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 Post subject: Duncan Hines
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 12:41 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
I found some info on the Internet that states that Duncan Hines' cake and brownie mixes are no longer dairy and nut-free (as of December 2005). Their recipes have changed and now contain milk and are made on a line with nuts.

I could only find US-based info, but it's not directly from Duncan Hines so I am not sure the sources are reliable. Plus I don't know if the products in Canada are also affected. I checked http://www.duncanhines.com and they only have an address in the US (no phone number, no email).

Does anyone have any Canadian-based information on this issue?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:53 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
I didn't find any Canadian based info but I did find the following website: http://www.pinnaclefoodscorp.com/webportals/ (Pinnacle Foods owns Duncan Hines). If you go to the drop down "About Us" and click on "Contact Us", it allows you to submit a Questions and Comments form. Maybe you can find out more info this way?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 7:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
I checked out one of the cake mixes at the grocery store (the white one). It said "contains milk"... and 2 other ingredients but no nut/peanut warning.

I wrote down the phone number on the box.

1-888-815-6480.

I'll try giving them a call to inquire about peanuts/nuts... Things are a bit hectic as I am heading back to the UK but at least I'll know where to find the number when I need it. :D

If anyone else calls them before I do, please post here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Well, I tried calling the number I posted and it is the number of Pinnacle Foods. I was put on hold for a long time so I gave up and hung up. I decided to use the website address that ethansmom posted (thanks) and contact Pinnacle Foods that way. I got an automatic reply in my email stating that they will reply in 2 business days. I'll keep you posted.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Aaargh!! Well, that was an exercise in futility! If I read between the lines, I guess they are saying that they don't want to take any responsibility for informing about possible cross-contamination or even their production process!

Here is my email to them:

I am writing to inquire about the possibility of cross-contamination with nuts and peanuts. I am referring to your cake mixes and frostings, specifically Classic White cake mix and Classic Vanilla, French Vanilla and Buttercream frostings. However, I would also like to know if there are any other of your cake mixes and frostings with the possibility of cross-contamination with these allergens. I look forward to your reply.

Their reply:

We're glad to hear from you and appreciate your interest in Duncan Hines®.

We regret to inform you that we are unable to supply you with the
information you requested. Since product ingredients change frequently,
we are unable to maintain current lists of products which do not contain
certain ingredients.


Hello??? This is the reply I sent. Let's see if they answer.

Thank you for the reply. However, I don't think my question has been answered. Surely you can tell me what production lines are used for your specific cake mixes and if there is a possibility of cross-contamination with nuts and peanuts. So are the production lines for the cake mixes and frostings I listed peanut and nut-free (i.e. dedicated lines?) Or are other peanut/nut products manufactured on these same lines?

I look forward to hearing from you.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 7:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
What a pathetic response! I can't say that I have ever come across a company (yet, anyway :roll: ) that hasn't at least attempted to provide the information requested. That response is such a brush off -- I thought that the new US labelling law required companies to provide this information? Anyone know?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 7:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6468
Location: Ottawa
How can they get this past the food inspection agencies? If they can't track their ingredients, who can?
Really pathetic!
Can Anaphylaxic Canada and the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxic Network put any pressure on this company to become more responsible?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Thanks for the support! Maybe we should bombard Pinnacle Foods with the same question! :D Duncan Hines ( http://www.duncanhines.com ) had a feature on their website where you could submit questions electronically. Apparently, they got so many requests about their ingredients, they removed the feature and now people have no choice but to write them at their head office in Pennsylvania. I believe this was in response to their adding milk to their cake mixes. Their mixes didn't contain milk and it was pareve... but no longer.

Duncan Hines lists their ingredients and has the allergens written in bold (but only the allergens that the product actually contains... for example milk, wheat...). But they don't list the MAY CONTAIN. They do have products made with nuts... but they can't tell me if these products are made on the same lines. So that indicates that they do...

My feeling is that this company will skirt around the issue and post a "may contain nuts and peanuts" just to avoid any problems. Then we'll never know for sure and they'll leave out the buying public with allergies. It seems that's what they are doing anyway. Less choices for us...

I don't like their attitude and I won't be buying any of their products. :x

I emailed Betty Crocker with the same question. Let's see what their answer is. I'll keep you posted.


Last edited by Storm on Thu Feb 02, 2006 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 926
Location: Oakville, Ontario
What an irresponsible response! I find that hard to believe that they cannot answer this question.

Following your post last week about Duncan Hines, I was prompted to call Betty Crocker about the cake mix I've been buying. It does indicated that it may contain milk, so I'm sorry this mix won't work for the milk-allergic, but their labelling is right on! All of the "may contains" are listed, and the customer service rep I spoke to said this is a Betty Crocker policy to include "may contain" allergens on the label.

For those that are not milk-allergic, the Betty Crocker mixes (at least the one I've got in my house right now) are okay for the peanut or egg allergic. If I make one of these mixes, I just use the Kingsmill egg replacer, and the cake is delicious!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:27 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Storm, I have a few good recipes. You seem to be looking for cake and brownie solutions and finding a safe mix is really hard, I have never found one. Hope this helps.


Chocolate Layer Cake

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup dairy free 100% cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups water
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp distilled white vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using 100% vegetable shortening grease and flour 2 9-inch cake pans.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. beat with a wire wisk just until batter is smooth and ingredients are well blended.

Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake for 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pans 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.
Frost

For cupcakes-makes 24...bake for 20 minutes
9x13 sheet cake 35 minutes
Most shaped pans (like a bear shape, or blues clues pan etc. ) 35 minutes

I use this recipe all the time, infact I do not have a white cake recipe to share because we all love this one so much that we never make anything else.

I usually use decorator icing, with a decorator bag and fancy tips. I make the "professional looking" kids cakes with, for example a blues clues cake pan, with blue drawn on it in icing dropped in star shapes.

1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup milk free marg (must be a thick one, I recommend earthbalance)
2 tsp clear vanilla extract (made by wilton)
8ups icing sugar
4 tbsp soy milk

Cream shortening and marg with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Makes 6 cups. This can then be colored with wilton gel colors that do not thin your icing...consistency is critical for decorating.

Or...
Frosting ( if you don't want to use decorator icing )
1/3 cup your choice of one of the following maple syrup, corn syrup ( add vanilla extract to taste ), strawberry nestles quik, or chocolate quik depending on desired flavor
1/4 cup dairy free marg
2 cups icing sugar

Best Brownies

1/2 cup milk free marg, melted
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 egg replacements ( I use 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tbsp water, 1 tbsp oil = 1 egg )
1 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

MIx together marg, sugar, and vanilla. add egg replacements. Add dry ingredients. Stir together, pou into greased 8 or 9 inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 - 25 minutes. Allow too cool completely before frosting.

Brownie Frosting
3 tbsp marg
3 tbsp cocoa
1 tbsp light corn syrup or honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp soy milk
1 cup icing sugar

Blend together until creamy and smooth. Frost brownies. Cut into squares.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
Storm wrote:
I don't like their attitude and I won't be buying any of their products.

That's my attitude with companies like this. Loblaws Organics makes 3 different instant cake mixes (vanilla, chocolate, and marble). I believe they are peanut/nut free - not sure about other allergens. Everytime I call Loblaws/No Name about cross-contaminants, they are always direct and clear with their info. - you might want to give them a try?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 12:18 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Julie, thanks for the info on Betty Crocker. I usually buy their cake mixes and frostings to make cake. I then cut it into squares and freeze the pieces individually. When my son has a birthday party to go to, I just thaw out a piece. I'm glad to hear that they are still label-conscious.

Ethansmom, thanks for the info on Loblaws Organics. I shop at Loblaws all the time and never thought to look at their cake mixes.

Saskmommyof2, thanks for the recipes. My son doesn't like anything with chocolate but those recipes sound delicious! I'm terrible at baking though. I tried to make a homemade cake a few years ago and it was as heavy as lead! I'm really bad in the kitchen! :D

We're having his birthday party this weekend. I already placed my order at The Cupcake Shoppe. :D I'll post photos in the Nut Free Bakery thread next week.

Down with Duncan Hines!!! :twisted:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 5:23 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Here's the latest reply from Duncan Hines:

Thank you for taking the time to email us. The lines our Duncan Hines®
Mixes and Frostings are run on, are cleaned very well in between. If any
mix contains peanuts or tree nuts, either the whole day is dedicated to
those products or they are run at the end of day. For issues as sensitive
as an allergic reaction, the best suggestion would be not to consume the
product in case of a chance of cross contamination. Contact us again if
we can be of assistance in the future.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 10:13 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 1:17 pm
Posts: 50
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
Yesterday, I re-read this thread and got so angry I emailed Pinnacle Foods about their responses. I told them I would cease buying all their products. Their answer was to inform me they changed their packaging effective January 2006 and to contact them again if they can be of any further assistance! I guess they don't need our business.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 11:16 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
I agree, yakkie! Duncan Hines are so vague and dismissive in their responses... it's very frustrating.


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