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Should "may contain" be allowed in schools?
Poll ended at Tue May 23, 2006 4:56 pm
Yes 67%  67%  [ 10 ]
No 27%  27%  [ 4 ]
Unsure 7%  7%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 15
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:58 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
Storm -- I think we agree more than we disagree. :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Mylène wrote:
We all know that the "may contain" is sometimes put there by companies "just for fun" (personal opinion), so why impose it on people that don't need it.


I just want to clarify - food manufacturers are not allowed to put this on "just for fun". It's true that putting on a warning is voluntary, but I was told by my contact at the CFIA that if it is on the package, the manufacturer has to be able to prove why it's there (i.e. show where the risk of cross-contamination is in the facility). Also, if it is suspected that the manufacturer is putting this warning on for no particular reason, you should contact the CFIA who will go and investigate.

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: Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
In spite of the fact that I don't have children and have no experience dealing with the school system, I'll put my two cents in. (I hope people don't mind me taking part in parenting discussions---in real life, I stay away from giving people advice on how to raise their kids.) My vote was for "undecided"--but, really, I'm not undecided. I just think that what makes sense for one family might not make sense for another---reactions and peoples' tolerance levels vary so much.

If we're just dealing with the one allergy in the classroom, I do think that asking people not to bring peanut products is the safest way to go if the child has had ana reactions and/or contact and/or inhalation reactions. But it is a grey area so I can understand if people would rather just stick with supervised handwashing sessions, etc.

With a fish allergy, yes, I think that kids could be asked to leave the tuna at home as well. It is more tricky with allergies to milk and wheat, however. In the case of milk allergy, I think that Susan's approach--to target those milk products which are most likely to get everywhere--makes the most sense.

Yes, everything that comes from someone else's kitchen 'may contain nuts' so there is still need for vigilance. I personally would feel more comfortable with people eating some 'may contains' in the classroom than others---I'd be less worried about jellybeans that 'may contain' nuts for instance than I would be with tree nuts which are very likely to be cross contaminated. But we can't really tell which 'may contains' pose a high risk and which ones don't---and in any case distinguishing between them could get too tricky and would confuse other parents. For some PA children, sitting at a table with traces of nuts from may contain products could be just as problematic as sitting at a table with traces of peanut butter.

Something I've been thinking about: I'm not sure that it is necessary for people with allergic children need to present a united front on this issue. I think we also need to get the message out there that allergies are unpredictable and that people react differently so what might be okay with one allergic family might not be with another.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2006 1:30 pm
Posts: 134
A very interesting topic. I feel that is not in my child's best interests to be in a school that is nut free. He is ana to many other foods, dairy, egg, nuts, fish, and other legumes. The message I must give to him is to be aware of all the foods around him. I have another son that is just PA, and although a nut free school may meet his needs I feel that public awarenss is better served through education for my kids and those they are in contact with. How can we identify only one allergen as requiring necessity for a ban. I do not possibly expect schools to eliminate all of my sons allergens even though they are all ana.. The general public is only so understanding about their willingness to accomodate people with allergens and we need to get them onside rather than alienate them with restricitve policies.
Great relevant topic!
Stephanie


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 Post subject: poll
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2006 1:30 pm
Posts: 134
A very interesting topic. I feel that is not in my child's best interests to be in a school that is nut free. He is ana to many other foods, dairy, egg, nuts, fish, and other legumes. The message I must give to him is to be aware of all the foods around him. I have another son that is just PA, and although a nut free school may meet his needs I feel that public awarenss is better served through education for my kids and those they are in contact with. How can we identify only one allergen as requiring necessity for a ban. I do not possibly expect schools to eliminate all of my sons allergens even though they are all ana.. The general public is only so understanding about their willingness to accomodate people with allergens and we need to get them onside rather than alienate them with restricitve policies.
Great relevant topic!
Stephanie


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
ethansmom wrote:
Storm What's the point in not allowing foods that have a "may contain" declaration and unknowingly allowing others that have trace amounts that just haven't been declared?


Here's my fear about this. If a company sees that Company A loses sales of school time snacks because of a *may contain* label - what is their incentive to start labeling for it? They can make more money by NOT labelling.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:16 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 3:03 pm
Posts: 105
Location: Coquitlam
I'm posting this on behalf of a friend.
Sil


one e-mail i found interesting was the one about the type of labeling as I was excited the other day at seeing Easter Chocolate with a big NO/Peanut sign on it and it was a fundraiser.. but right underneath the plain chocolate was a hazelnut bar and I said I am sorry I am allergic to nuts I can't buy this she said see it says no nuts!! to which I said no peanuts,,, but you are selling tree nuts underneath.. I am allergic to those nuts... still she didn't understand as she was Asian and had limited English.. my fear is that now we have these Companies putting the peanut free labeling and are trying to cash in on this as promoting it as a safe food.. when in actual fact it isn't .. most peanut allergies are told to avoid the other nuts as well.. and I am told to avoid canned peanuts etc because they are mixed with the treenuts....I do believe that people are not taking the may contain very seriously as they say they are covering themselves legally. and some of these people are people who have kids with nut allergies. vicious circle..my opinion...A


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
If I understood this correctly, there were 2 types of chocolate bars from the same company. One was plain chocolate and said "no peanuts". One was a hazelnut bar. I agree that the hazelnut bar should not be eaten if someone is allergic to peanuts. But what about the "peanut-free" one? Was it possible to tell from the labelling that it was also nut-free? Or did it have a "may contain nuts" warning? It is possible that the particular "peanut free" chocolate was manufactured in a separate plant that has no nuts. Of course, the only way to be sure is to look up the company and contact them... but I agree that it was not a good idea to purchase the plain chocolate. Unless that company has clearer labelling, there will be a lot of allergic people not buying their chocolate... hence the fundraisers will have a more difficult time. And if the plain chocolate does contain nuts and the label does not state this anywhere, then the company is irresponsible with their labelling and putting people at risk.

I wrote about this issue in another thread. Some of these "nut free" and "peanut free" labels and logos are confusing. I think it's important for people to understand that nuts and peanuts are two different things.

http://www.allergicliving.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=653

Just wondering... is cross-contamination possible if a "peanut/nut free" chocolate bar in its wrapper is placed on top or underneath a wrapped chocolate bar that contains nuts and peanuts?


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