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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Calling companies and getting allergy information can be tricky. Do people have personal guidelines that they follow when deciding whether a food is 'safe' or not? Would you have a different set of guidelines for yourself than for your children?

Do you only buy food which is made in a 'dedicated nut (or insert allergen of choice here)-free facility'?

Would you ever buy a food that has been processed on the same line as your
allergen(s) if the company assures you that they clean the equipment well?

I sometimes avoid calling because I know I won't be 100% comfortable with eating foods that *might* have come in contact with nuts/egg/soy and my diet is already restricted...but there is always that element of doubt when trying something new. And I've recently decided that I'd better call to check things out. Today I called the company that makes Erewon's "Rice Twice" cereal. I've never had the cereal before. It *sounds* like they are fairly allergy aware---but the cereal is processed on the same equipment as tree nuts (almonds, walnuts). They do take precautionary measures and even test the cereal three times a year (not a lot I know, but better than never) for nut protein content and have never had a problem. Since I went out and bought the cereal and it sounds fairly safe, I'll try it. But because there is that element of doubt I probably won't buy it again. To answer my own question---I don't follow a coherent allergy avoidance policy when it comes to the possibility of cross contamination although I do not eat may contains. When I do get the information, I'm never sure what to make of it and what I do with that info. is kind of inconsistent as well.

There are some things which I've never even thought of questioning but am wondering about---like the packaging and processing of rice. (I don't know whether I really want to find out about this one though.)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6465
Location: Ottawa
We don't buy "may contains...", we e-mail the companies to inquire about processing on the same line as a known allergen, we check out vague labeing "natural flavouring" and we try to eat as little processed foods as possible. We don't stick to dedicated facilities although given a choice we would prefer it.
I wouldn't think to ask about a single ingredient item such as rice. I would just assume it's ok. I assume potatos and carrots are ok, too. :?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2005 9:35 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:47 am
Posts: 305
Location: Montreal, Canada
It's it contains, may contain, might have come in contact with or is processed on the same equipement, I don't buy. Let's put it this way, if a see the word peanut or nut and it's not followed by free, I don't buy it.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2005 10:00 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
Lisa wrote:
Would you ever buy a food that has been processed on the same line as your
allergen(s) if the company assures you that they clean the equipment well?


That was a definite no for my up until recently. I have since become comfortable with what companies refer to as an allergen wash. At least, if it's a large company I do, I don't think I'd feel comfortable with that if it was a smaller company.

I do not eat *may contain* * processed with* or anything like that.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:42 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
I do not buy may contains. Since currently may contain warnings are not mandatory I will phone the manufacturer to see the reason behind the lack of a may contain warning. Is it because there is no risk of cross contamination...or is it because they are following minimal labeling requirements. I try to stick to large well known companies...but I must admit I buy few processed foods.

I tend to look at a may contain label as "it may kill you". It might not, you might be fine with it once...twice or 50 times, but at some point it will cause a reaction. I do not have allergies personally, but I remember as a child often recieving a "bonus" glosette peanut in my glosette raisins. I thought it was cool as a child...but now that I have allergic kids...I avoid all of these products. And I certainly don't find it "cool".


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2005 1:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 323
I personnaly have never called a manufacturer... I buy little processed foods and make sure that I know all the ingredients... fish is not in the may contain in comparaison with peanuts and nuts... and who's to say that fresh produces are any safer than processed... how was it shipped, who touched it in transit, to put it on the shelves, etc... if you think of all of that you will go mad! Thinking of all of that, I would live on the farm and buy nothing! I am not one to take chances just for fun... but if I think of all of those, I go paranoid and don't eat or go out...

If I had to deal with peanuts, I would not buy may contains and all, but right now, milk is sometimes shown in the may contain (which I don't buy ;)) but fish is not even close to getting listed...

Mylène


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2005 2:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:50 am
Posts: 205
Location: Canada
We make all our meals from scratch. My Hubby buys food that does not say "may contain". We have had the odd mistake but it is just human to error.
Like Myene said who knows what, where etc the food was before we pick it up.
I have to look for additives, peanuts,nuts, fish, shellfish and some other lesser ones.
Kelly


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2005 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Speaking of produce...it drives me crazy that bulk nuts are near the produce...especially now that christmas is right around the corner. Stores that previously did not have loose nuts, have changed their policies due to the christmas demand of "chestnuts roasting on an open fire". Sobeys, who was previously free of loose nuts, had a walnut display, and they were all over the floor. :evil:

Last year, I saw a child stick his hands in the loose chestnuts, and then touch all the peaches in the display. I was really disturbed about the whole thing. Last month I saw a small child, who was walking around the store eating cookies...put an apple in her mouth, and her mother put it back. It freaks me out. I only buy prepackaged produce. Most organics at my store are in bags, or I buy full cases of fruit, baged salads, or cut and washed carrots, brocoli etc. My mother accused me the other day of having "obsessive compulsive disorder" because of my thorough rules regarding produce (and not letting others cook for my children, but that is a whole other story). I just find it quite discusting the things that others do to produce.

I think that one reason that "may contain fish" is not a popular warning, is because fish is probably not packaged with numerous other products. I sure hope that cookies or crackers are not made on the same equiptment as raw fish :lol: . A lot of grocery stores have seperate fish departments, or a seperate room for preparing fish...incase of allergies.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2005 4:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 323
but for salad dressings and sauces, a lot of them have anchovies in there... I'm not worried about backed goods because of milk I mostly don't buy any... it's the rest of the meal that I have to worry about... oh yeah, and that sealed package of fresh salmon that someone left next to the veggies the other day at the store :shock: .... I left my whole cart and just ran away!!!!!!!! :? You talk about bulk nuts... I just worry about what everyone drops here and there because they change their minds :evil:

Too many people I know don't know that mostly ALL Cesear salad dressings have anchovies in them...yes, even KRAFT!!!!


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 Post subject: Food Labelling
PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2005 12:59 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 2:53 pm
Posts: 119
Location: Ontario
I simply would not ever allow anything in my house that may contain my allergin and we are adults living in the same house. No way. Not worth the risk. It makes no sense. Why risk it. Its only food. There are many other choices out there. Pick something without a warning.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2005 1:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Thanks, everyone :) It sounds like I'm being cautious enough. Like most of you, I can't eat that many processed foods so that really cuts down on the risk factor.

The open nut bin thing around the produce used to bother me too. But the places I shop now don't have them. Although....when I went to the St. Lawrence farmer's market around Thanksgiving in search of fresh Ontario cranberries I noticed that the vendors selling cranberries *also* sold walnuts right next to the cranberries. Needless to say, I left the market cranberryless.

I don't think that people without allergies can really realize how vigilant we have to be. Who would have thought that there would be salmon in the produce aisle? But these things can easily happen.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2005 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 323
the scary part is thinking of what was there when we weren't looking...


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