CA Legislature

Congratulations to the people of California with the signing of SB 1266 into law by Governor Brown!

The bill, sponsored by State Senator Bob Huff, makes the stocking of epinephrine mandatory for school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools as well as the training of personnel to administer the drug in cases of suspected anaphylaxis.

The children of California will be much safer once this law takes effect throughout the state, as epinephrine will be readily available for use in cases of  severe allergic reactions regardless of whether the child has been diagnosed with a food allergy and has been prescribed an auto-injector.

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booty

We received a number of inquiries regarding the relabeling of Pirate’s Booty, a line of salty/savory snacks which used to carry a “Made in a peanut/tree nut free facility” declaration but no longer does.

The Pirate’s line is owned by B&G Foods, which manufactures many other well known brands including Ortega Taco Shells, Cream of Wheat, and Mrs Dash spices.

Thanks to Kate Reamer – a SnackSafely.com reader who was kind enough to research this issue and report back to us – we have a definitive response from B&G:

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FARE Logo

Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) has announced that it is providing over $700,000 to help fund promising research that may lead to a fast, effective treatment for food allergies.

Fred Finkelman, MD, an immunologist at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine/Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have developed a monoclonal antibody that targets and deactivates mast cells, which play a key role in allergic reactions. As FARE describes:

Special receptors on the surface of mast cells allow them to bind to IgE, the “bad” antibody responsible for food allergy. When a person with food allergy eats the wrong food, the IgE-primed mast cells attack the allergen, releasing chemicals that cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction. The monoclonal antibody removes both the IgE and IgE receptors on mast cells, making them harmless.

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schoolbus

As the start of the school year approaches, we receive many inquiries about the Safe Snack Guide from parents, teachers, school nurses and PTA organizations as they search for solutions to help implement nut-free classroom policies.

Here follows a collection of the most frequently asked questions complete with answers.

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Safe Snack Guide Flyer Header

It’s  time for parents, teachers, school nurses, administrators and PTA organizations to begin planning for the upcoming school year. As more and more school districts adopt policies to better manage allergens in the classroom, they need reliable tools to help simplify and streamline the process for parents and teachers alike.

The Safe Snack Guide provides the foundation for any nut-exclusion program. From snacks to peanut butter alternatives, the Guide provides an easy way to steer parents toward safer alternatives.

Click here for a full-page flyer describing the Guide and use it to begin the conversation at your child’s school.

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Pretzel!

We are pleased to announce that Brothers-All-Natural, makers of an extensive line of healthy dried fruit snacks, have joined our Manufacturer Partnership Program and their products have been added to the Safe Snack Guide.

Brothers-All-Natural fruit snacks are made from 100% real fruit with absolutely no additives or preservatives of any kind. With a variety of products that include freeze-dried Fruit Crisps, Fruit Clusters, and Fruit & Oats cereal, there are many healthy snack options for all ages and diets; including fun, Disney packaging for the kids. All of their Fruit Crisps and Fruit Clusters are  gluten-free, peanut/tree nut free, soy free, dairy free, non GMO, vegan, and OU Kosher certified.

Please note that we have also removed all varieties Nabisco Classics snacks from the Guide as the line has been discontinued by the manufacturer.

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Pretzel!Please note that we have removed a number of products from the Safe Snack Guide:

  • Ritz Crackers – all varieties.

We received a report that two sleeves of the Peanut Butter variety of Ritz Crackerfuls were packaged in a box of the Classic Cheddar variety. Though the individual sleeves were clearly labeled as containing the Peanut Butter variety, this could have  led to unthinkable consequences had the error not been discovered by an observant parent before the treat was given to a child.

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baby

A study of 12 one year old babies with food allergies conducted at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Victoria, Australia has found preliminary evidence that children may acquire allergies prior to birth.

The study measured DNA methylation – a mechanism that determines how genes are switched on or off – in the babies’ blood samples. “We found several switches that were different in the children with food allergies that occurred in some important immune genes”, said Dr David Martino from the Institute.

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lr

If you’ve followed our blog for any length of time, you know we’re big fans of two very different organizations dedicated to helping families cope with food allergies: No Nuts Moms Group and FAACT. Now we have even more reason to celebrate as Lisa Rutter – the founder of NNMG – has joined FAACT as Director of Education.

With the success of NNMG, Lisa has fostered one of the largest support groups for families of children with food allergies, with over 50 local chapters serving the US and Canada.

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Pretzel!

Please note that we have removed a number of products from the Safe Snack Guide:

  • Oreos: All varieties other than Original and Double Stuf;

We received information and a photo from a concerned individual showing package labeling for the Minis variety carrying a “may contain peanut” warning. Given the information we received recently from Mondelēz and in keeping with our policy to err on the side of safety, we are removing all Oreo varieties other than the traditional Original and Double Stuf varieties.

We have also removed the following Oreo branded varieties as a precaution:

  • Kraft Handi-Snacks Oreo Cookie Sticks ’n Creme Dip
  • Nabisco 100 Calorie Packs – Oreo Thin Crisps 

We strongly urge you to discard your current copy of the Guide and download the latest revision:

Click here for the Safe Snack Guide

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