May contain?

Posted on: Sun, 11/19/2000 - 12:56pm
Mommy's picture
Joined: 06/20/2000 - 09:00

I was just wondering if anyone or any of your children has ever had a reaction to a product that was simply written "May Contain Traces of Nuts or Peanuts".
Thanks for the responses.

Posted on: Sun, 11/19/2000 - 2:59pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Since finding out my son was PA over three years ago, he has maybe had "may contain" products three times in the three years. I have always set the timer on my stove for 30 minutes when this has happened, because I know if my son is going to have a reaction it is going to occur within that time frame (actually a lot sooner). This summer, it was popsicles. Anyway, he has never had a reaction to any "may contain" products. I know that a lot of PA parents are comfortable letting their children have "may contain" products, but I believe there is some information posted somewhere on this site, and hopefully someone else can direct you to it, but (I think arachide posted it, not sure), of the products that say "may contain" either 20 or 25% of them actually do. So, that's a pretty high ratio or a little game of Russian roulette we're playing if we do allow our children to eat them, only in my opinion.
Now, please remember that this also comes from someone that doesn't freak out about "cross-contamination" issues where they may very well should be doing so. I'm strident about the "may contain", but more lax, if you will, on the cross-contamination questions.
I guess what I'm trying to say, is even though I sound rather harsh about the "may contain" products and how I feel about them, I am not as rigid as I could/should/would be, so no one should take offence if they do allow their PA child to eat "may contain" because I allow my child to eat products that may have been cross-contaminated. It's all in the "comfort zone" thing. I'm sorry, I really felt the need to explain that because I know I sound rather harsh as far as "may contain", I simply wanted to balance it out as far as where I was coming from. So, if you let your child eat "may contain" but worry about cross-contamination, we're about equal. Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Mon, 11/20/2000 - 12:03am
Kathryn's picture
Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

Hi, I avoid anything with may contain on it after having discussions with a number of major manufacturers who use that statement to inform consumers. I believe it is a myth that manufacturers [at least in Canada] use the statement to cover their legal liability responsibility. Most do it, according to them, because they have found traces of nuts after specific sampling testing designed to determine whether or not a label is needed. I do not let my son have may contain stuff ever but I do not object to others eating such products around him. As Cindy says everyone has their own level of comfort. Mine was influenced after I learned that a little boy locally died after eating a may contain product. Hope this helps.

Posted on: Mon, 11/20/2000 - 3:47am
Anne Parrish's picture
Joined: 01/06/2000 - 09:00

You know, I am very curious to see the study that folks are quoting about the percentage of items labeled 'may contain' that do have contamination problems. Does anyone actually have the full study? It seems to me that in order to have any real meaning, it would have to compare the liklihood of contamination of things that *are* labelled 'may contain' & similar items that are *not* labeled 'may contain'. For instance, lets say 20% of the commercially produced chocolate chip cookies they sampled had peanut traces in them. I would make a more significant effort to avoid them if I saw that only *3%* of commercially produced chocolate chip cookies that weren't labeled in such a way had contamonation problems. However if 15% of the unlabeled ones had contamination problems too, then I wouldn't be that much safer in avoiding the 'may contain' ones.
I am sure I have not explained this clearly at all, but I am curious about how much more of a risk the 'may contain'items really are.
Anyway, in answer to the actual question, yes I feed my kid some 'may contain' items, usually after I call the manufacturer to see how comfortable I feel w/ what they are saying (for instance, I am *very* comfortable with what Mars has to say & my kid eats plain M&M's moderately often...), & has never had a reaction from those items. But I guess I am most comfortable with items that don't have the 'may contain' but are manuyfactured by companies that use the 'may contain' label when they think they may have a problem. That way, I know the company thinks cross-contamination is not a problem, not just that they don't bother with the voluntary labeling.
Well, I have talked in circles long enough... time to go get the kids from school.

Posted on: Mon, 11/20/2000 - 3:49am
arachide's picture
Joined: 08/16/2000 - 09:00

I too, like Anne, would love to see the study results. I have tried finding it on the net but to no avail.

Posted on: Mon, 11/20/2000 - 4:04am
Mommy's picture
Joined: 06/20/2000 - 09:00


Posted on: Mon, 11/20/2000 - 8:59am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

My son has not had any reactions to "may contain" only because we do not allow him to eat them. He has had at least 2 reactions that we know of to products that should have been labeled "may contain".
Here is some information that I found on this site but there is no info. given about the study itself. It is listed originally under Manufacturers and the thread is titled Quaker Rice Cakes dated June 2, 2000.
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: Mon, 11/20/2000 - 12:43pm
rebekahc's picture
Joined: 12/02/1999 - 09:00

YES, I have had many reactions to may contain products. However, I have had just as many reactions to unlabeled products. I am pretty sensitive, but so far the only reactions I've had to manufacturer cross contamination have been an itchy throat. My feeling is that even though your child does not seem to be reacting to cross contamination he/she MAY be reacting slightly. A headache, a bit of a runny nose, dark circles under the eyes, a loose BM, an itchy throat or ears. Things that are hardly noticible or might not be associated with the contaminated item because they happend later.

Posted on: Mon, 11/20/2000 - 1:35pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Mommy, I'm sorry, my post should have been more succinct. My PA son has eaten three "may contain" products in as many years and has never had a reaction. Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Tue, 11/21/2000 - 4:32am
Kathryn's picture
Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

Hi, my brother has reacted many times over the years to cross-contaminated items. My son has never had any such items. As I noted above, also, I have knowledge of the death of a local child from an anaphylatic reaction that occurred after he ate such a product, a donut. I pray that no other person suffers that fate.

Posted on: Tue, 11/21/2000 - 6:08am
suzylou's picture
Joined: 10/12/2000 - 09:00

yes--my son broke out in hives to M&Ms a few times--this was prior to us knowing he was PA. Also, he ate some cookies the other day labeled *May contain traces of tree nuts* and broke out in hives all over his face. He has not been tested for tree nuts--but now he WILL! Hope this helps!


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