Posts by: Dave

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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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LAIV

Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV) is an intranasal flu vaccine in widespread use. Since the vaccine contains egg protein, it has been contraindicated for use by children with egg allergy, and North American guidelines also recommend against its use in asthmatic children.

In a British study funded by the Department of Health UK and published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI), 433 doses of LAIV were administered to 282 children with egg allergy, 41% of which had experienced prior anaphylaxis to egg and 67% had a physician’s diagnosis of asthma or recurring wheeze with 51% receiving regular preventer therapy.

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Pretzel!

We’re pleased to announce the addition of two new members to our Manufacturer Partnership Program whose products now appear in the Safe Snack Guide as well as Allergence:

  • Nana Creme – Nana Creme is a Vegan, non-GMO, and Allergen-Friendly Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert (“ice cream”), free of Gluten, Dairy, Nuts, Tree Nuts, Soy, and Eggs and made with REAL ingredients.
  • JTM Foods – Founded in 1986, JTM Foods is the largest producer of snack pies in North America, selling over 100 million pies each year. Sold under the JJ’s Bakery brand name, their pies use fresh dough and real fruit fillings made from scratch every day in their Erie PA bakery.

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NesteCandyBars

Nestlé USA announced that it will eliminate artificial flavors and colors from 10 brands comprising over 250 chocolate candy products by the end of 2015. Reformulated products will begin appearing on store shelves mid-year bearing a “No Artificial Flavors or Colors” claim on the label.

The maker of Butterfinger®, Crunch®, and Baby Ruth® pledges to swap artificial ingredients with natural replacements, such as natural vanilla flavor replacing vanillin and annatto replacing Red 40 and Yellow 5.

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mondelez-enjoylife

In a blockbuster press release, Mondelēz – the former Kraft Foods spinoff and manufacturer of such iconic brands as Oreo, Chips Ahoy, Ritz, Cadbury and Trident – announced yesterday that it had acquired Enjoy Life Foods, the leading brand in the Free From category and a member of the SnackSafely.com Manufacturer Partnership.

“As we focus on continuing to drive growth in snacking, the acquisition of Enjoy Life Foods is a great strategic fit for us,” said Mark Clouse, Chief Growth Officer at Mondelēz International. “The Enjoy Life brand expands our portfolio into faster growing, on-trend, ‘better- for-you’ areas and provides an excellent platform to make these delicious offerings available to consumers with ‘free-from’ needs or simply looking for healthy-lifestyle options, both in the United States and beyond.”

All well and good for Mondelēz, but acquisitions of this magnitude have the potential to change a brand for good or bad, and Enjoy Life is especially important to the allergic community. To sort out the implications behind the acquisition, we contacted Joel Warady, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for Enjoy Life.

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NJ State house

Congratulations to the people of New Jersey with the signing of A304/S801 – NJ’s stock epinephrine bill – into law by Governor Chris Christie.

Epinephrine is the only drug used to treat anaphylaxis, a life threatening allergic reaction. “Stock” refers to epinephrine that is not specifically prescribed to an individual but can be used on anyone that is displaying symptoms of anaphylaxis.

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sb-coconutmilk

Starbucks has announced the coffee chain will begin offering coconut milk as an option on February 17, providing an additional alternative to people with allergies or intolerances to dairy and soy.

Their press release states:

Providing a non-dairy alternative to dairy and soy is the second most requested customer idea of all time from MyStarbucksIdea.com, generating more than 84,000 votes. Starbucks will deliver this additional customization with the introduction of Starbucks Single Origin Sumatra Coconut Milk, a creamy, delicious alternative to dairy and soy for handcrafted beverages, available beginning February 17, in Starbucks US company-operated and licensed locations.

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