Natural flavoring??

Posted on: Mon, 03/15/2004 - 4:39am
Petey's picture
Joined: 03/15/2004 - 09:00

I have a newly diagnosed PA daughter, so all this is new to me. I am so overwhelmed by all the concerns I need to watch out for. I have been doing tons of research (this discussion board has really enlightened me - so thanks!)
My question is I have been reading that "natural flavoring" , "flavors" or "artifical flavors" could actually mean several things, but one of them being peanut proteins...SO does everyone call on EVERY food that says this on a label?? Some boxes also have a warning that says contains wheat egg or soy etc..(which she is only PA that we know of) does this mean along with this other warning that the natural flavoring does not have peanuts or do I still need to call the manufacturer? she has eaten several foods that say natural flavoring and has had no reaction, so I don't know if it is safe enough to just "assume" since no prior reaction that it is still safe now knowing she has a PA.
any advice on this would be appreciated!

Posted on: Mon, 03/15/2004 - 5:04am
ElleMo's picture
Joined: 06/19/2003 - 09:00

This is what I do:
If there is a warning about a product containing any of the other major allergens, than I *usually* assume that peanuts are not a problem. (e.g. "Contains Wheat" or "May contain traces of soy")
If I just see 'natural flavoring' with no warnings at all than I call the manufacturer.
But, there are several food types -- ice cream, candy, cakes/cookies/donuts/other baked goods that are often processed on the same machinery as peanut products with which I am a little more cautious. If I see a label that reads "*may* contain traces of " or "*processed on equipment* that also processes " than I feel it is safe.
However, if I read only "*contains* " than I do not assume that the product is safe as it may have been processed on the same machinery as something with peanuts; I will contact the manufacturer.
Eventually as you do more research, you will start to know what companies you are comfortable with; (for example, Hershey labels very well so if I read a package and see no mention of peanuts than I know it is safe and don't need to call.)
I have also been told to always double check labels as ingredients may change.
I hope my explanation hasn't confused you too much. I am sure there will be others on the board who will have additional advice.
Allergic to Shellfish/ Mom to Jesse 9/01 who has PA
[This message has been edited by ElleMo (edited March 15, 2004).]

Posted on: Tue, 03/16/2004 - 1:07am
BigDaddy's picture
Joined: 03/20/2003 - 09:00

I am sorry to hear about the newly discovered allergy that your daughter has. But, soon you will get the hang of it and start thinking about everything they eat and come up with a very large list of safe restraunts and safe things to buy at the grocery store so your house is peanut free. And BTW, reading this site is very helpful but it can also really freak you out! I recommend visiting often but always be prepared to read something that might create some anxiety. Good Luck.

Posted on: Tue, 03/16/2004 - 3:55am
pgrubbs's picture
Joined: 10/27/2003 - 09:00

I have control issues, but I call on every "natural flavors" item. I am amazed that people don't seem to know what is the food products they produce!

Posted on: Wed, 03/17/2004 - 11:29pm
Petey's picture
Joined: 03/15/2004 - 09:00

Thanks for your responses. I have some more questions though.
i have followed your advice (Ellemo) on when to call. I have probably called 10 companies now and they all act like I am crazy for even calling. They have ALL told me that if one of the 8 major food allergens were included in the "flavorings" that by law they have to put it on the label and same as if tree nuts or peanut products are made in that plant. It is my understanding that law is still waiting to be passed?
I have tried sticking with name brand companies when I buy foods now (lipton, Kraft, nabisco) so I don't know if it is that these companies are just already following these rules or if the people on the phone are just clueless?
Any advice???

Posted on: Thu, 03/18/2004 - 12:48am
renny's picture
Joined: 03/15/2004 - 09:00

Some people are clueless. Sometimes the answer depends on who you talk to. I ask the company exactly what their labeling policy is. From my experience, just because they inform you if the natural flavorings are a major allergen , that DOESN'T mean they label if they are processed in the plant or on shared equipment with nuts. When I call the company,if I don't get a concrete answer that I am comfortable with, I will call back again to try and get someone different or ask for a higher up. Some companies will even mail you their policy. There's only a few companies I use regularly and always check the labels even on foods I buy regularly because sometimes it might come off of a different line or plant. I don't even bother to buy items that are generic or not nationally recognized
because the few I have checked don't comform.
I don't believe this new FDA labeling policy is in effect yet. There are more knowledgeable posters here that hopefully can clue us in on exactly what the new law will require and when that may happen.
It is extremely confusing sometimes. We have to trust our child's life on the what seems to me common sense of food manufacturers. There is a ton of info on peanut free products listed on this site that I never knew about. I haven't been on this sight that long but there's a wealth of information here.

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