Much Ado About Oreos

On June 9, a limited edition Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oreo is scheduled to hit the shelves of a store near you. Many of you contacted us with concerns about how (and where) these cookies are made, especially as they relate to the varieties of Oreos that are listed in the Safe Snack Guide.

As Mondelēz is not (yet) a member of our Manufacturer Partnership Program, we went through their traditional consumer channel and were greeted with the standard “Check the label – we label for possible peanut/tree nut cross contamination.” Once we explained that SnackSafely.com represents tens of thousands of consumers with food allergies, our request for more information was escalated through internal channels.

We received a call back from Laurie Guzzinati, Regional Director, Corporate & Government Affairs, North America for Mondelēz International. Here are the major points of our discussion:

  • The Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oreo is a limited edition with a limited run. They are manufactured at a single plant in Canada;
  • The plain varieties of Oreos are made in a number of facilities throughout North America. While these facilities are not guaranteed to be peanut and tree nut free, the lines are dedicated, do not process peanuts or tree nuts, and special care is taken to limit opportunities for cross-contamination;
  • Mondelez recognizes the importance of Oreos to the allergic community and I was assured they would not jeopardize that trust.

As a result of our discussion, we are maintaining the Oreo varieties listed in the Safe Snack Guide but urge you not to consume the Reese’s variety if you are concerned with peanuts or tree nuts.

Ms Guzzinati reiterated that Mondelēz in general and Nabisco/Oreo in particular will label for potential cross-contamination with “Top-8” allergens on each package. We urge you to always check the package label before consuming a food product if you have a food allergy.

Remember: the label alone CAN’T tell you the product is safe for your allergy, though it CAN warn you that it is unsafe.

Understand Limitations

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7 COMMENTS

  1. I have spoken with Mondelez customer service on several occasions and each time I have been told that they label (outside of required ingredient labeling) only when “cross-contact is unavoidable”, meaning they will label for potential cross-contamination only when they feel their allergen precautions (cleaning and sanitization of the shared lines) has failed. They will not label if something is made in a shared facility or on a shared line with products containing allergens, as they believe their allergen precautions are sufficient to say that there is no cross-contamination potential. I have also been told repeatedly that all lines are convertible and that there are no dedicated lines. I was also told that they could not say whether any given product, even with UPC and warehouse code provided, is produced on a shared line or in a shared facility with nuts, as they simply did not have that information. When you spoke to them, were you able to discuss with them the distinction between labeling for shared lines/facilities and labeling only when cross-contact is deemed unavoidable? Thank you for contacting them. I have been given little reason to feel confident in their product safety based on my conversations with them, and inasmuch have been avoiding Mondelez products. But if they can provide a little more transparency, I would love to open up safe options for my family.

  2. I also spoke with Oreo company today due to a concern I have and I’m sorry to say that I am now doubting their ability to provide allergen free products for my family. Very sad to hear this as Oreos are my daughters favorite snack which she always shared at school on special celebrations. I wish there would be production lines free of allergens…especially, nuts!!!!

  3. Thank you for the information you endlessly provide. I am so glad I found your website by chance last year. You are providing an invaluable service!

    Just this week, my son (PA/TN) picked up a box of Drake Ring Dings which only listed wheat, soy, milk & eggs on their allergy disclosure. To ensure his safety, I called their customer service department and was told Ring Dings were in fact peanut and tree nut free AS WELL AS made in a PA/TN Free facility at this time, which made me quite happy, of course, but I was told that this could change at anytime, which did not make me happy at all. However, I did make mention of your website and urged the representative to forward your website name to the appropriate parties. She particularly became interested after I mentioned that UTZ had recently signed on. Hopefully more companies will become allergy conscious, and start disclosing more pertinent information for all allergic parties. Thanks again!!!

  4. Does anyone know of oreos tryly contain “zero” milk? Im alittle confused on how they have cocoa and chocolate on there twice.

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