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 Partnership. We’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:
Earlier this week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a consumer update entitled “Finding Food Allergens Where They Shouldn’t Be“, a must read if you have food allergies or care for someone who does. (Click here to see the publication.)
The update warns that “undeclared allergens” – allergens that are not listed on the label as an ingredient but should be – are the leading cause of food recalls initiated by the FDA.
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.
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.
Please note that we have removed a number of products from the Safe Snack Guide:
- Shoprite ABC Cookie Squares – removed due to changes in manufacture/labeling/disclosure.
- Righteously Raw Products – removed due to change in disclosure: manufactured on lines where coconut is also processed.
Manufacturers Join SnackSafely.com in Drive for Greater Transparency in Food Allergen Disclosures
Tootsie Roll Industries, Enjoy Life Foods among 20 manufacturers to join program’s launch
New York, NY (PRWEB) February 11, 2014
The publisher of the Safe Snack Guide, a snack list used by thousands of schools, camps, youth sports leagues, and scouting groups nationwide to help implement nut-free policies, is now working directly with food manufacturers to provide greater transparency regarding the potential for allergens in their products.
Manufacturers participating in the SnackSafely.com program access a proprietary portal to submit information about their products, including processing information for 11 allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish (the “top 8”) as well as sesame, mustard, and gluten.
Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new labeling standards for foods claiming to be “Gluten-Free”. The standards are intended to help protect the estimated 3 million sufferers of celiac disease, a serious auto-immune disorder triggered by ingestion of the gluten protein found in wheat, barley and rye.
You pick up a box of cookies and look at the ingredient listing to see if it’s safe for your child with food allergies… let’s say peanuts. The label doesn’t mention ‘peanuts’ as an ingredient, so the next thing you do is check to see if there is a warning statement, like “manufactured in a facility that also processes peanuts“. There isn’t one, so it must be safe, right? Maybe… maybe not.
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