# Who Have Had Reactions To Something Considered \"Safe\"?

Posted on: Fri, 05/18/2007 - 2:16am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Stemming from the thread about Corvallis Mom's daughter's reaction, I have this question (or series thereof):-

How many people have had reactions to something that was considered "safe"? When considering it to be "safe" how was that consideration made - labeling; telephone call to manufacturer; what? And what was the food item that was considered "safe"?

Okay, my guy. Reaction (red rash around his mouth, a couple of hives maybe) to Kraft Boca Burgers. Considered the product "safe" from labeling. Even further discussions (posted about here) with the manufacturer the product was still maintained to be "peanut free" yet my guy had not developed a soy allergy.

Reaction (two or three hives only) from a Duncan Hines cake mix cupcake. Again, considered it "safe" from labeling. Also believe that I had further discussion with Duncan Hines and they maintained the product was "peanut free". Only after posting about the reaction here did other members tell me NOT to purchase Duncan Hines.

Anaphylactic reaction to a cereal (can't remember what kind - a corn flake like thing, but might have been frosted). Again, considered it "safe" because of labeling. Also, considered it "safe" because he'd eaten 1/2 the box (on different days) and not had a reaction. Because of that (having had eaten half the box), for TWO YEARS, I did not think it was the cereal. I thought it was a residue reaction.

Many thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

There but for the Grace of God, go I.

Posted on: Fri, 05/18/2007 - 4:39am
NicoleinNH's picture
Joined: 06/21/2003 - 09:00

My DD: Chips Ahoy cookie (original kind) by Nabisco. Label looked OK & I had called and was told if it contained any of the 8 top allergens, the label would state that. After her reaction, I called Nabisco again. After multiple phone calls involving multiple people, I finally found out they run on shared lines but their cleaning practices are "sufficient". The lot of Chips Ahoy was traced back to running on the same line as a peanut cookie on the same day (I think Nutterbutter) but "there's no way she reacted to that because we do allergen cleaning". Well, there's no way she reacted to the WATER she was drinking with her snack--just the cookie and WATER. It doesn't take a rocket scientist. I think there are other examples from the past 4 years, but that one really sticks out! I was just disgusted with the amount of calls and side-stepping of my questions that there is no way I will feed her anything Nabisco (DH sometimes sneaks Wheat Thins for himself)--I prefer to spend my money on Keebler products. I wish I had known back then to contact FAAN and the FDA. I had no idea--I just decided Nabisco was on our boycott list [img]/peanut/boards/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/shocked.gif[/img]
Interesting thread [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I love to here anecdotes regarding products because sometimes you just don't know...
[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited May 18, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 05/18/2007 - 7:12am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

In seven years, we've had a handful of actual ingestion reactions... probably due to our extreme caution. NONE of those were properly labeled products. We have NEVER given her (even inadvertently) anything that was [i]labeled[/i] as being 'may contain.'
1. Jello. Two instances. Full body hives on one occasion (this was a commercially prepacked "jello cup" made with Jell-O brand, and vomiting on another (but we couldn't rule out a possible walnut issue at the time.... ) now I think it was pistachio contamination on both occasions. Company denied this, of course.
2. Kraft mini-marshmallows. Two occasions about four months apart, so different production codes-- minor facial hives and some asthma. Company denies this is possible. (yadda-yadda-yadda.... see #1)
3. Thai Kitchen coconut milk. Two different varieties, both resulting in "that cough" and lethargy. (DD was only 2, so it is likely this was also asthma, though she wasn't able to explain it.)
Company was reasonably forthcoming about processing layout, no shared lines, but the facility shared a common wall with a PN-line which was a dry solid-- likely to produce aerosols, IMO. I gave up after four phone calls.
3. Tofutti cuties. (See other thread.)
Shared line with pb variety. Poor labeling practices.
4. Other reactions have been to egg. Barilla didn't switch to new packaging as soon as they began batch testing the new "plus" pasta line.... but DD knew when they did it. They also took about three MONTHS to get back to me with these pearls of wisdom.... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] She has also reacted (with extensive hives) to salad dressings from Newman's Own and Bernstein's which are (obviously) run on shared lines. Multiple occasions. (DH feels guilty enough, though, so I won't mention why....) Vinaigrette dressings only, neither product line contained a nutty variety at the time. The [i]labels[/i] looked FINE. I've never bothered to call and confirm this-- it was just obvious.
5. Reaction to an "apricot stick" bought in bulk. Turns out that this was not a contamination problem in-store, but in production. (They had added a pistachio-coated variety to their product line, unbeknownst to us or the store.)
I want to emphasize that we continue to purchase in bulk because our anecdotal evidence supports doing so. We don't eat a lot of processed food, and even so-- if you look at the above list, we've been burned by Kraft a few times. And let me add that they could not even be bothered to give me information [i]after my daughter NEARLY DIED from a 'mystery' reaction.[/i] They simply refused to help and denied that ANYTHING they made could possibly be a problem. On a percentage basis, we have had FAAAAAR more trouble with the occasional processed foods (even those from big companies) than from bulk.
Sobering indeed. Says to me that the real enemy is [i]poor advisory labeling[/i] and [i] the ubiquity of CO-processing[/i]. Yuck.
[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited May 18, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 05/18/2007 - 8:08am
Going Nuts's picture
Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

(Raising Hand) Count us in.
1) Head to toe hives after eating Haagen Dazs Dulce de Leche ice cream (from supermarket, not scooped). That was the last time he ate ice cream that I don't make myself (with the exception of Carvel or Mr. Softee).
2) A McVitie's Hob Nob that was supposed to be safe. Another member here posted the same day that her child had a reaction to one. When I called them, they said it should have been safe, but that they were switching lines and in the near future would be "may contain". I believe they were already "may contain", but were using old packaging.
We FA folk are so brand loyal, that when there is a breach of trust like the above or the Tofutti Cutie incident, it really, really hurts. When it happened to us, I swear, I felt mislead and violated (oh, how soap opera-ish, I know [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/redface.gif[/img] ).
[This message has been edited by Going Nuts (edited May 18, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 05/18/2007 - 9:25am
jtolpin's picture
Joined: 05/28/2003 - 09:00

I have to think about this.
I don't really know how reactive Caitlin is to things.
I just don't know HOW to answer this question. And I'm wondering if I answer it, does it really matter. I mean, I don't KNOW for SURE if she reacts to something in a food, just WHY she reacts to it...
Could be anything.. milk, egg, wheat, sesame, etc etc... How do you KNOW for SURE, I mean... A tofutti cutie... Dairy? Nuts? A worker who was eatting walnuts for lunch, kwim?
THere's just many variables to ANYTHING. Do we REALLY know for SURE? Or are we just speculating 'why'?
[b]* Beyond Obsessed * [/b]

Posted on: Sat, 05/19/2007 - 10:10am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Jason, for some reason, your answer struck me (as they often do).
I will say again - I believe that it's really important for reactions to be reported and for the food in question to be sent away for testing (not to be dumped in the garbage as I've always done).
With the two things I posted about, Duncan Hines and Kraft Boca Burgers - you raise a very valid and *good* question. Both companies maintained that no way no how could the product have been contaminated and with the Boca Burger it was quite an extensive (IMPHO) investigation on Kraft's part.
So, the ? would be - what if it was some person packing the gosh darn things that had eaten pb or a peanut product? KWIM?
Can't post further because where that ? could lead me in my brain right now would take me over the edge on this particular day.
But my point, which I'd like to reiterate, even if I have never done it myself, (so don't do as I do or have done, but do as I say), is to have the food tested.
Which Corvallis Mom is having done. And other's here certainly have done.
Where is the post where I put Kraft/General Mills/Mr. Christie's? It's supposed to read Kraft/Nabisco/Mr. Christie's. I'll fix it later. My brain is ready to explode (nothing to do with here).
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
There but for the Grace of God, go I.

Posted on: Sat, 05/19/2007 - 10:32am
ajas_folks's picture
Joined: 04/28/2000 - 09:00

Rubbing genie teapot & making my 1 wish:
[i]I wish that labeling laws required complete honesty and divulgence as to shared lines and/or shared facilities WRT the top allergens. [/i]
Sorry, too much to ask, apparently.
Slinking back to corner with pot-rubbing hand burned.
Mother to 2:
DD age 5, NKA, treated as though PA/TNA
DS age 8, PA, possible TNA, Latex, legumes?
(PA diagnosed & ana reaction 1999)
Member here since 2000

Posted on: Sat, 05/19/2007 - 11:20am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

At least only your [i]hand[/i] feels singed.... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] The insinuation on the part of a company that we might have actually [i]cross-contaminated it ourselves here at home really burns something ELSE on [b]my[/b] anatomy, I tell ya.[/i]
But I [i]also[/i] hear what Jason is saying-- and agree w/ Cin that therein lies madness if you think about it for very long..... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sat, 05/19/2007 - 12:08pm
April in KC's picture
Joined: 08/28/2006 - 09:00

Rash around the mouth from oranges (sliced with skin on). Later noticed that the mesh bags of oranges had been sitting near plastic bags of peanuts in the store.

Posted on: Sat, 05/19/2007 - 8:14pm
jtolpin's picture
Joined: 05/28/2003 - 09:00

Ah, conspiracy theories, paranoia, even...
Just WHO do you believe, kwim...
If Caitlin reacts to something, what am I supposed to test for...
I dont even know WHAT shes reactive to.
tofutti products -- test for what? Milk, egg, peanuts, walnuts, etc etc...
Cindy, my answer struck you, because I dont have any answers, and thats unsettling.
[b]* Beyond Obsessed * [/b]
[This message has been edited by jtolpin (edited May 20, 2007).]

Posted on: Sun, 05/20/2007 - 1:00am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I think anyone who lives with MFA understood what you were getting at, Jason. We have a [i]lot[/i] of minor reactions w/DD all the time. Most of those are ultimately a 'mystery' to us. The reason I categorized some of these differently is that [i]in those cases[/i] the cause seems fairly straightforward.
And I am also ashamed to admit that in all but the tofutti incident, we have an N larger than 1 to support it. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/redface.gif[/img] Precisely because it is so hard to ferret it out the first time.

Posted on: Sun, 06/03/2007 - 11:36am
momll70's picture
Joined: 09/26/2006 - 09:00

MFA is my problem. I'm allergic to so much that sometimes I really can't pinpoint what is causing the reaction. Today I'm breaking out in hives. Not too bad. But itchy. Is it the trees, grass or something I ate? I'm severely allergic to seasonal as well as foods. It can drive me crazy. The other day I was picking up my son from school and I forgot to take my antihistamine. My throat started to close on me and I couldn't take a breath in and started coughing, until I got into the car and closed the door. My throat was twinging and itching and my mouth too. It was the grass. I took a few sips of Benadryl and it helped. It was gross because I was drinking it out of the bottle but I had no choice.
For my son it can only be 3 types of things. Sometimes we can pinpoint it to 2 things. But his last internal reaction could have been peanuts or walnuts. He was eating a safe Hersheys kiss, but they are loosely wraped and they were from a bag that other prople were eating from and they had touched peanuts/peanut butter and/or walnuts and then stuck their hands in the bag. I didn't know because they were given to my son for Easter and put into a small easter goodie bag. Something told me not to give it to him but MIL assured me she read the bag. This allergy thing was new to the family at that time so they didn't know about cross contamination in the home yet. He reacted right away from eatin 2 slivers, he was very young then and I wouldn't let him eat a whole Hershey's kiss yet.
I called Hersheys and we came to the conclusion that they were contaminated after the bag had been opened. They are very careful and label well. They sent him a T-Shirt, a ball and a check too. The man I spoke to also has a nephew with a peanut allergy so he understood my concern. I didn't let him eat another Hershey's kiss for about 2 years after that, even though I knew they are safe.
I'm very confused right now about Nabisco products as I give my son Ritz and Nilla wafers. I don't give him Oreos or Chips A Hoy anymore because of posts I've read and I feel they process so many other things with peanuts. I used to give my son Hagan Daz and Breyers and now I don't. Haven't experienced anything, but read other posts about reactions and I will probably stay away from the Jet Puff marshmellows too.
[This message has been edited by momll70 (edited June 03, 2007).]

Posted on: Sun, 06/03/2007 - 12:33pm
momll70's picture
Joined: 09/26/2006 - 09:00

Now to really answer the question. Sorry for carrying on above. I reacted about 8 years ago to Lindt chocolate truffles after reading their labels. This was before they started labeling for peanuts/tree nuts. Ghiardelli (a couple of years ago). I believe it was traces of tree nuts not peanuts, even though I understand they may label better now I will not eat them. Mild reaction to Entenmanns donuts. Never had a problem before but realized many do not feel comfortable eating them and now it's off my list of safe foods. Aslo avoiding Hostess because when my son ate cupcakes he would turn red around his mouth. Not hives more like irritation, this was before his seed allergy, maybe there was sunflower oil in ingrediants but not nuts. Then I spoke to someone else to has a 2 sons who is allergic to peanuts and also avoids Hostess. I never asked why. I can't think of anything else.

Posted on: Sun, 06/03/2007 - 10:08pm
JND's picture
Joined: 09/28/2004 - 09:00

DD had a reaction (lip swelling) after eating an apple, quick oats (Giant brand), and instant cocoa (Giant brand). Don't know what caused the reaction, but the reaction occurred while she was eating the apple (though all were consumed over a fairly short time period). The apple wasn't purchased loose, but was purchased as a batch of 10 in a plastic bag. We were at a Girl Scout campground at the time, so I'm not certain there wasn't residue somewhere, but I sure didn't see anything, and DD said she made sure the apple was set only on her plate.
I remember as a kid I used to have mystery reactions (hives) and I wasn't known to be allergic to anything (and still am not). Don't know what that means, just an observation.

Posted on: Sat, 06/09/2007 - 2:03pm
lakeswimr's picture
Joined: 02/01/2007 - 09:00

My son has reacted to a bunch of things. The one that stands out most is San-J soy sauce. He had used it fine for almost maybe a year and a half without issue. One day he took one drop of a newly opened bottle (I watched him put his finger in a dish of it and then touch his finger to his mouth) and then his lips swelled up big and his eye swelled nearly shut. I thought it was something else at the meal that caused the reaction since we had used San-J in the past without problem. I served an almost identical meal the next night, minus the thing I thought caused the problem. My son again put his finger in and took one drop and had the same reaction of lip and eye swelling. I called San-J and they said, "oh, yes, we make things with sesame and we don't consider sesame and allergen so we don't clean for it. YOu must have gotten the first of a batch made right after we made something with sesame."
He also had voilent vomiting from what I think was a sesame X-contamed sliver of a Green Mountain Gringo corn chips. Same deal--called the company and they said their chips for sure have sesame X-contam as they didn't know sesame was an allergen and their chips are run on a line that has sesame residue all over it. I called Miquels after that and although DS didn't react to their stuff/didn't eat it, they said the same thing, just BTW. Sesame people should always call on corn chips (and I think sesame people should call on everything since it isn't required to be labeled and there isn't the awareness of it out there of the top 8.)
He got for sure big, blotchy hives all over his face from Veggie Booty and also smaller hives from Tings a few times.
he got tiny hives around his mouth from various chips various times.
I know he had other X-contam reactions but can't remmeber all now.
I remember he reacted to one brand of miso that didn't have any of his allergens in it, he reacted to some flax seed oils that turned out to be made on shared equip with sesame oil, and once we got spectrum canola oil that smelled strongly of peanut. I threw it out.
We always call now on products and this has cut down nearly all this type of reaction.
As for the point of this thread and the point of thinking about it--it is to share a heads up that certain companies are not preventing X-contam, something that could cause a life-threatening reaction!
I get that if someone has MFA's (as my son does) and reacts it is impossible to say easily what caused it--was it the dairy or the peanut or the sesame, etc? Yes, I get that. But that isn't what the thread is about. It is for people to know, say, if you have a sesame allergy avoid San-J soy sauce. If you are allergic to peanuts you migtht want to avoid X and Y companies, etc. Good info to have. Very good info.

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