*MAY CONTAIN PEANUTS *

Author:
Publish date:

This is just a question reguarding the may contain warning that appears on a fair amount of products that we see in store everday. I had called a grocery chain about a product that they carried and I thought she had mentioned to me that this labeling was not something that had to printed on products that did not contain it peanuts ,but was in a plant that had peanut products.

Hope that made sense ...thx Tania

On Jul 12, 2000

I'm sorrey I didn't finish.

Does anybody know anything about those standards in labling....thx

On Jul 13, 2000

TaniaN, your answer really depends on what country your coming from. In Canada, "may contain" is put on products that have been run on lines, although supposedly cleaned thoroughly, that had previously run a product with peanuts in them. I am not clear if this label also applies to a facility that has peanuts in it period but "dedicated" lines solely for the running of non-peanut products. For example, Christie's here, does have peanuts in their plant. However, the "may contain" label only is shown on the products that have been run on the same line as a previous peanut product was. Myself, I don't buy any products that say "may contain" so that eliminates a lot of food that your PA child could probably eat safely, but I would rather be safe than sorry. But, I am comfortable buying products that are not labeled "may contain" even though I know that there are peanuts in the plant somewhere. Does that make sense? So far, that has worked for me and is part of my "comfort zone" (see separate thread). I know that there are a lot of people that are not comfortable buying anything that is manufactured in a plant where there are peanuts. I think for me, that would eliminate even more food for my child and he is a particularly picky eater. So, for here, the "may contain" means that it has been run on a line that previously ran a peanut product on it and was supposedly cleaned, but you are being warned that there is a potential risk. I'm not comfortable myself taking that particular risk, but others are. Does any of that make any sense to you? I'm still trying to figure out the differences between American and Canadian labeling and I think Canadian's has to be, by law, a lot clearer than Americans. I did post a list somewhere on this site which I cannot find that was actually an information handout on what was required for labeling in Canada of products. I hope this has been of some help. You'll see the "may contain" on almost everything. My son's teacher was shocked when I told her that the school might have been selling "unsafe" popsicles at recess. She thought because they're only water and sugar and food colouring they'd be okay. No, "may contain" depending on the manufacturer. I also recently contacted an ice cream manufacturer, Chapman's. On their website, they have information on whether a product is run in a totally peanut free facility, or if it is run on a dedicated line in a facility where peanuts are present. It was excellent. "Penny Candy" is another tricky one and usually shows up with the label. Most "no name" brand cookies, cereals, etc. show up with "may contain". It's just a matter of constantly reading the labels, even if you do have a 4 year old and a 2 year old running wild through the grocery store with their mini grocery carts (I could throttle whoever thought of that one) as you peer through your bifocals (yes, I got them for this very reason). Good luck and best wishes!

------------------

On Jul 13, 2000

Be careful with "may contain" because there is no law stating this must appear on a label. It is strictly voluntary. Some manufacturers use it, others do not. This is the case even for those who use the same lines...So if youre really concerned, you must call the manufacturers. One example, is Duncan Hines cake mixes who use same lines for nut products and non nut products...yet they dont label: may contain. (Betty Crocker has nut free lines, by the way).

So be careful, but most of all understand that just because the may contain warning is not on the label, does not mean its absolutely safe.

P.S. Cindy, i'm not following you around, its just a coincidence...lol!

On Jul 13, 2000

Ok wow....my question actually was for canada.Thanks for all the info.I thought there was something like that because I had called on a product at safeway that wasn't labled before but wasn't sure. I cant beleive that they don't have to label all their products that may contain!!! I just baked a cake that didn't have anywarning on it because I thought it was safe but I'm not sure which company it was . Thankyou ,now I'm not purchacing Duncon for sure.Thats why I thought I'd ask because most times if it is not labled I figure it was ok.Some products that I do buy I phone and check if I think there may be a problem with it. you'd think that all companies would lable all their products with this warning.

Great info!!For me though as a mom of a pa child I do make most baked myself and buy alot of fresh non packaged items.there is times that I do buy cake mix though for the odd birthday......scarey...thx Tania

NEVER CAN BE TO CAREFUL

On Jul 14, 2000

This may be a little aside from the topic but I get really frustrated with "the may contain" label. To me it is printed on almost to release them of liability. With the number of peanut allergies on the increase I thing we need to get manufacturers to be more careful and have more dedicated plants for products that do not contain peanuts and will not come in contact with peanuts. At the present time my son has so many allergies there isn't a lot that he can eat from the grocery store, but I have limited my other children from having peanut products just due to the cross contaminiation issue. We however do buy some products that say may contain peanuts for the other kids hoping that it wont be a mistake.

On Jul 14, 2000

Oh great! A response from Canada (redtruck) that tells me that the "may contain" is not mandatory. I simply thought that it was required by law and that we had very diligent labeling requirements compared to America. So, what I have been considering "safe" food all along, simply because it did not have the "may contain" label on it may not be safe? Great! I'm really ticked off! As I said above, I know that Christie's does run peanut products in the same plant that they produce other products that do not have the "may contain" label on them. I don't feel like having to contact every bloody manufacturer. I'm sorry, I am truly ticked off. I thought that it was required that they put the "may contain" on the label if it was run on the same line as a peanut product previously had been. TaniaN, so then you can completely disregard my first post to you to answer your question. I guess what I'll do because I don't want to go into a tizzy right now, is stick with the products that we normally buy and then if I want to buy something different I will call the manufacturer. Does that make sense? My son is a very picky eater and has a very limited diet (I'm not too pleased) so as long as we stick to those foods that I considered "safe" I'm not going to call the manufacturer. Redtruck, I simply cannot believe that. I thought they were required by law to put the "may contain" warning on it and that's why you end up not being able to buy so many products that your child could probably eat safely. Simply great! No wonder you were questioning how to do the Safe Snack List - you had different and correct information than I did. I have only called 2 manufacturers in the past, Kelloggs when they changed their label on Honey Rice Krispies to "may contain" and General Mills when both children seemed to have a slight reaction to a "may contain trace almonds" cereal. I have also e-mailed Chapmans, which you and I have both mentioned on other threads, who responded excellently, and I have e-mailed Trebor-Allan, candy maker. I'm sorry, I did not need to hear this to-day. I'm so pissed off now it's unreal. But, TaniaN, most of all, I am sorry to have provided incorrect information. Redtruck, thank-you for the clarification. Who would we contact to see about labeling? I know that I have an information sheet that I should post on this thread about how things are supposed to be labeled from the Quebec regional AAIA and I'll try to find that and post it again. I've already posted it on this site somewhere but can't find it now for the life of me. I'll try to find it again. I think even by reading that information sheet I was given the understanding that the manufacturer had to put "may contain" on it, but only if it was run on the same line as a peanut product was (not if it was in the same plant as a peanut product). I'm going to bed, ticked off now, so I can whirl and worry about whether my son has to go to hospital in morning re dehydration due to severe stomach flu. I knew I shouldn't have checked out this site tonight, of all nights! LOL! But, again, Redtruck, who do we contact about proper labeling of products? We're both in Ontario, so how about an Ontario start to the answer? and then we can work forward for the rest of Canadian labeling.

------------------

On Jul 14, 2000

Went to [url="http://www.cadvision.com/allergy,"]www.cadvision.com/allergy,[/url] then through their links went to government/labeling and found [url="http://www.nuconnexions.com"]www.nuconnexions.com[/url] This person has listed each major manufacturer and whether they do or do not label properly for both Canada and the U.S. I'm totally ticked. I've been buying scotch mints at IGA, smart choice brand and considered them "safe". Now, I see from this site, when reading about IGA products that they may not be. I have specifically avoided Guardian Drugs brand (Certified) because they do have the "may contain" label on them and have bought the Smart Choice ones when they may, in fact, not be safe. But that site provides really good information, with telephone numbers etc. so if you are in question, as I will be now (and again am not pleased about), if you print it off, you could get your answers fairly quickly. That's probably what I'll do after I get over the ordeal of the next few days with my little guy. But, I wanted to try to get the info down asap. I still say that [url="http://www.cadvision.com/allergy"]www.cadvision.com/allergy[/url] is the place to start for Canadians when searching out information. I found what I wanted within minutes. Again, I'm sorry I posted incorrect information, especially about something so serious. I'm thankful to Redtruck for clarifying the matter for everyone. And, hopefully, everyone can check out the above-noted sites, especially the one re the labeling as he does have both Canadian and American labeling for most major manufacturers. I'm still ticked off though. You would think that they would be required by law to put this label on. At any rate, Redtruck, you know that I will help you work on the Safe Snack List when the time comes, if you like, because I have already offered to help someone else with their's too. Also, you had a couple of really good points in the Comfort Zones thread that you haven't posted as separate threads yet. I don't want to be the only one starting threads because I tend to ramble so much I think people disregard my threads sometimes on purpose because of that. Again, you had some really good questions in your Comfort Zones posts that should be posted as new threads. I'll check back later (I really should be in bed) and I'll tell you exactly what I'm talking about. I really don't want to have to start the thread though. So, please forgive me, but I hope I have redeemed myself somewhat by finding "correct" information or the route to correct information quickly. Hmm.

------------------

On Jul 16, 2000

Sorry to have upset you Cindy, but unfortunately, warnings are voluntary. Luckily more and more manufacturers are labelling better these days.

One other point, i almost reluctantyly wish to point out, is the point where people say (and i'm guilty of this too), well i'm going to continue to give such and such a product to my child because he/she has always had it and never had a problem...

Unfortunately, that may just mean that we have been lucky until that point and the machines were cleaned well enough not to cause a reaction, so we continue, until the one day where the cleaner is having a bad day and nut are left in the machine and wind up in our child's mouth! Hopefully this is too remote to happen!

An example of this is with Tim Horton's Donuts, where some pa children have had their Timbits for years. When we called them, they told us that they use many nuts in their machines, and that we should avoid their products to stay safe!

So you be the judge!

I think the worst offenders are the small manufacturers (not all, many are very good), and the no name brands at chain stores. Beware of their labelling practices.

In terms of labelling laws Cindy, i suggest you contact your federal MP's office to suggest better labelling. I have done the same, and something may be in the works in the near future (but the timing has to be right), in the mean time, all should contact their MP's (Canada) and put some pressure on them. Then at least when it comes time, other MP's will be more willing to help pass a law if their own constituents have voiced concerns too!

On Jul 16, 2000

redtruck, thanks for your response. I NEVER buy anything that says "may contain" but now to find out that something "may contain" and is not labeled as such has just thrown me for such a loop! At any rate, what I think I will do is stick with the foods that we have eaten. I'm fairly sure that most of the manufacturers I deal with are large manufacturers that were said to be "okay" on the [url="http://www.nuconnexions.com"]www.nuconnexions.com[/url] site and then if I do happen to buy something new I'll check out the manufacturer by e-mail. I just don't want to go suddenly insane because of this wonderful and yet confounding influx of new information. My husband was very upset tonight when I told him that I had been mistaken about manufacturers and the "may contain" label. He thought that I was becoming obsessive about it. And you know what, until I found this site, I never really thought that much about Jesse's PA. Now, it's like a daily thing I do - I check this site. On the uphand though, I have received much support, caring and kindness through this site that I would otherwise not have received through very difficult times in dealing with the PA. For me, and I guess it goes to "comfort zones", I'll check out a manufacturer if I buy a new product. I know that I do have to contact IGA re their scotch mints. I'm also going to print off the list at the site mentioned above of the manufacturers and their information and have that inside a kitchen cupboard. The whole thing is, I'm with Jesse whenever he's eating so if something did happen, I do have the epipen, worse case scenario, but it wouldn't be because of my carelessness. redtruck, do you have a sample of the letter that you sent to your M.P.? I deal with mine on other political issues but I'm not clear where to start with this one. It would be really helpful and I would write a letter. Perhaps you could actually post it. Thanks again for the information. Best wishes all.

------------------

On Jul 16, 2000

Sounds like Cindy you were thrown into a little tiff about the hole thing.Sorrey about that,but I'm glad i brought up the subject.Thx Redtruck for clarifying that for me also.I thought I had heard that also but wasn't really positive about it.Cindy when you say no name products,do you mean the yellow one from the Superstore also? I did find some of the no name products to have misinformedI think I spelt that wrong}information.One time I was looking at candies {jelly beans}for halloween and found that the alot of them were labled "may contain"and then the scotch mints in the smaller size had no may contain....whats the scoop with that???they were the same darn thing.I', now going to be leary of purchacing anything not manufactured by companies that I trust and know where they came from.......thx now I hope I can sleep...

chantelles mom

On Jul 18, 2000

TaniaN, no I wasn't thrown into a "tiff" about the labeling, a "tizzy" would be better wording for it! I just feel so overwhelmed with this new information. What I decided to do is stick with the products that I usually buy for our family, which are usually name brand items because I had considered them safer. Then, when I go to purchase something new or different, I'll buy it as long as it doesn't have the "may contain" warning on it, but I'll also contact the manufacturer about it. No, it was a really important thread you started because I'm sure I wasn't the only person who was operating under a false impression. redtruck, again, do you have a sample letter for the M.P.? I would really like to write mine (he'll love it, I also barrage him with other "political issues") but I'd like to be very clear in my wording. I also contacted the gentleman from [url="http://www.nuconnexions.com"]www.nuconnexions.com[/url] and he responded to me this morning and basically said that we should all contact our M.P.'s. So, redtruck, if you do have a sample letter, perhaps you could post it here or in the Canadian thread (since it's for M.P.'s) and we could all use variations of the same letter. That would be great. No, TaniaN, I didn't mean to bring any negativity into your thread at all, I was so upset that I had provided you with incorrect information and also upset that I have been living for 3 years with this false information. I'm glad that it's clarified now and, as I said above, rather than going insane over the whole thing, I'm simply going to contact new or different manufacturers after I purchase the product. It's like I mentioned to redtruck either in this thread or the Canadian one, if you didn't let your child eat things made in a facility where there were peanuts, even though your product probably hadn't come in contact with them, there would be so few foods they could eat. It's hard enough with the "may contain" label although I have managed, I think, fairly well with this. At any rate.....

------------------

On Jul 18, 2000

For letter to MP, please see Canadians thread in Main Discussion Board. I havent written a letter, only spoke to MP, but we can draft a letter that is simple, informative, and clear.

On Feb 2, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by Cindy Spowart Cook: [b]Oh great! A response from Canada (redtruck) that tells me that the "may contain" is not mandatory. I simply thought that it was required by law and that we had very diligent labeling requirements compared to America. [/b]

I see "May Contain" on a great number of items in the U.S.

Is there a requirement for labelling an item "May Contain"? U.S.? Canada? U.K.? Others?

On Feb 2, 2004

Basically, yes, it is required in Canada.

Here is the appropriate link from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency

[url="http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/labeti/inform/19980331be.shtml"]http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/labeti/inform/19980331be.shtml[/url]

and some relevant quotes from their lette to manufacturer's and importers:

A variety of foods contain ingredients that can cause adverse reactions in hypersensitive individuals. Most adverse food reactions are caused by the following foods and their derivatives:

peanuts tree nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts [filberts], macadamia nuts, pecans, pinenuts, pistachios, walnuts) sesame seeds milk eggs fish, crustaceans (e.g. crab, crayfish, lobster, shrimp) and shellfish (e.g. clams, mussels, oysters, scallops) soy wheat sulphites

If these foods, or their derivatives, are not labelled or are incorrectly labelled, or if inadvertent carry-over occurs during manufacture, the results can be serious and sometimes fatal. Although this list represents the foods causing the most common and serious reactions, a wide variety of other foods have been reported to cause adverse reactions in certain individuals.

The Canadian Food and Drug Regulations require almost all prepackaged foods to have a complete list of ingredients and components (ingredients of ingredients). It is your responsibility to ensure that the foods you manufacture, import, sell or distribute are safe and meet the labelling requirements of this legislation. Therefore, the CFIA urges you to ensure that the above foods are included in the ingredient list on your labels when present as ingredients or components. To further assist consumers in making safe food choices, the CFIA encourages you to identify the plant source of ingredients, such as hydrolysed plant proteins, starches, modified starches and lecithin (e.g. hydrolysed soy protein, wheat starch, modified wheat starch, soy lecithin).

The CFIA recognizes the efforts by many members of the food industry to improve the accuracy of ingredient declarations and to implement controls to reduce carry-over of ingredients. As food safety is paramount to consumers, the food industry, and government, the CFIA also urges you to develop strategies, such as an allergen prevention plan, to manage the risks associated with those foods known to cause severe adverse reactions. Part of your strategy should include a thorough evaluation of your manufacturing and ingredient control procedures. It is also your responsibility to ensure that all prepackaged foods you import are fully and correctly labelled, and preferably are sourced from suppliers having an allergy prevention plan in place.

The CFIA recognizes that despite all possible precautions, the presence of allergenic ingredients cannot always be avoided. In order to assist consumers with food sensitivities, the Canadian government, in consultation with industry and allergy groups, developed a policy on precautionary labelling, e.g. "may contain peanuts". This policy allows the food industry to voluntarily label products which may inadvertently contain substances capable of causing severe adverse reactions. Precautionary labelling, however, must be truthful and must not be used in lieu of adherence to good manufacturing practices.

Accurate and complete labelling of foods will reduce the need for costly food recalls. It will also assist Canadians with severe food sensitivities to make safe choices from a wider variety of foods in the marketplace.

On Feb 3, 2004

Thankfully allergen warnings are a legal labelling requirement in Australia and New Zealand, and the same Food Standards Authority ([url]http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/[/url]) operates in both countries.

General allergen info is here: [url="http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/whatsinfood/foodlabelling.cfm"]http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/whatsinfood/foodlabelling.cfm[/url]

The whole code index is here: [url="http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/foodstandardscode/"]http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/foodstandardscode/[/url]

and the allergen part of the code is here: [url="http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/_srcfiles/"]http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/_srcfiles/[/url] ACFA91C.pdf

Geoff (Helen's hubby)

On Feb 3, 2004

I don't read that quote from the CFIA as stating anything is required.

They urge They encourage

"In order to assist consumers with food sensitivities, the Canadian government, in consultation with industry and allergy groups, developed a policy on precautionary labelling, e.g. "may contain peanuts". This policy allows the food industry to [b]voluntarily[/b] label products which may inadvertently contain substances capable of causing severe adverse reactions.

The one thing they don't do is require.

I do feel this is a *step in the right direction* and I understand that our government actually does help manufacturers to set up allergen prevention plans, etc. I don't mean to sound like I'm putting down their efforts, I just don't feel it is enough, IMPO.

On Feb 3, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by AnnaMarie: [b]I don't read that quote from the CFIA as stating anything is required.

They urge They encourage

[/b]

I saw that too..................

I wonder what the U.S. practices/requirements (if any) are regarding such? As I see a *great deal* of food stuffs labels with *May Contain*.

On Feb 3, 2004

Well, after flipping through the Consumer Packaging Act, the Food and Drug Act and the Food and Drug Regulations, I have learned the following: a label must list:

(b) where a prepackaged product consists of more than one ingredient, a list of all ingredients, including, subject to section B.01.009, components, if any.

(3) Ingredients shall be shown in descending order of their proportion of the prepackaged product or as a percentage of the prepackaged product and the order or percentage shall be the order or percentage of the ingredients before they are combined to form the prepackaged product.

(4) Notwithstanding subsections (1) and (2), where any of the following components is contained in an ingredient set out in the tables to those subsections, that component shall be shown in the list of ingredients:

(a) peanut oil;

(b) hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated peanut oil; and

(c) modified peanut oil.

It also states hydrolized plant protein must specify the name of the plant,

And, most interesting of all:

[b]No person shall sell for consumption in Canada any rum that has not been aged for a period of at least one year in small wood.[/b]

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

take care

deb

On Feb 3, 2004

Deb,

Is there a "minimum standard" for "descending order of their proportion"/"component"? ie: Do the standards/regulations apply to "trace amounts"?

On Feb 3, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by DebO: [b] And, most interesting of all:

[b]No person shall sell for consumption in Canada any rum that has not been aged for a period of at least one year in small wood.[/b]

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

[/b]

were "stubbies" mentioned?????

On Feb 3, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by MommaBear: [b] were "stubbies" mentioned?????[/b]

No, but there is a lengthy section of wine for you....

It just says all ingredients, and does not address trace or not. There are some exceptions allowed, though, like the dreaded "natural flavourings" or "spices" (mind you , there are 4 pages defining all the spices and peanut is not there!).

It seems that the reason the "urging" is to encourage manufacturer's to declare allergens even when it technically is not required, like in a natural flavouring.

I think may contains are also covered under the manufacturing standards, but don't have the energy to read that yet....

deb

On Feb 4, 2004

Deb, I did know that if peanut is added at all it does have to be in the label, and it cannot be considered as part of the *spices* or *flavourings*. No matter how small -- it does have to be listed.

But, if a company does not put *may contain* warnings it does not mean the food is safe. Even in Canada. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

I would be interested to see the 4 pages defining all the spices. If I start at the link you posted on Feb 2 can I work my way to it?

Thanks for all the work you've done posting this information. It is appreciated. (As for the 4 page list, I'm definitely willing to look it up myself but would just appreciate a starting point.)

On Feb 4, 2004

Hi AnnaMarie

If you go the the CFIA website via the link above the click on Acts and Regulations, you then want the Food and Drug Regulations.

What I found annoying is something like 25 pages on nutrition labelling describing the size and format of the label, the things that can be listed, language requirements, but nothing about May Contain statements!

The regulations are huge, but let me know if you find anything else on this.

deb

On Feb 4, 2004

[i]This is a literal thing, isn't it?[/i]

I mean, does an item have to be intentionally added to be considered an "ingredient"?

Anyone?

[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited February 04, 2004).]

On Feb 4, 2004

Deb, thank you very much. I'll be checking it out later today.

MB, the answer is mostly yes. A more correct word might be *knowingly* added.

On Feb 4, 2004

Deb - how exhausting trying to read all that.

I didn't actually find anything you hadn't found - just the same info in different formats. From the link above, did you click on Food Safety? It includes letters sent to food manufacturers.

And, after reading all that stuff about the spices -- I think I'll eat my food plain. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

I don't actually think we'll find regulations about labelling may contains, because I don't think it is actually regulated, just strongly recommended.

And, on a personal note; I'd like to know who was on that darn *Anaphylaxis Task Force*. They recommended removing sesame seed from the list of major allergens because "incidence of allergy to sesame did not appear to warrant it's inclusion". [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img]

On Sep 10, 2004

Raising for Smartalyk

deb

On Sep 10, 2004

Thanks DebO. I do think the answer to my question is that manufacturers must label if there is any peanut dreived oil or protein whatsoever. I think I am right.

Unfortunately, years after your thread, *may contains* are still not mandatory [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] Wonder how we can push that into being?

Related