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A variety of Herr’s products to be showcased in’s Safe Snack Guide


Combined, a leading website and publisher dedicated to educating families with food allergies, welcomes Herr® Foods to its Manufacturer Partnership. As a partner, the leading snack brand will be featured in the publisher’s Safe Snack Guide™, a catalogue of foods free of peanuts, tree nuts and eggs designed to help keep these allergens out of the classroom and the home. The Guide is a trusted resource for thousands of schools and tens of thousands of parents nationwide.

Headquartered in Nottingham, Pa., Herr’s manufactures an extensive line of savory snacks including potato chips, pretzels, popcorn and cheese curls. The family owned and operated company began 67 years ago in Lancaster, Pa., and now employs more than 1,500 people who make 340 delicious snack products that are available worldwide.

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marianoGlobal News has provided additional details regarding the Andrea Mariano tragedy. The teen, who was enjoying her second day of campus life as a psychology student at Queen’s University in Ontario Friday, perished as a result of an anaphylactic reaction.

Ms Mariano, who was allergic to both dairy and peanuts, consumed a smoothie that was cross-contaminated with one of her allergens. It is unclear whether the smoothie came from a campus outlet or the university dining hall, and which allergen was the cause.

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Andrea MarianoA student who had just begun her college studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, died as a result of a severe allergic reaction, the school website reports.

The family of Andrea Mariano of Thornhill, Ontario indicated the cause of her death was anaphylaxis. While they provided no details as to the likely allergen trigger, Allergic Living magazine reports that Ms Mariano was known to have a severe peanut allergy.

The Queen’s University website stated that flags on campus will be flown at half-staff and that grief counseling is available through the University’s health services. Our deepest sympathies go out to the Mariano Family and friends of Ms Mariano.

We know that many parents of young adults with food allergies are concerned as they send their children off to school. We urge you to take every opportunity to remind them to protect themselves by following some basic guidelines:

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hopefloatsTwo women who served on the boards of disaster relief organizations in the wake of Superstorm Sandy decided to continue their work to support Long Island families. Together, Theresa DePietto and Jennifer Aulino founded Hope Floats, a non-profit providing financial and logistical assistance to Long Island families affected by medical emergencies, disabilities, loss, and poverty.

At the beginning of the school year, Theresa, Jennifer and a team of volunteers assembled and distributed packets to families of the Babylon school where Theresa’s daughter Ava is a student. Each packet provided educational information about food allergies, a copy of the Safe Snack Guide, and samples of two peanut butter alternatives, SunButter and WowButter (both members of the Manufacturer Partnership.)

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Time ArticleAn article by Markham Heid posted on Time’s website yesterday seeks to answer whether you can rely on those voluntary “May contain…” and “Manufactured on equipment that also processes…” warnings that appear on food products. We say voluntary because the FDA only requires that manufacturers disclose when a Top-8 allergen is an ingredient of a product, not when there is a danger of cross-contact with an allergen that is processed on the same equipment or in the same facility as the product.

While the article is well written, it may mislead the reader by giving the impression that you can rely on labels to determine whether a food product is safe because “no one is trying to hoodwink consumers—or expose someone with an allergy to a potentially harmful ingredient.”

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Nutrimom-FoodSafetyWhen it comes to food allergies, there are two trends in the United States today. First, we have lax labeling requirements that have spawned non-standard, voluntary allergen warnings that lead to confusion among the most vulnerable. Second, the allergic demographic is growing rapidly, and – though food companies are slowly taking notice – they are unsure how to engage.

Tracy Bush – author, advocate, and blogger, who is also known to the food allergy community as Nutrimom – has written an excellent article for the current edition of Food Safety Magazine entitled “Food Companies & Food Allergies: Unite!”, explaining how companies can gain a loyal following by applying some basic precepts to their labeling and production.

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Gourmet NewsMainstream publications serving the food and beverage industry are beginning to turn their attention to the issue of food allergies. We noted a previous article describing our Manufacturer Partnership Program and Safe Snack Guide in Food Navigator-USA last month. This time, Gourmet News, a publication dedicated to the Gourmet industry, is highlighting the issue.

This month’s edition features two front page articles intended to provide coverage and raise awareness within the industry. We’re proud to announce that founder, Debra Bloom, features prominently in both.

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Food Navigator’s Manufacturer Partnership Program was highlighted in an article by Food Navigator-USA, a publication that caters to decision makers in food and beverage development in North America. The article, entitled “ closing the allergen contamination knowledge gap” details our program to partner directly with manufacturers to have them disclose information regarding the processing of 11 allergens during the manufacture of their products.

As of this writing, over 21 manufacturers have joined the program with more to be announced later this week. Joining the program is free to manufacturers, who agree to provide manufacturing data via our proprietary portal. In return, all their qualifying products earn a listing in the Safe Snack Guide, our list of snacks free of peanuts, tree nuts and eggs relied upon by thousands of schools and tens of thousands of parents nationwide.

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eat+runA current article in US News and World Report’s Eat+Run health and wellness section provides a valuable primer on how to plan a party when children with food allergies or dietary restrictions will be in attendance.

In “Planning an Allergy-Friendly Birthday Party”, author Tamara Duker Freuman describes her own experience planning a birthday party for her son and the strategies she developed to provide a safe and inclusive environment for all the children involved, including one with tree nut allergy and another following a vegan diet. She references and the Safe Snack Guide as go-to resources for finding appropriate treats for such occasions.

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NyTimesAn excellent opinion piece by Curtis Sittenfeld entitled “Epipens for All” was published in today’s New York Times Sunday Review. The piece makes the case for support of the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act which has been passed by the House and awaits passage by the Senate.

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