Non PA parent with a question


My dd is in Kindergarten with a child that has a fish and nut allergy.

We were told not to use Cake mixes as they may contain nuts.

I CAN'T BAKE A CAKE for the life of me. I can't last 5 times I tried they wound up 1/8th of and inch thick. Yet I want to send a birthday cake for my dd's leader day at school.

I have bought a Shirriff Added Touch cake mix and it does not say anythign about peanuts or nuts or some kind of allergy warning.

The cake I want to use says

sugar, flour, vegetable oil shortening, Baking Powder, Corn Starch, Salt, Dextrose, Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Propylene Glycol Mono Fatty Acid Esters, Artificial Flavor.

Would I be safe baking this?

And if I have ever baked something that might have contained peanuts (I dont' know maybe a walnut bread)would my dishwasher clean the pan well enough to bake the cake in??


On Oct 30, 2002

I can't bake either. The sheriff mix says "vegetable oil shortening" but doesn't identify what "vegetable" - it could be peanut/soy/canola/combo" who knows for sure.

The only cake mix I trust, isn't a cake mix - it's Quaker Oats of Canada Double Chocolate Muffin mix. Instead of pouring the batter into muffin pan, pour it into a cake pan.

There is a thread under Manufacturers (Food) Safe & Unsafe with the topic: Quick & Safe Birthday Cake (canada) that I've bumped up for you. It's got a safe recipe for an easy icing that's safe for PA/TNA kids too.

I don't add vanilla and it doesn't affect the mix.

The 1-800 number for Quaker Canada is: 1-800-267-OATS.

Call them and have the mom of the PA child call Quaker to get piece of mind that this is a muffin mix that is safe for PA/TNA kids.

Dishwashers on full/heavy cycle does a good cleaning job, I'd just look over your pan to make sure it is nice and clean. If you're not convinced it's safe enough, sometimes dollar stores sell cheap cake tins, that just might put your mind at ease.

Check the additional ingredients you're using (i.e. the added egg and butter - not margarine to grease the pan) with the mom, to make sure she's o.k. with these additional items being safe for her PA child.

What a great mom you are to be looking out so diligently for another mom's PA child!

[This message has been edited by Syd's Mom (edited October 30, 2002).]

On Oct 30, 2002


Thanks so much for posting your question here - it is great to hear from parents who are trying to help keep our kids safe.

Before I comment on making a cake, can I ask where in Western Canada you are from? There is a nut free bakery that I know of in Calgary that you can get a cake from if you want.

I will try to get back with a comment about baking yourself when I get a chance.

take care


On Oct 30, 2002

First of all, on behalf of that peanut/fish allergic child, thank you for taking the time to research this and being concerned enough about that child to seek answers to your questions. I'm sure it is much appreciated!

Well, I would be worried about that vegetable shortening ingredient. A peanut is a legume, a vegetable, not a nut, and is commonly listed as vegetable shortening or vegetable oil. There is a possibility that that is peanut. In my son's preschool, food is not allowed to be sent at all. Instead, parents send in non food items. My son just received a small Hotwheels-type car for a gift (I'm not sure what the girls were given) and now every time he plays with that car, he mentions the birthday boy that gave it to him. Frankly, I like the fact that a toy is much longer lasting than a cake that only lasts a minute or two and is then forgotten. Just a suggestion.

Good luck.

On Oct 30, 2002

First of all, thank you so much for asking this question and trying to send a treat that's safe for the PA child!

I'm assuming that you live in Canada?

I live in the U.S., and here Betty Crocker is one of the companies that is very good about labeling. I feel pretty confident that if a Betty Crocker cake mix doesn't have an allergy warning and doesn't list nuts in the ingredients, it's safe for my PA son. We've fed my son the Betty Crocker vanilla, chocolate, and cherry chip cake mixes without a problem.

Perhaps you could buy a Betty Crocker cake mix there and call the company to see if their cake mixes sold in Canada are safe, too. (I'm assuming that this brand is sold in Canada, but may be wrong!)

On Oct 30, 2002

Another thought ... if it's just one child in the classroom who's PA, perhaps you could call his/her mother and ask if she can recommend a good cake mix. (I know that I would welcome a call like this from other parents. She'll probably be grateful that you called to ask.)

The only thing that might be tricky is if the child's parents have requested that NO treats be brought and handed out to the class. In that case, even if you were to find out a safe cake mix and bring treats, it might not be appreciated. (Everyone else would want to do it too, and might not be as careful as you are. KWIM? Some people who don't understand PA think that if there are no obvious nuts, any cakes/cookies/cupcakes are safe.) It doesn't sound like that's the case for you, though; from what you wrote, it sounds like it's okay to send cakes, but they just don't want you to use mixes. So I imagine that a call to the PA child's mother would be helpful.

To answer your other questions, I think I would avoid the cake mix you mentioned unless I knew for sure that the "vegetable oils" did not include nut oils and the company was very good about labeling any nut ingredients (even flavorings). I don't know anything about that company, so I have no idea how good they are about labeling.

I'd imagine that your pans, etc. are fine to use as long as they were cleaned thoroughly in the dishwasher. :-)

[This message has been edited by marina_twinmom (edited October 30, 2002).]

On Oct 30, 2002

Hi everyone,

The Canadian government food regulations state that if a product contains any peanut oil, it MUST be stated on the ingredient label. It may not be identified as vegetable oil. So the oil in the Sheriff product should be fine as if there was any peanut oil in the product, it would have to be listed on the ingredient label.

So in Canada, if it is a national brand and it says vegetable oil, it is not permitted to contain any peanut oil at all.

This information is ***Canada specific***, as this government regulation is only for Canada. I do not think there is any government regulation like this for the USA.

But you have to be careful in restaurants everywhere, as the server may just say "we use vegetable oil" when they actually use peanut oil, so always be careful when you go out to eat.

Here is an old posting of mine that I just found when I did a search on "peanut oil":


I am not sure what the food regulations are for the USA, but in Canada it is more strict. In one of my queries (to Dare Foods of Kitchener) I was told the following: "An amendment to the Canadian Food and Drug Regulation has been passed requiring that peanut oil, modified peanut oil and hydrogenated peanut oil be declared as ingredients"

-this rule is in the "Part B - Foods Divisions 1-14 (info)" on page 19 which can be found at the Government of Canada - Health Canada web site, the direct link is: [url=""][/url]

Of course, this would only apply to Canadian products. Other countries may not be as strict with labelling. So the Canadian government regulations state that if there is any type of peanut oil on the label, it must be labelled as such, and may not appear as "vegetable oil" for example.

[This message has been edited by erik (edited October 30, 2002).]

[This message has been edited by erik (edited October 30, 2002).]

On Oct 30, 2002

The other possibility is that the allergic child still eats their own treat from home. Many people(including me) have a stash of things at the school for such occasions. However, every effort is still made to be sure the other children eat a safe product, so that nutty fingers and hands and breath do not cross contaminate the environment. In this type of case, the product you mention would be fine with me, because there are no nut ingredients on the label, and my child would not eat it anyway(too many unknown risks, as you stated, like other peoples' pans, general cleanliness).

I also agree that a call to the mother of the allergic child would be helpful to you, and very welcome on the other end.

I had a long talk with a Mom in our school(also a neighbor) because she approached me right away at the start fo school with concerned questions like yours. Now that there is a party tomorrow, I gave her a call. She is famous for these cookie pops, so we got square about how to deal with it. She can make them(need to be nut free) and will even make an egg free batch and be sure one of those is wrapped and has my dd's name on it. The cookies will be given, wrapped to go home with the kids.

Anyways, I was so pleased about her approaching me, and she actually came up with the idea after we talked about all the care of the ingredients and cleanliness concerns. Really nice. Good for you for asking here and taking that extra time and effort to be careful! Becca

On Oct 30, 2002

Hi thanks for such a lovely welcome.

The way it works in our kindergarten class is that each child has a turn to bring snack once a month. Either morning or afternoon. That is the childs leader day. When it is the childs leader day they bring enough snack for all the children. We are to bring something from two food groups and a drink.

Since it is my daughters birthday I want to bring cake and some kind of fruit. I'm thinking mandarin oranges. Maybe.

Thanks for the nice recipe I'm going to give it a try and I am a day home provider and I know the childs day home provider and I am going to call her and see what she uses. I don't know the mom's last name or phone number so that would be easier than actually trying to track her down.


On Oct 30, 2002

Wow, I wish all Moms were like you. Thanks for taking the time to come to this site to make sure that all the children in class are safe.

I am sure that it is so appreciated by the parents of the child w/ a nut allergy!!

On Oct 30, 2002

For my son's birthday, I send in pudding for all. Chocolate and vanilla.

It is less messy and I haven't found a child who doesn't like pudding. [img][/img]

My son is the only pa child in the school of 440. He is also egg allergic.

I do not allow my son to eat any baked goods. One reason is becuase when there is egg in it it hurts his throat, second because I don't know what the ingredients are. I'd prefer to stay safe than sorry.

best wishes,

Renee [img][/img]

On Oct 31, 2002

Renee, what kind of pudding do you use without eggs. Some have no eggs in the choc. variety, but all other flavors have egg when I look. Or do yu make it and have an eggless pudding recipe? Thanks, becca

On Nov 1, 2002

I recieved a reply from Shirrif (Oetker) The people who make the Added Touch Cake mixes. They included an information sheet with all the info on it, but I couldnt' open it.

This is what her letter it said:

On behalf of oetker ltd, thank you for your recent inquiry regarding allergen information for our products. All our products are nut free. (A sales manager's daughter has peanut and nut allergies and she can eat all our products.) Please note the disclaimer on the information sheets. You are encouraged to contact us on a regular basis regarding food allergens as the information herein is based on current formulations and production line allocation. I trust you will find this information helpful.

At oetker ltd, we take great pride in providing our Customers with the highest quality products through the use of a strict Quality Control program. Our production system is designed and equipped to ensure that all our products are consistent with the high standards both oetker and our Customers demand for all our products.

To thank you for contacting us, enclosed please find offers and recipes that we hope you will enjoy. Please do not hesitate to contact us in future with any comments you may have or visit our website at [url=""][/url]

Thank you for your support of oetker products in the past and we hope to continue serving your needs in the future.

Susan De Remigis Sales & Marketing Assistant oetker ltd 2229 Drew Road Mississauga ON L5S 1E5 905-678-1311 x 241 1-800-387-6939 x 241

Thanks for all the responses just thought I would pass on the information.

On Nov 1, 2002

Thanks for sharing the information [img][/img]


On Nov 1, 2002

WOW, I am really impressed here. I sure am glad to see there are real people out there who have real concern for others. This brightened my day. Thank you for the question and posting here. I live in the USA, and we use betty crocker and I feel very safe with that choice. Good Luck.

On Nov 6, 2002

I feel kind of stupid here, but this entire thread made me cry. MyKidsandI, all I can say to you is that you are a wonderful person and a rarity in the extreme.

Thank you for caring and making an effort on behalf of the PA child in your daughters classroom.

Bravo and God bless! ~Melanie

On Nov 6, 2002


Thank you for your kindness and compassion!

A big giant gold star awaits you somewhere in the heavens!!

Best~ K

On Nov 8, 2002

mykidsandi--Thank-you so much for your compassion! It is wonderful that there are moms' like you out there. [img][/img]

Becca-Kraft instant puddings are egg free and come in a number of different flavours. You just add milk (and for me that's goat's milk). This is a wonderful treat for my son. I als make frozen pudding pops as well.

[This message has been edited by Annshel (edited November 08, 2002).]

On Nov 9, 2002


Originally posted by Annshel: [b]

Becca-Kraft instant puddings are egg free and come in a number of different flavours. You just add milk (and for me that's goat's milk). This is a wonderful treat for my son. I als make frozen pudding pops as well. [/b]

If anyone has a tna child I would avoid kraft puddings. According to kraft (us) they could be cross contaminated with pistachio.


On Nov 13, 2002


Originally posted by gw_mom3: [b] If anyone has a tna child I would avoid kraft puddings. According to kraft (us) they could be cross contaminated with pistachio.


Hi Gale, I just called Kraft to make sure that our product in Canada is safe and I believe it is. You got me wondering. [img][/img] The pistachio instant pudding is apparently packaged only on Fridays. They have a team that completely cleans the equipment used with an allergy solution after the manufacturing process on Friday and they repeat this process on Monday morning before any of the other puddings are manufactured. They also give the first run on the line to staff just to be sure because in his words "we are dealing with people's live here". I felt very secure after talking to him. The company seems very aware.

I also called Kraft (in the US) and although I didn't feel quite as comfortable with the information given (could have been just her telephone manner), she did say that if there were any chance of cross contamination with any of the major allergens they would list in the ingredients. 1-800-323-0768