Introduction and a peanut butter / peanut dust question

Posted on: Mon, 12/22/2014 - 1:50pm
Biev's picture
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Joined: 12/22/2014 - 20:25

Hi, I'm Biev. I've been lurking around here for information since my little step-brother is allergic to peanuts. His mom has cancer, so I've been trying to help out by preparing meals for the family. We don't live together, and my house isn't peanut-free (though we try to stay away from anything that might produce peanut dust).

Usually when I cook for them I stick with things like veggies and meat, and avoid baking sweets since I'm not sure about some of the ingredients. But Christmas is coming up, and I made cookies for everyone, so I thought I'd at least give my brother chocolates. I'm using Baker, which is what they use at home.

Here's my question : I have little mesh bags to put the chocolates in (along with dehydrated fruit). Those have been sitting on the table in an open container for a while. At one point we ate peanut butter, and I made sure everyone stayed away from the bags, but then I started wondering if eating peanut butter might create peanut dust that could cling to the bags and dried fruit?

I figured I'd ask your opinions on the matter. Am I being paranoid?

Posted on: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 6:03am
smithdcrk's picture
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Joined: 03/13/2014 - 16:46

The food lovingly prepared with the child's allergies in mind is a wonderful gift.
Peanut Butter is not inherently dusty, but when I bake for a child who does not share our allergies, like you, I am ultra conservative. Like you did, I check to see which brands they use at home and after a thorough surface & tool cleansing, I prep and bake from un-opened (fresh containers). While the kitchen is in it's "allergen free" state, I open nothing that may contain the allergen. The PB may not be dusty, but the PB sandwich crumbs may spread out. I treat the allergen with all the respect and watchfulness I would give the flu virus sneeze.
Maybe a nice new baggie decorated with curling ribbon?
Also, did you double check the dried fruit? That is one of our hardest items to find without a "may contain ..." or "manufactured in a facility that ..." processes peanuts.

Posted on: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 9:38am
Biev's picture
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Joined: 12/22/2014 - 20:25

Oh! yes, I dried the fruit myself so it's safe. Thanks for your advice! I'll see if I can find a new container for the chocolates just to be on the safe side.
Merry Christmas : )

Posted on: Fri, 12/26/2014 - 5:28am
PeanutAllergy.com's picture
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Joined: 06/21/2013 - 11:03

Question of the Week: Answered!
Every week, PeanutAllergy.com answers one of the questions posted in our community.
Our Answer:
When it comes to a food allergy, you can never be too paranoid! Surely your stepbrother and his mother appreciate your caution when it comes to cooking.
We suggest that you err on the side of caution even though reactions from airborne inhalation of peanut dust are rare. Normally, it takes a large amount of peanuts to create a reaction. You can read more about airborne proteins and other forms of accidental ingestion here.
However, everyone’s sensitivity to peanuts is different when it comes to allergies. If you want to take precautionary steps, it’s best to keep the space where you make your stepbrother’s snacks completely peanut-free. This will eliminate any chance of cross-contamination. For example, make sure that if you handwash plates you use hot water and careful scrubbing.
If you are afraid your mesh bags might have been too close to peanut butter, play it safe and use other containers. We have more tips on how to prepare your kitchen space to be safe here.
Because the get-together will also include snacks that are not peanut-free, it’s important to be supportive of your stepbrother. Make sure other guests know about his allergy and that he feels comfortable and safe in the environment. You can read more tips for how to support someone with a food allergy here.
Lastly, you should browse through our peanut-free recipes! These can give you some good worry-free ideas for baking. You can see our peanut-free dessert recipes here.
We asked our Facebook community for some tips and here’s what they had to say.
We hope this response helps. Happy holidays!

Posted on: Tue, 12/30/2014 - 5:37am
Biev's picture
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Joined: 12/22/2014 - 20:25

Thank you so much! I really appreciate it.

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