Questions to ask manufacturers?

Posted on: Tue, 04/13/1999 - 8:12am
Shan's picture
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Joined: 04/05/1999 - 09:00

I just called General Mills and they were very helpful, but since I am new at this I was wondering if anyone had a list of questions that they ask a manufacturer when they call? I was really clueless as to what to ask with the exception of is this product made on an assembly line with another product that contains peanuts. General Mills seems pretty safe as long as you read the label. Does everyone agree on this? Thanks! Shan

Posted on: Sun, 08/15/1999 - 10:08am
Marietta Carter's picture
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Joined: 08/10/1999 - 09:00

Also ask if they switch lines due to supply and demand, so that even if the line is not currently used for any products which contain the allergen, is it possible that a product containing the allergen was on the line in the past. A couple of companies, Nabisco and Kraft, for example, label if product shares line with another product containing nuts. However, they don't indicate if the line was used yesterday for a product containing nuts, but they've since "sanitized" and started using it for nut-free products.

Posted on: Thu, 01/06/2000 - 5:08am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Hi All,
With so many of us contacting manufacturers to find out if the food they manufacturer is safe for our children and/or for adults with the peanut allergy, we are all probably asking many different questions and I know when I call a food manufacturer, I sometimes stumble on my words which is why I tend to e-mail them. Back to Shan's question, do any of you have a list of questions you ask when you call companies? These customer service reps have their "cue cards" to read back to us when we call. If we all put our heads together, we could come up with our own list of questions to ask and demand accurate information from these companies. As many of us have found out, five of us could contact the same company and get five completely different answers. Anyone up to putting our heads together and getting a "detailed" list of questions so the next time we call or write a manufacturer, we will be completely on top of things and feel confident in our mission on getting accurate information by knowing the right questions to ask?
I know I need help in this area and I am sure there are others out there too.
Stay Safe!

Posted on: Wed, 01/26/2000 - 1:50am
Donnamarie's picture
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Joined: 11/16/1999 - 09:00

Connie -- I think putting our heads together to develop a "standard" list of questions would be a GREAT idea. Then we could all connect and make sure the information is accurate (how many times have representatives given me information that "I wanted to hear" instead of accurate information?). Plus, that will give them a good idea of what changes to implement. Any thoughts on how to get "standard" questions? We'd love to hear your ideas!!

Posted on: Mon, 02/07/2000 - 5:10am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Hi Donnamarie,
Thanks for your response. I'm sorry for not responding sooner to your post. We had a family emergency (not peanut allergy related) and I haven't been on the boards since January 25.
I haven't put any thoughts down on paper about questions to manufacturers but once I get some ideas down on paper, I will post them. This will definitely be a worthwhile project. Any thoughts?
Stay Safe!

Posted on: Tue, 10/24/2000 - 8:09pm
MattsMom's picture
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Joined: 09/17/2000 - 09:00

Just wondering if anyone has since compiled a list of questions. My husband and I have started calling some manufacturers, but as we are extremely new to this angle, we're virtually clueless. We're really not sure what all we need to ask, though we are trying! ;-) We are also sending a fax to the FDA asking for a list of food manufacturers and processors. Anyone else done this? I'm sure the list is going to be a mile long, but we won't be calling the ones we don't use/never heard of, so that should weed things out some.

Posted on: Wed, 10/25/2000 - 12:46am
Beth's picture
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Joined: 03/06/1999 - 09:00

Well, my anxiety level is about maxed out! This business of having to contact manufacturers for every product is just insane! Up until about a year ago, I have been content to read labels and completely go by what I found. My daughter is 13...this is how we have managed things forever. Ignorance was bliss! She has never had a reaction from "hidden" ingredients. Then came all the "shared equipment and may contain" labels. Fine, I can live with that. What I can't tolerate are labels that don't tell you these things. Are we supposed to spend our lives on the phone? Every time we buy something are we supposed to check in case something has changed? Sorry, I am ranting...thanks for listening, I feel a little better. We will continue to have medicine available for emergency use and get on with life. I am sure that when my daughter is on her own, in college or whatever, she will not be spending her time contacting all these companies. Please dont anyone think I am being critical of others on the boards!I am just stating that I, personally, have had enough! If only these companies would get their acts together, they could make things safe!

Posted on: Wed, 10/25/2000 - 1:55am
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Beth, I understand where you are coming from. It is comforting to hear that your daughter is 13, and has not had a reaction from cross contamination, etc. We have a brand of cookies here, called Mother's, which we have bought often. (I know they are locally made, but I don't know how widely distributed they are.) Anyway, my husband has told me that he feels very safe with Mothers, since they have a lot of nut free cookies, and they have no warning on the lable. Well, when I was at the store the other day buying cookies, I got very panicked when I saw all the types of Mothers cookies, and I could not bring myself to buy them. I discovered that they make lots of cookies with nuts, even peanut butter, and I wondered how all their other cookies could possibly be safe. I bought Oreos instead. Then, when I got home and mentioned my concerns to my husband, he did not agree with me. He still feels safe with Mother's. It's a tough situation; sometimes I think ignorance is bliss. I have been considering calling Mother's, but I'm almost certain I will find out there is a risk. Meanwhile, my daughter has been eating them without incident. As soon as there is a "may contain" label on anything, I don't buy it. When there's no label, I usually feel O.K. buying it. This is why I say ignorance is bliss; it allows my daughter to eat a lot of foods that she wouldn't be able to otherwise eat. Again, though, I would change my mind in a heartbeat if Leah ever reacted to a product from cross contamination. After saying all this, I still think a standard list of questions is a great idea, and I hope someone will come up with one!

Posted on: Wed, 10/25/2000 - 7:59am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Dear Beth,
I understand your frustration. I have been satisfied with the labeling of products in my house. If there is mention of a suspicious substance or a question left in my mind about the product then I don't buy it - plenty of other choices I can make. However, one time I had to call a manufacturer about peanut content. My son began having a mild reaction after eating Fritos. I read and reread the ingredients listed and nothing was mentioned to cause me concern. I called the manufacturer and asked about peanut content, etc. The customer service rep cut me short as soon as I mentioned peanut allergy and very emphatically told me Fritos were peanut free and produced in a peanut free facility. So you see - sometimes we need to pinpoint the cause of a reaction. Sometimes that means contacting the manufacturers. It doesn't mean we're calling all of them all the time.

Posted on: Wed, 10/25/2000 - 9:06am
MattsMom's picture
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Joined: 09/17/2000 - 09:00

please disregard this post. I am having troubles seeing new posts under certain threads (this being one of them) Trying to see if adding a new post will give it a jumpstart. ;-)

Posted on: Wed, 03/26/2003 - 1:28pm
Dawn's picture
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Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

I came across this and thought it might be helpful. I know I'll use it!
[url="http://www.anaphylaxis.org/pdf/ProductSafety.pdf"]http://www.anaphylaxis.org/pdf/ProductSafety.pdf[/url]

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