New Hershey Bites Candy

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As I am sitting here watching the Donny & Marie show (hate to admit it but I love this show...where is that Donny Osmond lunch box)? anyway, Marie got a shipment of the new Hershey Bites candy; almond joy, regular chocolate, and Reeses Peanut Butter Bites and Marie is pregnant. As she is opening the bag, I wanted to scream at the TV - DON'T EAT THE PEANUT BUTTER ONES! They gave every member of the studio audience a different bag and can you imagine one of us sitting in the audience with our allergic children and these bags being opened all at once and everyone eating this candy OR there is already somebody allergic who IS sitting in the audience. YIKES!

Maybe we can go on the show and promote peanut allergy awareness!

On Mar 9, 1999

Hi Connie, Its funny you should bring up tv shows. I have e-mailed Rosie O'Donnell twice now. I am hoping to get her to donate money for peanut allergy research through her charitable fund. I haven't heard of anything yet. But you want to hear another good one. I get my mail yesterday and there is a brochure for a YMCA Child Care Center and Preschool. Guess what the program is called. "peanut shell" I am sure going to send my child there. It's always something. Patti

On Mar 9, 1999


Too bad you haven't heard from Rosie O'Donnell. Let us know when/if you do. I am very curious as to what her response would be.

I wonder how many "stars" have peanut allergic children.

I think it was either Christine or Brenda who posted their child went to the YMCA. I wonder if they know anything about the program called "Peanut Shell" and what it is about.

On Mar 10, 1999

Hi Connie, yes, my dtr. goes to the YMCA but its just a weekly 45 minute class (1-2-3 Grow class). I'm not familiar with the daycare child center part of the y and haven't heard of the peanut shell program. It might be just a name they give, they like to use a lot of nicknames for different age levels.

On Mar 10, 1999

I'm curious - is anyone else bothered by this? I've called Hershey's 6 or 7 times - no joke. Even on their unsweetened baking chocolate. You would think this would be O.K. for the peanut allergic. Well, surprise surprise. Hershey's tells me that even their unsweetneded 100% chocolate is not O.K. for the peanut allergic, because their factory contains too much airborne nuts. What bothers me, though, is that General Mills (betty crocker) seems to be pretty allergy aware. Yet, they use Hershey's in their products, without indicating the potential problem on their label. Has anyone else encountered this problem? I've found Nestles's to be a better company for the peanut allergic.

On Mar 11, 1999

Laura, I use Nestle for chocolate chips but what about cocoa powder? Are there other companies who make this? What do other people use?

------------------ Valerie

On Mar 11, 1999

Brenda, I went to the YMCA Web page and I couldn't find the "peanut shell" program, but it could be like you said, it could just be a nickname. I think along the lines as Patti when it comes to anything that has a peanut name! I've heard the "Y" does have a good program though.

Laura, it all makes me cringe! I liked Nestles until I saw peanuts listed in the ingredients on a Nestle Crunch Bar. It's like walking through a land mine! General Mills makes me nervous because of their Reeses Peanut Butter Puffs cereal. It could be on different lines or even different plants but I just feel nervous about any food that makes a peanut product and then has non-peanut products. Some days I feel I need to lighten up and other days I am very extreme. I need to find a "happy medium."

On Mar 11, 1999

I use Hershey's cocoa (not too often) and Nestle's SEMI-SWEET chocolate chips (much more frequently). Nestle's MILK chocolate chips lists peanuts (or peanut traces) in the ingredient list. Therefore, other people's homemade chocolate chip cookies are out of the question, unless they know specifically what kind of chips they have used. I feel more confident (sometimes, I don't know why) using brand names instead of the generic chips.

My YMCA doesn't have any child programs named peanut. It must be a local type of thing. Nancy

On Mar 11, 1999

Hello everyone,

I am checking to see if you contact manufacturers to find out if their labeling addresses our allergy. I find most of the time when I contact them they are not. Many of you have contacted me regarding this. If you are serious about doing something about labeling please see the labeling board. Contact me and let me know, there are others who want to work on this and we are hoping to put everyone in touch with each other so we can address this.

Stay Safe,

------------------ [email]"Chris@PeanutAllergy.Com"[/email]

On Mar 13, 1999

Hi Everybody -

Nestle's has improved their allergy labeling policy in recent months. They now list peanut as the last ingredient on any product which contains peanuts, OR IS EVEN MANUFACTURED IN A PLANT THAT CONTAINS PEANUTS. If peanut is not on the label, the product does not contain nuts and is not made in a factory that produces nut containing products. I've called the company over 15 times in the past few weeks, at different times of day (to get different operators), to make sure I was hearing correctly! All said what I just typed above. It's part of their new allergy awareness effort.

I use the butterscotch morsels, the semi-sweet chips and the Nestle Quik Cocoa Powder. My son, age four, had his first cup of cocoa last week! I cried. He was so happy. Really, with these three things I can bake or make anything I want. What more do you need?

Of course, I highly recommend each one of you call the company yourself and receive a satisfactory response. You should never go on someone else's say-so without verifying the info on your own. Happy chocolating!

On Mar 13, 1999

Hi Connie, That is upsetting that they handed out peanut candy to a large group of people, I wonder if they posted a warning before the audience went into studio? People who aren't close to this allergy just don't understand it's severity, SO MANY people call my daughter "cute little peanut" (she is 4 months old) and my son replys "peanuts make me sick", usually horrifies my friends who have forgotton his allergy. On the YMCA program, I haven't heard of this name either. The recreation centre where we go has signs saying the nursery is peanut free (I don't leave my kids there) and I thought thats cool, but then I turned the corner and part of their bubble gum machines had peanut M & Ms. Roller coaster! A major department store ran a large campaign called Christmas gifts for peanuts, and the advertisements were covered with shelled peanut photos and all over the store were these pictures and references, it made me uncomfortable eventhough I knew it was just a campaign. It would be great to get Rosie to say something about the peanut allergy and support it since she is supports children's issues so much.

On Mar 13, 1999

Hi Kelly,

It would be nice if Rosie would address this issue on the peanut allergy. Talk about national exposure! I agree this allergy is a roller coaster ride... and I hate amusement parks!!!

Stay safe!

On Mar 26, 1999

I think some of the baking products are quite different in Canada than in U.S. Nestle sells smarties here (which are every peanut allergic parents staple in our area) which are quite safe. However this year they have introduced some new packaging for smartie...specifically an egg shape and at Christmas it was a tree bauble shape...these are not safe smarties (and I'm pleased to say labeled appropriately). Please check all products labels every time. My husband once spent a three day weekend in a warehouse adding "MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF PEANUT" to a well known product as the manufacturer used (one time only) re-claimed chocolate.

[This message has been edited by Coco (edited March 27, 1999).]