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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:37 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Nova Scotia
From what I gather, No-Name products are similar to other "store-brand" products (eg President's Choice, Our Compliments, etc), when it comes to their labelling. Although some of their products have the "may contain" warning, the labelling is inconsistent and one should call the company with the barcode for each product, to confirm if there are any allergens present on the line or within the manufacturing facility.

My son's daycare feeds 30-40 kids every day. They use a lot of No-Name products. A ton actually. For the past year I didn't give it much thought, partly because I was ignorant of labelling regulations. Now I have researched a little more, and I realize I cannot accept the fact that my son is eating food with inconsistent labelling practices.

In my house we are very consistent with label-reading, we read 3x every time. If I'm not sure about a product, I will call the company. I am trying to ensure consistency at daycare too. (Although with label-reading, I have requested they read a minimum of 2 x every time, instead of 3, just due to the volume of groceries they buy. I can live with this.)
Can anyone suggest a good way to handle this? If I am trying to maintain consistency between home and daycare, the only way that's possible is to call No-Name each week with a list of barcodes once the daycare does their shopping. This seems very time-consuming, but I'm not sure of any other way.
Question #2. Does anyone have examples of calling a company that did NOT have a "may-contain" warning, and were told the product actually may-contain?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 1:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
What about providing the daycare with food daily for your son? It seems somewhat risky to rely on others' ability to read labels for allergens -- maybe I'm way too paranoid or a "control-freak" but I don't think I would be comfortable with that sort of set up. I think the best way to know that your son isn't going to ingest his allergen(s) is to make sure that he only eats what you send in to daycare daily (as you would do when he was in the school system). The other concern is food-prep, how do you know that the daycare providers haven't just eaten your son's allergens at breakfast prior to cutting up apples for morning snack (for example).

But if that's not an option for you, you could find out what products they buy -- I would think that a daycare would probably stick to main staples weekly, for example -- if they buy apple juice, cookies, raisins, applesauce, etc. - get the information for those products and call to verify that they are safe. Provide them with a list of "checked out" products (including barcode) and advise them that if they buy something that isn't a staple or on your list, to not feed it to your son until you've had time to call the company. The problem with this though, is that companies can change formulations/ingredients without notice - so what's safe today, might not be safe tomorrow...

I have called a couple of companies in the past - asking about cross-contaminants - and they weren't able to give me an answer one way or the other because they were just the distributors of the food and their requests from their manufacturers for the information went unanswered. So nothing definitive - but I didn't feed my son the product without knowing...

Check out a previous discussion about "may contains" here: http://www.allergicliving.com/forum/vie ... 34&start=0


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 6:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6456
Location: Ottawa
Our daughter goes to a home based day care so there are only 4-5 ther children there. We supply a daily lunch and soy milk, lunch, cookies and crackers as the previous supply runs low.
We are happy if they share these with the other children but we ask that the only foods they supply be plain fruit and vegetables, and that these be prepared with clean utensils and cutting boards.
The new day care provider has offered to purchase foods if we give a list but that is too hard as ingredients can change and even with reading labels 3x (purchase, put away and prepare) we have been known to miss something.
It is too much responsibiity. At a large day care center who knows who is reading the ingredients? It could change day to day.

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Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 7:58 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Quote:
Does anyone have examples of calling a company that did NOT have a "may-contain" warning, and were told the product actually may-contain?


Around Christmas 2004 I phone PC/No Name to verify some President's Choice jelly candies that appeared to be safe for us (free of peanut, nut, egg, dairy). There were no warnings on the packaging. I was told that they were run on a line with other products containing peanuts and nuts. For me, that should have warranted a "may contain" warning. I did not give this product to my kids, and it was a good lesson for me to always call.

Interestingly enough, the same candies had a "may contain peanuts or nuts" warning Christmas 2005 (a year later).

I also called about No Name whole wheat flour in 2004 because my barley-allergic son reacted to muffins I made, and was told that if he was allergic to barley he should NOT consume that flour - basically indicating that it either did contain barley or could contain barley.

I've also noticed that PC products now have the 1-800 number displayed on them. This was not the case a year ago.

So things are improving, but for No Name/PC products, I would always call. I really don't have any advice on how to deal with that dilemma about the checking. Wouldn't it be nice if companies had a service that alerted you when their product ingredients change?? That would be HEAVENLY.

I personally would not be comfortable with having someone else feed my child if I hadn't completely checked things out ahead of time, and I agree that this would likely mean checking PC/No Name products on a constant basis because of how that whole system works. (They both come from Sunfresh, by the way - it's the same packaging/distribution company as far as I know.)

We have always supplied my kids' food (they are 5 and 7) to daycare and school. For us it has seemed the best solution. (I won't say "easy" because it's a royal pain to have to make lunches day in and day out.)

Some companies (like Kellogg's, Dare, Quaker, Mr. Christie/Kraft) will tell you that their policy is to not put warnings if they don't feel such warnings are warranted - so basically if it's not on the label in some form, it's not in the product. I like that - knowing that that is their policy. Is there any way for the daycare to switch to products by these companies? (Maybe not from a cost-effective point of view.... :( )

All the calling is such a pain, but as my experiences have shown above, it's definitely necessary for some companies, in particular PC/No Name.

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:37 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Nova Scotia
An update. I am calling No-Name frequently. Isn't as bad as I thought, the daycare uses a four-week menu so basically once I call for one rotation, things don't change that much. I am keeping a list of approved and non-approved product names and barcodes in the kitchen (daycare's idea). I have supplied alternatives for the non-approved items, and just to have on hand as a backup; they know if they aren't sure about a product, they will call me or don't serve it.
I have to say, I have the best daycare. Of course I still can't let my guard down, but they are fantastic otherwise I wouldn't go this route and I would be supplying all his food.
Due to my experience dealing with No-Name, I have started a thread specific to their products: http://www.allergicliving.com/forum/vie ... php?t=1523

_________________
6-yr old son: anaphylactic to peanuts; asthma
1-yr old daughter: No known allergies


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