Currently viewing the tag: "food labels"

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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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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FARE Logo

After learning the results of tests performed by SnackSafely.com and the subsequent admission by ContentChecked that their app ignores “may contain” and other cross-contact warnings, Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) has altered the Corporate Partners page on their website. The advocacy no longer displays language that could be construed as a tacit approval of ContentChecked, replacing it with a general disclaimer that “FARE does not review, test, sponsor, endorse or recommend any products or services that may appear on our website.

SnackSafely.com continues efforts to reach users of ContentChecked who may be relying on the app to determine the allergy content of foods. In tests, ContentChecked declared a series of common food products “free from peanuts” despite clearly visible “may contain peanuts” warnings on their labels. Users relying on the app put themselves and their children at risk of adverse reactions and anaphylaxis.

The company has so far ignored calls by SnackSafely.com to remove their app from the marketplace until its deficiencies are addressed, instead continuing to advertise that “you can feel confident when you are shopping with ContentChecked.”

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FDA Logo

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.

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allergen-profile

We’ve had many requests over the years to accommodate additional allergens in the Safe Snack Guide – like milk, gluten and sesame – but realized that doing so would severely limit the products we could include.

Instead, we created an interactive service called Allergence. Allergence draws upon the data provided via our platform by the responsible companies that have joined our Manufacturer Partnership. These companies are committed to the allergic community and have opted to provide you with much more information than is available on the label.

SnackSafely.com is now previewing Allergence, which promises full transparency into how 11 allergens are processed during the manufacture of each product.

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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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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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SnackSafely.com Welcomes Utz Quality Foods to its Manufacturer Partnership

Products to be Showcased in the Safe Snack Guide and
Upcoming App

New York, NY (PRWEB) June 11, 2014

PR Quote

The publisher of the Safe Snack Guide, a resource relied upon by thousands of schools, camps, youth sports leagues and scouting groups nationwide to implement nut-free policies, is pleased to announce the newest member to join its Manufacturer Partnership.

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Paula Cooper

We often receive questions about dining out with food allergies. It’s a difficult problem; one that is only now beginning to receive the proper attention it deserves.

An important issue in assuring the safety of diners with food allergies is the proper training of the restaurant management and personnel responsible for procuring and preparing the ingredients that end up in your dish. Our friends at Dine Aware™ provide such training to the benefit of the industry at large.

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GeneralMills

“Might downloading a 50-cent coupon for Cheerios cost you legal rights?” So begins an article in today’s New York Times that should give consumers pause, especially those with special dietary concerns.

The article highlights a new tactic being employed by General Mills and other major food producers. These firms are quietly rolling out new ‘Terms of Service’ on their websites and social media properties that limit your right to sue if you ‘Like’ or ‘Follow’ them, download their coupons, or join their mailing lists.

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