Take 2 along everywhere... every timeBy now you’ve probably read the Allergic Living article about two families that have filed lawsuits after losing their sons to anaphylaxis. The details are horrific, as they always are when a child is taken by allergic reactions.

In one case, a boy of 16 from Minnesota died from an anaphylactic reaction when it turned out the pancake he was eating at a restaurant was contaminated with milk. The family did not have his auto-injectors on-hand and had to rush him home, but by then it was too late.

In the other, an 11 year old Alabama boy died from a severe reaction to a supermarket cookie. Though an employee assured the family that the cookie contained no tree nuts, it did in fact contain walnuts. His mother administered Benadryl once the symptoms presented themselves and at some point afterward administered his auto-injector, but despite being airlifted to the hospital he could not be resuscitated.

These deaths are every parent’s nightmare, especially for those of us who are part of the community of kids with food allergies. But if there is anything to be redeemed from these tragedies, it is what can be learned to prevent them from happening to other children.

With no disrespect or judgement meant for the grieving parents of these boys, and knowing nothing more about the circumstances that lead to their reactions, let’s remind ourselves of what we can do to prevent occurrences similar to these in the future.

Continue reading »

Animals_Natural_Wallpapers_laba.ws

It’s spring time and that means it’s time for the Easter Edition of the Safe Snack Guide!

We’ve added a full page of Easter-themed goodies free of peanuts, tree nuts, and (in many cases) eggs. Some can be purchased at the corner market, others can be ordered on-line.

Once again, apologies to our readers who celebrate Passover. We are still searching for safe products that are nut-free and certified kosher for the holiday. If you know of any such products, please let us know.

Continue reading »

Pretzel!Please note that we have removed two products from the Safe Snack Guide due to a disclosure from the manufacturer.

After a discussion with Lisa Guzzo, Consumer Relations Manager of Just Born Quality Confections, we have decided to delist MIKE AND IKE® and HOT TAMALES® from the Guide.

While these iconic products are manufactured in a facility that does not process peanuts or tree nuts, a small portion of their products are packaged by third-parties that may use equipment that is also used for products containing these allergens. Although the firm’s labeling policy includes voluntarily labeling for potential cross contamination of the “Top 8″ allergens, we have decided to remove their products from the Guide in keeping with our policies. Consumers should address questions or concerns regarding Just Born brands by calling them toll free at 1-888-645-3453 or visiting them online at www.justborn.com.

Continue reading »

robynThere’s a good reason why we refer to Erin Brockovich as “The Robyn O’Brien of Environmental Issues”.

Ms O’Brien – author, TED speaker, founder of AllergyKids Foundation, and leading advocate for clean, safe, affordable food – hits yet another ball out of the park with her editorial on the recent LEAP (Learning Early about Peanut Allergy) Study. In it, she excoriates the media, study’s authors, and quoted physicians for a lack of disclosure regarding the funding and selection of subjects for the study.

Here’s a sample from the article:

That’s like conducting a diabetes study on sugar and throwing out the diabetics before you start. It skews the results to suggest a false positive when if the food had been given to the entire population, without pre-screening, the results would have been entirely different.

Continue reading »

ENJ MixesEnjoy Life Foods, the leader in the Free-From foods category, has announced their first new product line since their Decadent Bars were introduced two years ago.

The new line of ready-to-use mixes and flour require only oil and/or water and a few minutes in the oven to produce delicious results. Consumers will enjoy Pancake/Waffle Mix, Pizza Crust Mix, Brownie Mix, Muffin Mix and All-Purpose Flour varieties.

Continue reading »

Epipen4SchoolsLogoOn February 23rd at this year’s annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) in Houston, a study was presented regarding incidence of anaphylaxis in schools during the 2013-2014 school year, confirming the need for stock epinephrine.

Of 5683 schools that responded to the study survey, a total of 919 anaphylactic events were reported by 11% of the schools. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Continue reading »

The label… although it provides important nutritional data, it’s wholly unreliable as a source of potential allergen information due to lax, ineffectual FALCPA labeling guidelines.

Complete disclosure of the potential for allergen cross-contact is a necessity for the millions of Americans suffering with food allergies and celiac disease. But in light of FALCPA’s shortcomings, assembling that kind of information means ignoring the label, rolling up our sleeves, and working directly with responsible manufacturers who are as concerned for the food allergy community as we are.

That’s why we established the SnackSafely.com Manufacturer PartnershipWe’ve assembled more than 40 manufacturers that provide us with detailed information regarding the processing of 11 allergens and 4 industry recognized certifications, and we provide that information to you in turn via Allergence, a free service.

Here’s an example listing of a peanut butter alternative from Don’t Go Nuts, one of our featured partners:

Allergence-Sample

Continue reading »

LisaRutterIf you don’t know Lisa Rutter, you should. She’s the Director of Education & Community Outreach at FAACT (a wonderful food allergy advocacy) and Founder of the No Nuts Moms Group (a wonderful forum for moms of children with food allergies.) She has two boys – one with severe allergies to peanuts and tree nuts – and another child well on the way.

Yesterday, Lisa was interviewed by Michael Cohen on The Capital City Recap for WILS Radio, Lansing, to discuss the recent LEAP (Learning Early About Peanut Allergystudy that’s been all over the news. It’s a must-hear for every parent, but especially you food allergy moms struggling with internalizing yet another set of conflicting guidelines.

Hear Lisa describe the circumstances all food allergy parents deal with on a daily basis as well as the monumental decision she must make regarding the early introduction of peanuts in light of LEAP.

Continue reading »

RosieMom

By now, you’ve no doubt heard of the five year study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, where peanuts introduced to the diet of at-risk babies 4-11 months old lowered the incidence of developing peanut allergy by age 5 by 80%. The results are incredible and will no doubt change the conversation between allergists, pediatricians and parents for years to come.

More than any other food allergy news item recently, this one has drawn the most emotional feedback from our readers. There are many reasons, not the least of which is that the story is receiving coverage by traditional news outlets everywhere from ABC News to NPR.

That means – as a food allergy mom – you’re probably being inundated with all kinds of advice from people who have absolutely no idea what it means to have a child with food allergies. As parents of a 13 year old daughter with a peanut allergy, we’re hearing plenty of “See… if you had just given her peanuts at a young age she wouldn’t have had this problem.” Our response? Bull$%it!

Continue reading »

Tagged with:
 

bamba

According to a study led by Gideon Lack of King’s College London, babies at higher risk of developing peanut allergies fed the equivalent of four heaping teaspoons of peanut butter each week beginning between 4 to 11 months old were 80% less likely to develop peanut allergies by their fifth birthday.

Lack launched his study after noticing that Israeli children had a much lower incidence of peanut allergy than Jewish children in the UK and US. Israeli parents are known to give their children “Bamba” snacks made of peanut butter and corn at a very young age.

With funding from the US National Institutes of Health, Lack’s team identified 640 babies at risk of developing peanut allergies because they already had developed an egg allergy or eczema. Half the parents were asked to give their children Bamba snacks or peanuts in some other form before their first birthday.

Continue reading »