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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:45 pm
Posts: 799
Location: Vancouver, BC
I recently found out about an all natural marshmallow made in a local bakery and was told by the owner that they make them in a separate facility from their regular baked goods (where there are nuts/peanuts) and the marshmallow factory has no nuts or peanuts. I was pretty excited and went out to get a pack of the vanilla flavoured ones. Imagine my surprise when I also found a pistachio flavoured marshmallow! Needless to say, I went home empty-handed and emailed the owner back right away asking her to clarify her 'no nut' statement. She said pistachio was a new flavour (I had only emailed her the first time about a week prior to the 2nd email) but there was no chance of cross contamination because the mixing bowls/whisks, etc are washed in very very hot water as marshmallows are very sticky.

Well hmmmmmm, I'm not comfortable for a couple of reasons - first when someone says there is 'no chance' of cross contamination then they clearly don't understand the risks of human error. Second, she didn't mention soap, which is a necessary componant in getting the allergens off surfaces. So, I'm writing her back to hopefully educate her in a nice way about cross contamination, but wanted to clarify something first. . . . On the pistachio marshmallow ingredient list, it didn't list any pistachios! It only listed 'Natural Flavour', so my question is whether companies are allowed to use nuts or peanuts, etc and call it 'natural flavour'? I read this http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fss ... e.shtml#a3 and can't quite tell one way or another.

The other thing that concerned me recently was that I saw a package of Dare 'Almond' Simple Pleasures cookies http://www.darefoods.com/flavour.aspx?id=9&fid=30 which surprised me because of their nut-free, peanut-free facility. Reading the ingredients, it says 'pure almond extract', then also goes on to say nut-free, peanut-free. I just did a google on it and it says it's made of 'bitter almond oil' and ethyl alcohol. Is there any concern over there being 'bitter almond oil' in a nut-free facility?

Thanks.

_________________
DD 2004 Allergy to peanuts, egg, sesame, and new: lentils and chick peas
DS 2006 Allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, kiwi fruit, eczema


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 10:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:05 am
Posts: 641
Location: AB, Canada
I can't find the link, but I read somewhere that almond extract is commercially prepared using peach (& apricot?) pits, and not from almonds at all. If I find the info again I'll post it. We use to buy the Dare Almond cookies, but haven't since the PA diagnosis. I believe it's safe (same as honey nut cheerios), but I just can't bring myself to buy it. We do buy the other Dare simple pleasures cookies though.

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DSs 7,7,9 all PA


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 10:36 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
Becky double check your honey nut cherrios box. The last box I read warned for trace of nuts.

I hope you are able to get clarification on the nut flavorings being used Alison's Mom. I agree it sounds confusing. If they are a business are they allowed to hand wash dishes? I have always been under the impression businesses must use industrial (even if the small size) dishwashers. If they are in fact sand washing bowls etc. that would greatly concern me also.
As far as home baking I believe that most (cheap grocery store style) extracts don't actually have true nuts in them. I also buy starbucks toffee nut latte syrup and it isn't made with any real nuts.

Don't you wonder what people did before email. I really don't know how I'd manage without being able to constantly email and re-email companies.

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:22 pm
Posts: 79
Location: Houston, TX
Wow! I had never heard that Honey Nut Cheerios was safe for tna, so I checked and the ingredients online say, "Contains almonds and wheat ingredients" It lists "Natural Almond Flavor" and on another site it boasts of "Real almond ingredients" This is the US site though..maybe they have different ingredients in Ca?

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Daughter, 10 - NKA

Daughter, 3 - peanut, tree nuts, crustacean, dust mites, cottonseed oil, sunflower oil, mangoes, mustard, and very mild outdoor allergies, eczema, asthma

Son, 2 - asthma, mild eczema, peanut, mild soy, mild egg


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:24 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6456
Location: Ottawa
I would think that peach pits are used to make artificial almond extract but if it said almond extract, it would be the real deal.

Some companies (Kellogg) will not label vegetable oils and then when you call, they'll claim that they don't need to identify the oil as soybean in the allergy ingredients allong with the others they do list, because it is refined...I wish they'd allow us to draw our own conclusions about what is safe and what isn't. :evil:

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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: Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:48 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
Just a warning: I was just at the grocery store, Honey Nut Cheerios do warn in the ingredients that it contains almonds and wheat ingredients.

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:52 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:05 am
Posts: 641
Location: AB, Canada
Pretty confusing: (from BonApetit) ""Pure" extract is made with bitter almonds, whereas "natural" extract contains cassia bark essence. "Imitation" extract contains synthetic chemicals that mimic the almond flavor."

Generally 'natural' means non synthetic, but could be from other natural sources. Just another labelling inconsistency!

As for the Dare cookies, I think I did contact them and the test their extract for the presence of proteins. The woman I spoke to couldn't tell me how the extract was made. I don't buy them, just in case.

_________________
DSs 7,7,9 all PA


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:45 pm
Posts: 799
Location: Vancouver, BC
Thanks everyone. Yeah, it's confusing with the pure vs natural vs imitation almond extract. I assume that Dare has knowledge on this issue that their product is safe.

However, what I didn't mention was that the small bakery re the marshmallows had said they were using 'pistachio paste' and not extract. The recipes I've found online definitely contain pistachios. My major concern with the company is that 1-they are saying there is no chance of cross contamination and 2-their ingredients don't state there is pistachio in the product, and I'm wondering if they are allowed to do this under Cdn labelling laws. I'm drafting an email to say to them and I'm wondering if I should recommend they say pistachio in the ingredients, or say that they are actually violating the labelling laws. Thanks.

_________________
DD 2004 Allergy to peanuts, egg, sesame, and new: lentils and chick peas
DS 2006 Allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, kiwi fruit, eczema


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