cross contamination

Posted on: Thu, 06/03/1999 - 5:43am
keri's picture
Joined: 06/02/1999 - 09:00

i just found this site yesterday and i am very glad that i did- i have been reading through old postings and i am overwhelmed by the research so many parents are doing and very appreciative for the information also. i just have a comment and suggestion - there seems to be a pattern kind of a phenomenon i have noticed with parents of pa children i went through it myself and a year after the reaction i am just starting to recognize it and make an effort to change- here it is- when we find out our child has a peanut allergy is seems as if we all go into overdrive trying to find all these sugary processed and manufactured foods that we can feed them- why- the week after "the reaction" i went shopping and filled my house with every safe junk food i could get my hands on. i would have never ever consider feeding my toddler this stuff before. we are making major changes in our lifestyle these days at home and the stress level is steadily falling- for one thing we need to get our allergic children back to eating whole foods. kids want a snack - whatever happen to an apple? rice krispies treats- i grew up on these- way way way before they were pre packaged. why spend so so so very much effort and energy on label reading and fretting over what exactly is in hydrolized veg. protien- this cant be good for anyone - all these processing and preservatives we should all be going without- pull your focus inward into your own kitchen and out of the processing plants- get creative - your child will appreciate baking cookies with you way more than they will appreciate the time it took you to fax, email, call, and write to nabisco. check out web sites like for restraunt recipes and use living whole food in your home - raise a child eating like this and your entire family with see the health benefits of it. and there is no possibility of cross contamination from a bunch of grapes from your own refrig. we have a huge no greater than huge responsibilty to keep them safe - fresh fruit, vegtables, non processed grains and lean meats are what these kids need to learn from day one to eat and as they become adults they wont dream of eating high fat high calorie highly processed food - forget about peanut for a while and think what other poisons we feed them with this junk food, trying desparetley to conquer to peanut, as if we are saying HA! i beat you evil peanut my child is happily munching on sugar coating cereal and you cant touch him! Kids can and will live without junk and fast foods- longer and better to. if you do this in your home you will find so much peace and the stress level will be lowered and a total feeling of a healthy lifestyle will begin to settle in your home. if there are no safe peanut free play groups - start one - call the allergy centers and put up notices for members in the office and the schools - you will find 5 or 6 kids to join a safe playgroup. preschool will not be a problem if we make an effort to get in touch with the other peanut allergy parents in our areas and demand that they be keep safe. there will be i think a great shift in the way nutrition is looked at in school if we yell and scream loud enough. i am confident. sorry to preach so much i am just so passionate about this i get carried away. thanks for the opportunity to get this off my chest.

Posted on: Fri, 07/23/1999 - 12:34am
Christine's picture
Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

pSusan,br /
Once diagnosed with a peanut allergy, any amount of peanut should be avoided. There is no way to determine what your child's true sensitivity is. A high score may indicate a serious allergy, yet your child may not react seriously at all and vice versa. I believe that "cross contamination" is the main cause for most accidents--not the act of eating overt peanut products. All individuals will have different reactions. My son tests a 4+ on the skin prick test. He had an immediate reaction to peanut butter on bread (facial hives, swelling) when he was a baby. Last year, his daycare provider "accidentally" gave him two of those pre-packaged peanut butter crackers. The peanut butter inside of these is not pure peanut butter, but a mixture of peanut butter and other items so it is probably more dilute than regular peanut butter. He ate two of these and had no reaction, yet he still tests a 4+ on the tests. Maybe we will find that "trace" amounts of peanuts won't bother him, but we will really never know. And, the reactivity can change from time to time. Best advice is to avoid it diligently. By the way, I never heard that Edy's was "safe". I thought it was /

Posted on: Fri, 07/23/1999 - 2:24am
Kathryn's picture
Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

pHi Susan. Unfortunately cross-contamination is a big problem for most peanut allergic persons because even trace amounts may trigger reactions. A young boy near me died recently after eating a non-nut donut baked in the same oven as baked goods containing nuts. Some children have reacted to the plain MMs contaminated by the manufacturing process which uses the same equipment for the peanut MMs. If you read some of the older postings on the various boards here you'll find that many of us spend a lot of time calling manufacturers for specific information about how their products are made. We try to post the information we get so that everyone can benefit. When you are new to this allergy, and sometimes even after you've lived with it for awhile, it can seem overwhelming but you do get used to it and most manufacturers that I have dealt with are happy to help and many are very allergy aware. Take care. Hope this helps./p

Posted on: Fri, 07/23/1999 - 9:54am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

pMy son is 100 on CAP RAST(class VI) and was 9+ on skin prick test to peanuts. At uor last visit to John Hopkins Hospital his allergist said no bought ice cream is safe for my son. So I make homemade which he loves. (I don't buy store bought for rest of the family- and I don't wear myself calling ice cream companies and getting the run around)/p

Posted on: Fri, 07/23/1999 - 10:37pm
susan's picture
Joined: 05/19/1999 - 09:00

pSo does the class 4 mean I have to worry less about cross contamination or is there no real way of knowing how sensitive he is to even traces of peanut protein?br /

Posted on: Fri, 07/23/1999 - 11:39pm
Patti's picture
Joined: 01/27/1999 - 09:00

pSusan,br /
My allergist told me that the number does not predict severity of reaction. There is no way to tell how you will react. You can react severely at a class 1. Keep up the good work trying to get as much info as /

Posted on: Fri, 07/23/1999 - 11:51pm
Kathryn's picture
Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

pHi again Susan. My brother and my son and my babysitter's son and a friend's daughter all have different measurements of peanut allery ranging from low to high but all have been advised to avoid cross contamination. Also cross contamination is not always just nut dust or trace elements but can be larger pieces as well. I guess I have been fortunate but I have found several brands here in Canada that are manufactured safely so we choose them over others that are not. Also, I have had really positive, helpful responses both in person on the telephone and with written follow-ups from customer service representatives. I usually ask a standard series of questions and if after that, my sense is that I might buy the product then I ask for a letter outlining their manufacturing process and answering the questions I've asked. Only one company has not wanted to send me anything in writing. Hope this helps. Take care./p

Posted on: Sat, 07/24/1999 - 12:43am
CathyT's picture
Joined: 07/11/1999 - 09:00

pSusan--I myself have PA, and my 2 year old son does, also. I know you are hoping that you won't have to worry as much because your child is a class 4 and not 6. Any good allergist will tell you that you cannot think like that, because our bodies don't work like that. I have had reactions that have been full-blown (asthma, turning blue, hives, low b/p, shock), and reactions that were very mild. I am a class 6. My son is a class 4. So, I can only treat him like I do myself, and avoid everything with the slightest potential of being harmful. The frustrating thing about this allergy is that there are very few clear cut answers, so you must always be cautious./p

Posted on: Sat, 07/24/1999 - 7:51am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

pSusan - Our PA son is class IV and his reactions are full blown for both peanuts and eggs. We were told anything II and over is considered potentially life threatening./p
pSorry! [img][/img]/p

Posted on: Sat, 07/24/1999 - 7:32pm
Lynda's picture
Joined: 03/08/1999 - 09:00 19 month old son is a Class III/peanuts and a Class IV/Eggs. He has had different reactions each time....blown up lip, enlarged blood vessels in the eyes, swollen eyes with hives to unconciousness. We had to change his Medic Alert bracelet from "Allergic to Peanut/Egg" to "Anaphylacxis to Peanut/Egg" under the advise from our Allergist. I am going to change it again since we recently found out that he allergic to tree nuts. Personally, I don't care what Class he is, I think any accidental ingestion is potentially deadly. This is also the feeling of my Allergist. Better Safe than Sorry./p

Posted on: Mon, 07/26/1999 - 12:53am
SteveW's picture
Joined: 04/08/1999 - 09:00

pThe RAST test does not predict severity of reaction. All things being equal, a level 5 has a higher probability of a severe reaction than a Level 3. A couple prime factors regarding severity are route of exposure (e.g. touch or ingestion), the amount of exposure, complicating medical conditions(e.g. asthma). /p
pAs far as cross contamination, every PA individual/parent needs to determine their risk tolerance. Some people on this board will say if the probability of cross contamination is 1 in 50,000 it's too high. Others will say 1 in 1,000 is O.K. Some will say if the product is not made in a nut free plant, forget it. Others will say as long as it's not made on the same manufacturing line. Some will worry that the produce clerk at the grocery store did not wash all the peanut butter off his hands before touching the brocolli. Others use the law of averages to reduce their worries. There are clearly some high risk foods which have high risk of cross contamination. Among them are Chinese restuarants, candy, bakeries and baked goods./p
pDr. Wood, Johns Hopkins Pediatric Allergist, said it's when, not if, you will have a reaction. Peanut is extremely difficult to avoid. I would suggest that you reduce risk to a personally acceptable level, wherever that would fall in the continuum. But, make sure you have specific emergency action plans in place./p
p[This message has been edited by SteveW (edited July 26, 1999).]/p


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