What do you consider safe?

Posted on: Sat, 02/27/1999 - 2:01pm
Chris PeanutAllergy Com's picture
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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,

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[email]"Chris@PeanutAllergy.Com"[/email]

Posted on: Mon, 03/01/1999 - 10:23am
Nicole's picture
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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.
Nicole

Posted on: Tue, 03/02/1999 - 12:08am
Patti's picture
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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.
Patti

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
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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
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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.
Christine

Posted on: Tue, 03/02/1999 - 11:01am
dhumphries's picture
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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
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Joined: 01/22/1999 - 09:00

dh-
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
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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
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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?
Erica

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

THIS IS ALL VERY INTERESTING. WE HAVE BEEN DEALING WITH THE ALLERGY FOR 4 YEARS NOW. I HAVE HAD NO PROLBEMS WITH BOXED FOOD FROM THE MANUFACTURES. THE THING IS I HAVE BEEN TRUSTING THE LABLES AND OF COURSE I STAY AWAY FROM ANY PEANUT PRODUCT ON THE LABLE. IF THERE IS NO INGREDINCE LIST WE DON'T HAVE IT IN OUR HOUSE.
I THINK YOU ALL MAKE A GOOD POINT BUT, I GUESS I'M BACK TO THE TRUST ISSUE. SO FAR GOD HAS TAKEN GOOD CARE OF MY SON. I'M SURE AS CAREFUL AS I AM IN 3.5 YEARS OF NO REACTION THERE MUST HAVE BEEN SOME SORT OF CROSS CONTAMINATION IN THE FOODS HE HAS EATEN. I KNOW I CAN ONLY DO MY BEST FOR HIM AND I TRUST GOD FOR THE REST.
LORI
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