\"may contain peanuts\" vs \"manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts\" - Peanut Allergy Information

\"may contain peanuts\" vs \"manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts\"

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Does anyone know the distinction between these 2 warnings on labels?

We allow our son to eat something that says "manufactured in a facility...", but if it says MAY CONTAIN PEANUTS, we don't let him have it.

Does anyone else follow this procedure?

Our thought is that May Contain Peanuts is a lot more dangerous-(the potential for actual peanuts is greater)...

He has never reacted to something that is "Manufactured in a facility..."

Any feedback would be helpful...I'm trying to explain the distinction to moms at his preschool (who provide a snack 3 days a week), and I was hoping to find more information to explain this to them!

THANKS! I'm so glad I found this board!

Lisa in Illinois

On Oct 29, 2006

I don`t give either one. "May contain" means either one: 1. It could be in the same plant with peanuts. 2. It could be on shared equipment with peanuts.

If it says "may contain" you don`t know which of those it is. The reason that in the same plant with peanuts has risk is that peanut dust is notorious for being in the air. It is the same reason that most of us need peanut free flights. When all those passengers open their bags of peanuts, there is peanut dust in the air.

Some people on this board will give manufactured in a facility with peanuts if they call and find out it is in a different floor or totally different part of the building. Unless you call you really don`t know. There was a thread here on what percent contain peanuts if it is in a facility with peanuts. I don`t remember the number, but it was enough to worry about---I think it was somewhere around 5% to 10%. Maybe someone can find the thread.

On Oct 29, 2006

HI, I do not give "May Contains" but I do give "Manufactured in a Facility". My thought with this is that I do not live in a peanut free house which to me is the same as "facility". We have been fine with this. I also mentioned this to Dr. Sampson at our visit and he just nodded and didn't say that we shouldn't. I'm sure you will get many different opinions about this. You just have to find what works safely for you. Beth

On Oct 29, 2006

We avoid both to eliminate the confusion. Just seems easier (and safer) for our family. And as a FYI- manufacturers are not required to label for may contains or processed in/on [url="http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/alrgqa.html."]http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/alrgqa.html.[/url] ------------------ Jodi mom to: D 5/22/01 NKA Z 3/18/03 Peanut, Milk, Egg, pineapple, etc...

[This message has been edited by 2BusyBoys (edited October 29, 2006).]

On Oct 29, 2006

Most people on this board have a peanut free house.

On Oct 29, 2006

Those kinds of warnings are completely optional for companies and are not legally defined. So a company can word it however they want and use it for whatever situation they want. So you really have to contact the company and find out their procedures to know what kind of risk you're taking.

For example, Hershey's apparently has defined for themselves different levels of risk, so if one of their products said, "manufactured in a facility...", it would be lower risk than "processed on equipment..." But some companies use "manufactured in a facility" warnings on all their stuff no matter which equipment it's run on; they don't keep track of which lines they use.

There have been studies done on this. There's one I've read on these boards that tested for peanut protein in foods with the different kinds of labeling -- you should look it up if you get the chance. It was something like 20% of foods that listed peanut as the last ingredient as a precautionary thing actually had peanut protein, 18% of "may contain traces of peanuts" did, 12% of "processed on equipment", and some slightly lower percentage for "manufactured in a facility". I'm probably not remembering the numbers quite right, but you get the idea. All of those warnings indicate a risk. And without standardization of labeling, you just get an approximate idea of the risk.

There is also a recent FDA report that addresses this posted on the boards, I think under Labeling. It's a lot to read, but it gives you more information on how companies are handling their cross-contamination labeling and how accurate it is at communicating the risks.

There are careful PA people who contact a manufacturer and then eat that company's foods that have a facility warning because they've found out it really is just elsewhere in the facility.

It is possible to eat things with peanut warnings and not have a problem for years because you were lucky enough not to get the peanut traces that are only in there once in a while. But it can actually be in there occasionally, and then you're in trouble.

On Oct 29, 2006

Welcome! I hope you find everything you're looking for here. We don't eat made in a facility or may contains either. It complicated things a little back in the beginning, but it's just part of our life now.

Our house is peanut-free, with the exception of a couple "made in facility" treats my DH eats after my DS has gone to bed, which are stored in a high cabinet in double-sealed plastic containers. I also think it simplifies the rules for grandparents, neighbors, schools, friends and even myself: peanut-free facility or it's a no-go food.

I would hate for anyone else to interpret a company's labeling for my DS---peanut-free is pretty clear. Also, our pediatric allergist directly told us to stay away from all "may contain" and "made in a facility" products--it is not a small risk.

Good luck. Jen

On Oct 29, 2006

I avoid anything that has peanut on the label. The 'may contains' or 'manufactured in a facility, etc.' is too vague for me. I can't risk having a reaction at home (by myself) or on the road (by myself). Not worth the risk in my book.

On Oct 29, 2006


[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited June 09, 2007).]

On Oct 29, 2006

we avoid both - joey

On Oct 29, 2006

When we first found out about DD's peanut allergy we didn't avoid foods with warnings, just foods that listed peanut as an ingredient.

Most of the time, she tolerated foods with warnings. Then she ate some Planter's cashews (she is not allergic to cashews). Planter's cashews contain peanut oil (which we were told was ok) and have the warning "may contain peanuts". She ate 3 or 4 cashews and had hives for 3 days. She has also had reactions from restaurant food which was supposedly safe. We concluded that "may contain" items and peanut oil are not safe for her. As far as I'm concerned, "made in a facility" means the same thing as "may contain" because there are no standard definitions for these warnings. They are completely voluntary and NOT required by the new labeling law.

We avoid all food with either warning, restaurant food, bakery/deli food, bulk foods and also some foods that are processed on equipment with peanuts but which do not have a warning. We also have a peanut-free, nut-free and egg-free house. I can only tell you what our experience has been, your situation may certainly be different, but for us, experience has led us to be stricter than we were in the beginning.


------------------ Mom to 7 yr old PA/TNA daughter and 3 1/2 yr old son who is allergic to eggs.

[This message has been edited by Momcat (edited October 29, 2006).]

On Oct 30, 2006

Corvalis mom gave me the link to a study about may contains that was done a few years ago. I'm looking for it.

All I know is that I look at may contains and processed in a facility as a risk, a crapshoot. I do not give my son either because I don't feel that any food is worth the consequences of becoming seriously ill or dying.

So, I personally avoid both and have educated my child in this mindset. Just my comfort zone.

I also have a peanut free/nut free home. I just won't take a chance that my DS could accidently be exposed in his own home and I feel that it is a matter of respect of his feelings and comfort that I would never allow any foods with nuts here.

On Oct 30, 2006

DS does not eat anything that says "may contains" "made on shared equipment" or "made in the same facility." There's no legal definition of "made in the same facility." Like a pp said, it might mean made on the same equipment. If I knew that manufacturer labels for made on the same equipment but this product says made in the same facility, then I'd probably let my child eat it. HTH

On Oct 30, 2006

we avoid both. the risk is to high.

--- erin

On Oct 30, 2006


On Oct 30, 2006

I wanted to mention that we've had problems in the past with things that aren't labeled at all. One notable one was Lemon Heads. My son consistently got a bad stomach-ache after eating these, so we finally called the factory and I talked to their QC director.

He said the peanut dust "hangs in the air" at the factory and that he wouldn't let a child who was PA eat candy from their factory. Yet there was no warning on their candy at all.

We have called a lot of factories over time and have grown comfortable with some manufacturers but not with others. General Mills seems to do a good job in their plants (but Kelloggs has been a problem for us with soy contamination).

I really don't think food labels have much meaning at all. I'm very glad that my son's peanut allergy appears to need more than trace amounts to be triggered and that we're only dealing with a stomach ache most of the time for these traces. Otherwise we'd just throw up our hands and give up on processed foods. Sadly, I think we have to assume that all processed foods could contain peanuts regardless of the labeling, and be prepared to handle a reaction if it happens.

On Oct 30, 2006

We avoid both , can't be too safe. Since after almost three years reaction and exposure free my daughter had a reaction brought on by trace, trace is an exposure to me, and a danger I am not willing to knowingly play with. I would say at first I was more unclear about how careful to be , the more I learn the more careful I am, we won't even feed our daughter deli meats unless they are packaged , although we had in the past , it was too risky for us to continue, having heard from anaphylaxis canada speaker that it was a danger,as well that if there is a warning , of "may contain" or "in a facility" at least in Canada it means there is a genuine risk of exposure. Be safe.

On Oct 30, 2006

In re: to peanuts, we avoid both... In regard to tree nuts (which my daughter has not shown an allergy in testing), we avoid may contain because we were told that people with PA have a higher risk of developing Tree Nut allergies, but we do use a few products that have the manufactured in a facility warning. I have called those companies and am satisfied with their allergen policies.