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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:05 am
Posts: 650
Location: AB, Canada
I am having trouble understanding some labelling terms (you'd think after years of research, calls, reading labels etc.. I would 'get it' by now!).

For reference, I was reading this page..

http://www.snackworks.ca/Products/MadeI ... eFacility/

The term 'Peanut Free' is quite clear, and indicates rigorous testing and controls.

But without this assurance, wouldn't everything else be considered 'may contain'? And yet many items are not labelled as such.

:scratchy

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DSs 7,7,9 all PA


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:08 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:26 pm
Posts: 414
Labelling as 'peanut free' is optional, and many companies who would fit those standards don't or choose not to use the statement/logo.

I call individual companies to find out if their product is made in a facility free from nuts and peanuts. Many of them tell me their facility does not process any nuts or peanuts but they don't use the label because they don't have their staff sign waivers that they cannot bring those items into the lunch room. The staff have to wash their hands and wear gloves before returning to work, so the chances of contamination are extremely low (pretty much nil) for those companies in my view.

Or, like Namaste doesn't claim to be egg-free because they use eggs in their test kitchen, which is a segregated room within their facility, but the eggs or the people handling the eggs never go onto the manufacturing floor. We consider the risk so low they might as well be egg-free even though they don't use that statement on their packaging.

I guess it all comes down to what information you can get from the manufacturer and your comfort zones. We rely on phone calls over labels, always. For us, 'allergen-free' (aka safe) means no 'allergen' used in the production or packaging facilities. We can deal with staff eating allergens in the lunch room because food manufacturers have to ensure their staff wash and wear gloves. That's good enough for us. However, shared facility is almost always no (unless they have a dividing wall or other distinct segregation), and shared lines will never be considered safe. Again, those are guidelines we follow based on reaction history to traces of traces. Everyone will be different, based on their own experience.

For those companies who cite good manufacturing processes and cleaning of lines between batches, refusing to divulge further into the specific questions about allergens in shared facilities/lines, we cross them off our list. If they don't understand that we need to know this amount of detail because cleaning hasn't been safe in the past, we aren't going to risk it.

So there is so much beyond the cautionary labels, which is why I don't particularly like them. Not all 'peanut-free' items follow the same strict guidelines either, so be sure to do you homework before buying them too.

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anaphylaxis to tree nuts and peanuts; asthmatic, dairy intolerant, vegan
other family members allergic to to dairy, egg, peanut, peach, banana, sesame, environmentals


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:54 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:05 am
Posts: 650
Location: AB, Canada
I always err on the side of caution, and after a lengthy phone conversation with a Mr Christie's rep this morning I feel better about the product in question, and their labelling practices regarding may contains.

BUT, it AMAZES me how quick people are to deem something 'safe' after a quick scan of the label, even from those that are from small local bakeries etc..It's shocking and frightening, and really worries me with regards to my kids safety as they grow up (easy now with high parent involvment and 'only food from home' rules).

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DSs 7,7,9 all PA


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2948
Location: Toronto
Well put, SpaceCanada!

Becky, glad the item was safe, but agree with your sense that some allergy parents/people just don't ask enough questions.

We'll keep encouraging this in Allergic Living mag; we're probably due for another reminder.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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