prepackaged treat manufactured off site with a label. Hope that helps!

Posted on: Sat, 07/12/2014 - 2:59pm
Mrsdocrse's picture
Joined: 01/16/2007 - 09:00

Hi There,
Ice cream is one of the more tricky ones. Like the previous poster, we stay away from open container places. I don't trust them scooping even if they wash the scoop. We are not big ice cream fans so we just don't go. However, some places like that have Italian Ice or Sherbert as an alternative. Once place said that they would open a new container of whatever we wanted and use a fresh scoop. If you have a favorite place to go I would have a chat with them. If you are a regular customer they may accommodate you.
We get pre packaged ice cream. I buy hood products because they label for cross contamination. I would call the manufacturer of the ice cream you like and see what their policy is.

Posted on: Sun, 07/27/2014 - 9:54am
eliza...'s picture
Joined: 07/27/2014 - 15:35

Whenever I go for Ice Cream- at a non- soft serve place (scoop) I usually either ask for a NEW scooper or ask the employee if I could get a scoop from a container unused at the back. At Cold stone I have to ask for a scoop from the back and a new tray and spoon/tool to get the topping mixed in. I don't usually like to go there but I'm paying for it so employees should accommodate!
If I go for soft serve I like to go where they only have vanilla or chocolate like Dairy Queen!
I usually avoid toppings at all whatsoever but sometimes I ask for some from the back/ a separate container at froyo places. I usually avoid any sections with nut flavors, even the flavor next to it.
Hope I helped at least a bit!

Posted on: Sun, 07/27/2014 - 10:11am
GrownUpLaurenMom's picture
Joined: 07/17/2014 - 22:44

Ice cream place always have back-up tubs in the back that are 'fresh'. We always ask for scoops from a fresh tub with a steralized scooper. Never been a problem. Same thing with toppings. They always take them out of a brand-new tub.
Note however, although this may prevent cross contamination in the parlor itself, labels should still be checked. Many places do not make their own ice cream. If the place of origin isn't safe, obviously the safe scoop doesn't matter.

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