What do you consider safe?

Posted on: Sat, 02/27/1999 - 2:01pm
Chris PeanutAllergy Com's picture
Joined: 04/25/2001 - 09:00

Hi everyone, I am wondering what you consider safe. Do you consider same line products safe? Do you consider a product safe if it is on the same line but the company cleans the equipment? Example follows Good Manufacturing techniques etc? Do you consider products safe if they are made in the same facility and do you worry about cross contamination from what some call peanut dust or peanut clouds? Do you think there should be a standard that companies should follow so we will know what "May contain peanuts" really means? Do you think it should be a regulation? I am curious as to what everyone really knows and if you have contacted a company let us know how it went.

Stay Safe,


Posted on: Mon, 03/01/1999 - 10:23am
Nicole's picture
Joined: 01/21/1999 - 09:00

Hi Chris ~
You pose great questions. My comment is about the "May Contain Nuts". I trust this statement to mean that I have an obligation to stay away from it - the risk is mine to take. I chose to never take this risk! My problem comes in with grocery store bakeries who make in store goods. I don't feel that they are marking the goods when I feel that all bakery items are risky in those situations. They don't have the luxury (or money) to educate every employee on cross contamination and it's like playing russian roulette - no thank you. I've personally spoken to bakery personnel and quickly realized that it's very unsafe indeed. All in all, I'm more inclined to trust the larger manufacturers who produce in larger quantities and have more experience.
About the same line products safe issue. I'd like clarification on what this all means. We need a plant manager to describe these conditions before we can make these comments don't you think? I can think of a dozen ways that peanut products can make their way from one line to another if they're in the same facility. I guess it's hard to feel totally comfortable; each situation has to be evaluated.

Posted on: Tue, 03/02/1999 - 12:08am
Patti's picture
Joined: 01/27/1999 - 09:00

I would also like to know what people consider safe. Not that I am going to hold you to it. I am just curious about your thought process. I think Chris poses great questions. If it is made on a peanut free line but in a peanut facility do you consider it safe? See pillsbury. Also do you draw a distinction between peanuts and nuts. For example do you consider a product safer if it s only made in a nut facility but no peanuts. For example Breyers All Natural Vanilla ice cream. It follows good manufacturing rules but it is run in a facility where almonds and pecans are used. Do you consider this safe. I have only been dealing with this for a month now and I was wondering what some of you other people thought. I guess these are my main questions?
Also does anyone have information on bread. What bread does everyone use or do you? I will make some calls first but I was just curious.
My opinion so far on this is this. ( I do not know if Katherine has tree nut allergies). If any kind of peanut product is made in the facility I am not going to use any of their product line. If a product is on a dedicated line but other nut products are made, not peanut, I may consider it, I really don't know. I hope I have enough options that I don;'t have too.
Ok I rambled on enough. Food for thought as they say.

Posted on: Tue, 03/02/1999 - 3:16am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I will not buy a product that has the "may contain peanuts" on the label. I appreciate the "voluntary" labeling of the companies and I appreciate the fact they are giving me important information and it is our right, as the consumer, to buy or not buy the product. I do think the labeling should be mandatory. Lives are at stake!
I have never been inside a manufacturing plant. I have no idea what goes on inside there. You would think with today's technology, there could be separate plants, but because few exist, I must govern myself accordingly and protect my child.

Posted on: Tue, 03/02/1999 - 3:22am
brenda's picture
Joined: 01/22/1999 - 09:00

I think we could be losing perspective when we start worring about products being made in the same factory where there could be peanut "dust". Do you worry about going in a store where there are numerous items containing peanuts and some peanut dust can be escaping the packages? Probably not. I think its probably a valid concern to worry about products on shared equipment but worring about being manufactured in the same plant might be getting extreme. I know somewhere there might be someone who is so sensitive that this could be a problem, but we should keep in mind they would be the very rare exception, otherwise wouldn't we be seeing or hearing about alot of reactions due to this kind of exposure???
Also, has anyone asked FAN where they stand on this? And what is everyones' allergists saying about this? My ped. allergist doesn't think cross-contaimination is a concern. I've very interested in knowing what the doctors think and have experienced in their practices.
I also agree that the meaning of the "may contain pn" warning needs to be standardized across the board. Unfortunately we're probably along way off from that seeing that the label itself is voluntary.

Posted on: Tue, 03/02/1999 - 3:59am
Christine's picture
Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

I avoid anything that has the "may contain" statement. To me, that means the company knows they probably aren't cleaning their lines well and are probably using a lot of peanut products. I do use items that are manufactured in plants that use peanuts--Kellogg's cereal for instance. I also give my son Breyer's vanilla ice cream. I know full well that there is a small risk involved in doing so. If I took the stance of making sure there were no risks involved, my son would have an extremely limited diet. Yes, it is risky I guess, but I try to weigh the risk of the possibility of a small fragment of peanut getting in his food versus some type of quality of life for him. This is a personal decision for everyone. Of course, if I believed or knew that my son was extremely allergic to even dust, I would probably change my views. So far everything has gone well and we have not had any accidental exposures in 3.5 years. I definitely avoid all baked goods, even from the large manufacturers (cookies) and forget it on candy bars. I've seen too many recalls regarding "oops, we accidently put nuts in this plain candy bar" kind of thing. I also avoid most snacks. About the biggest risk I take is with the Breyer's ice cream. Everytime I give it to him, I'm nervous.

Posted on: Tue, 03/02/1999 - 11:01am
dhumphries's picture
Joined: 02/02/1999 - 09:00

Hi all,
I am most concerned about the hydrolygized (sic) protein/vegetable labeling. It seems that there is so much of this in products, and we are really playing russian roulette by giving this to our kids. Shouldn't these manufacturers be required to disclose what this vegetable/protein is?
I, too, tend to stick with major manufacturers. I believe they have more at stake, and will tend to be more responsible in clearing and labeling.
I have avoided an additional reaction for 14 months now. However, my son has not yet reached the stage where he is really crazy about candies and cookies. I know it will be more difficult then.

Posted on: Tue, 03/02/1999 - 12:15pm
brenda's picture
Joined: 01/22/1999 - 09:00

where are you from? What kind of foods have you seen it in? As of yet, I have never come across anything with HVP-hydrolyzed vegetable protein (I'm in the US). I read in FAN that HVP made from peanut meal is rare in the US but can be found in european and other imported foods. According to FAN, in the US soybean is the most common source of HVP.

Posted on: Tue, 03/02/1999 - 3:13pm
Donna's picture
Joined: 01/31/1999 - 09:00

We make everything from scratch if possible. What's wrong with homemade ice cream! I keep a roll of homemade cookie dough in the freezer. I do not buy any snack crackers or cookies, cakes or cake mixes, etc. It is just easier to make it yourself than to worry. If the label has an ingredient on it and I don't know what it means I don't want any of my kids to eat it.
If products are made on the same line or machinery they are NOT safe for us. I do worry about peanut dust.

Posted on: Tue, 03/02/1999 - 9:54pm
Erica's picture
Joined: 03/02/1999 - 09:00

Hi everyone!
I work for a bakery mix company and we manufacture & sell bakery mixes, icings, & baked products to everyone from large scale baked goods manufacturers to the local bakery & grocery store bakeries. Our company has just begun collecting Allergen Statements from our ingredient suppliers and since there are no laws - we are really at the mercy of those supplying us our ingredients to fully disclose potential hazards. Unfortunately many suppliers have called with many questions regarding our request for this info - leading me to believe that no one out there is really on top of the allergen situation even in the large manufacturers. Our company does not yet include warnings but I believe it will once they determine what the risks are etc.
So my first point is that you can not trust that just because a product doesn't have the May Contain Peanuts warning - that it is safe.
My second point is that if a peanut product is being made at a plant, assume contamination is a very real possibility. I have been in maunfacturing plants, they relatively safe with regard to microbiological contamination but at least in our dry mix plants the amount of ingredient dust is very high & unavoidable. Technology can't at this point provide a completely air tight clean environment in a food manufacturing plant. And in light of the increase in Micro contamination recalls (when most companies test products for this contamination & still have had to recall product)- do not trust that peanut contamination has not occurred. This type of contamination is not tested for & recalls only occur after someone had had a reaction. NOT AN ACCEPTABLE RISK.
I am not sure but I believe that there are lab techniques that can test for contamination of peanuts - maybe we should begin a push to have mandatory testing for peanut contamination in all applicable food products. The FDA has standards for micro contamination - wouldn't peanut/allergen contamination be a wise step as well?

Posted on: Wed, 03/03/1999 - 12:49am
Lschubert's picture
Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00


Posted on: Wed, 03/03/1999 - 1:35am
terry's picture
Joined: 01/16/1999 - 09:00

Neogen Corp. has a test for peanut on manufacturing lines. They do not at this time have a way to test at home. If the product from neogen can pick up peanut, then the product should be labelled as such. Testing for peanut has got to be more cost effective than the eventual recall of products & legal action that results from contamination of a product with a potentially lethal allergen. We do need some sort of consistent standard. Can the FDA help?

Posted on: Wed, 03/03/1999 - 4:47am
Christine's picture
Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

Do you have any homemade ice cream recipies (or cookies) that don't contain egg. In addition to the peanut allergy, my son has an egg allergy. I investigated purchasing an ice cream maker but all of the ice cream recipies contained egg so that was out. Many of the store bought brands do not have eggs in them--I guess manufacturers have access to ingredients that make cheaper acceptable egg substitutes that we can't get. I have come across a few store brand cake/muffin mixes that use "leavening agents" instead of eggs and my son can have those--but then there is the peanut fear. I would love to make my own ice cream but cannot find an egg-free recipe (he doesn't like sherbet or ices either).

Posted on: Wed, 03/03/1999 - 5:13am
tracy's picture
Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

Hey Christine,
I've been meaning to tell you this... I was reading the Tightwad Gazette the other day (great book) and it said you can use Soy Flour in place of eggs -- it's apparently a good substitute. I can't find the page that this was on and the index isn't helpful. Have you tried this before? If so, does it work?

Posted on: Wed, 03/03/1999 - 5:46am
CB's picture
Joined: 01/17/1999 - 09:00

Hi Everyone [img]http://client.ibboards.com/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
In Canada, we have labeling laws.Tings that are processed and packaged in Canada have to be specific.ie vegetable oil .If it not 100% then it has to be broken down ie vegetable oil(soy and or cottenseed oil.)
I must day though, that other then the obvious peanut/nut items, it is relativly easy.
The difficulty that we have is the other food allergies that she has. Milk and soy.
There are far more foods made with these two, ingrediants then peanuts can ever be blamed of i do believe.
There have been recalls on foods because of cantamination or the possibilityof. So even with labeling i don't believe that everything is 100% as the lable says 100% of the time.
Take care [img]http://client.ibboards.com/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Wed, 03/03/1999 - 7:42am
Christine's picture
Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

I had not heard of the soy flour substitute. If you can find the specific article about it, would you mind giving me the info--such as how much for one egg and do you have to add any liquid to it? I have bought another product called "egg replacer". It is some sort of leavening agents mixed together and then you add water--doesn't work. Guess it depends what you are using the egg for. If egg is called for in a recipe and its purpose is a binding agent then I can usually substitute some applesauce or something else. But if the egg is used for a leavening agent such as a cake I find that substitutes don't work well. I have made an egg-free chocolate cake that is fairly good but it is extremely dense and only lasts for one day before you really need to throw it out. My son is getting sick of chocolate cake and desires a nice yellow cake (and so does his mom!!).

Posted on: Tue, 03/09/1999 - 6:19am
Lisa M's picture
Joined: 03/07/1999 - 09:00

I just found this web site a few days ago and it is very interesting reading the discussions on brands and cross contamination,etc. I actually had never worried about that as long as I read labels. My 3 year old eats Merita "Just Us Kids" bread, Pepperidge Farm Sour Dough hot and crusty rolls and Goldfish Crackers, Cheese Nips, Lenders cinnamon raisin bagels, Kelloggs Eggo Waffles (Homestyle, Apple Cinnamon and Banana Bread), Sunshine Vienna Finger Cookies, Publix brand Sugar Wafer cookies, Nabisco Animal Cookies and Saltines, Ritz crackers, Waverly Crackers,
Pillsbury refridgerated biscuits, dinner rolls and pizza crust. I will keep reading everyone's input to see if I feel it is necessary to start limiting his diet even more than I already do because of cross contamination concerns. He's had two reactions-the first time was when I gave him peanut butter to try for the first time at 13 months and then about 3 months later when we were in my older son's preschool class where they had worked on the famous peanut butter covered pine cone bird feeders. The strong smell caused his face to break out in hives. That has been two years so I don't know if I've just been lucky with the foods I've listed above or what. I love reading everyone's comments and calls to the companies. Thanks!!!

Posted on: Fri, 03/26/1999 - 9:41pm
Coco's picture
Joined: 03/14/1999 - 09:00

This is an interesting thread! I use 2 bakeries for breads, muffins etc. , another bakery for pastries, meat pies, cakes and chocolates, and a pareve donut shop for donuts. I also use a specialty shop for butcher counter and cold cuts. I buy frozen prepared pastas and cabbage rolls from another small business. All of these small businesses are peanut free, with the exception of the cake shop. This shop has 2 varieties of cookies which do or may contain peanut. These cookies are made at another location and are very carefully kept separately from other products. It took much asking to find them but I am now a very loyal customer! Some of these shops are an hour away from where I live. Allergic friends and I take turns running these errands and picking up everybody's phoned in order when we're heading near one of these shops.Please ask at all little shops in your neighborhood...you never know. I use prepared foods only after having spoken to the company that handles them. I ask these companies for their labeling policies. I ask them how many lines over some products are and if they have separate ventilation for other products. Sometimes I want to know that products are manufactured in a peanut free plant. This has much to do with the way my questions are answered, the size of the company, the reputation of the company, and the re-calls that I have read about. I steer clear of no-name products and President's Choice (is this only Canadian?)and similar lines as they have the option of switching suppliers and this is not on label. I have noticed over the years a few re-calls and many of these products are imported. I buy mostly fresh produce from another shop. In the summer I like to utilize an outdoor farmers market (where there is a stall of healthy baked goods Multi-grain etc. which are all baked in nut free facilities) and do a lot of freezing of veg. I hate this task but have found a way to enjoy it. I buy a huge amount of whatever is in season after asking among my friends(some allergic some not) who is interested in same stuff. We spend a day or two with a pot of coffee and many freezer bags and get the job done. A great way to get to know your friends better...share a nasty task for a day. I also have arranged cookie and baking exchanges with other nut allergy friends who have like views on this allergy. I have also hosted hors d'ouvre making parties before the holidays. A glass of wine and you turn out some interesting appetizers! When I entertain there is not stuff that Charles can't eat. I find that I can't watch him carefully enough to have dangerous food in my home while entertaining!

Posted on: Sun, 03/28/1999 - 2:42pm
carolynn's picture
Joined: 03/09/1999 - 09:00

Gee, Coco, I sure wish you lived by me!!

Posted on: Mon, 03/29/1999 - 1:59am
Coco's picture
Joined: 03/14/1999 - 09:00

Carolynn it just happens when I was out walking last night I saw a couple of houses for sale in my neighborhood! If you can make it we'd love to have you near by!

Posted on: Tue, 07/27/1999 - 1:21am
Anna's picture
Joined: 07/20/1999 - 09:00

Re: What's safe? and Homemade Ice cream...
I rarely buy processed foods anymore. I simply prepare my foods from scratch. It's annoying at times, but it keeps me safe. [img]http://client.ibboards.com/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
I have an ice cream maker, in which I've made a number of flavours, including chocolate, vanilla, cookie-crumb and blueberry. I used the recipe book as a guide, but simply eliminated the egg from the recipe with little problem. Perhaps the ice cream is not quite a smooth without the egg, but I've had no complaints from my resident "tasters." [img]http://client.ibboards.com/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Good luck!

Posted on: Fri, 07/30/1999 - 6:43am
Joanne's picture
Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

Anna, can you post your egg-less ice cream recipes on the recipe board? We're always looking for new recipes!

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