Currently viewing the tag: "major food allergens"

SunButter_01LogoSunbutter, manufacturer of the leading peanut-butter alternative and a long-time member of the SnackSafely.com Manufacturer Partnership, has published a free recipe book designed specifically for school food services.

The resource, entitled School Safe Foodservice Recipes, provides 17 peanut and tree nut free recipes schools can use to help implement nut-free school policies.

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SSG-Update-FB-BlogIconWe’re pleased to announce the addition of many products from new and existing members of our Manufacturer Partnership as well as clarifications to text that appears on our cover page.

New Partners

SnackSafely.com welcomes two manufacturers that have joined our partnership, now numbering over 50 companies. By doing so, they have committed to providing much greater disclosure regarding their processing of 11 allergens than is required by the FDA on the label.

Logo GOE 73x73Goetze’s Candy is a family owned company located in Baltimore, Maryland. Founded in 1895, Goetze’s Candy has been making sweet treats in the USA for over 120 years. The firm produces iconic Caramel Creams® and Cow Tales®, both manufactured in a facility free of peanuts and tree nuts. Click here to learn more about Goetze’s and their products.

Logo TRP 73x73Triann’s Pantry specializes in quick, easy, delicious baking mixes free of gluten, dairy, soy, egg, peanut, tree nut, rice and corn that are manufactured in their own dedicated facility free of these allergens. Click here to learn more about Triann’s and their products.

New Products

PAS Logo 73x73We’ve added organic, dark chocolate chips and mini-bars from the Pascha Chocolate Company. Pascha specializes in gourmet dark chocolate completely free of all 8 major allergens (and more) with no taste compromise. Click here to learn more about Pascha and their products.

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We received many questions regarding those “May contain…” type messages you find on labels after our Time article yesterday. With that in mind, here’s a 10 second quiz to see how well you know what those warnings really mean:

The following are allergen warnings you might find on a product that does not contain the allergen as an ingredient. Simply put them in order of safest to most risk that the product contains traces of the allergen:

A – May contain allergen
B – Manufactured in a facility that also processes allergen
C – Manufactured on equipment that also processes allergen
D – May contain traces of allergen
E – [No statement]

You have 10 seconds while we bring you this graphic. Go!

10sec test

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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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SSG-Update-FB-BlogIconPlease note that we have removed a product from the Safe Snack Guide due to a change in labeling, manufacture, or disclosure:

  • ShopRite Red White Blue Pops 12 Pack

We have confirmed with a representative of the Wakefern Food Corporation, the manufacturer of many ShopRite brand products, that this item is currently manufactured in a line that also processes tree nuts.

Also note that we incorrectly identified Vermont Nut Free Fudge with the advisory [EGG processed in Facility] when in fact it should have been identified with the advisory [Contains EGG]. This has now been corrected and we apologize for the error.

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FDA BuildingOn Wednesday, three senate democrats issued a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urging the authority to issue a rule requiring manufacturers to label for the presence of sesame.

Sesame – though it is estimated that several hundred thousand Americans are allergic to the seed – is not recognized as an allergen under current FALCPA labeling rules, and so is often hidden under other ingredient names such as “tahini” or “natural flavoring”.

To quote the letter issued by Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Edward Markey (D-MA):

Without required uniform labeling of the presence of sesame, consumers with this serious allergy have no way of protecting themselves or their family members from its potentially life-threatening consequences. As Congress recognized when it passed FALCPA (the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004), accurate and comprehensive allergen labeling is essential.

We at SnackSafely.com wholeheartedly endorse the senators’ efforts to have sesame added to the list of eight allergens recognized by FALCPA, currently peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish.  We urge the FDA to also consider adding mustard and corn to the list as these are also major allergens that concern many families coping with food allergy.

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SSG-UpdateWe are pleased to announce a number of new products from two members of our Manufacturer Partnership, but before we do, here’s a few changes we made to better accommodate them.

First, we added a new category: Health Foods and Supplements. While it’s true that many partner products are organic, non-GMO and might be considered health foods, this category is reserved for specific products the average consumer might consider “nutrition boosters”. (Though many of them are also used as basic cooking and baking ingredients.)

Second, we made a change to the Safe Snack Guide to match how we group products in Allergence, our product screening service: we split Baking Chocolate and Chocolate Chips into a separate category from Baking/Flours/Mixes to make it a bit easier to find the products you’re looking for.

On to the new products:

RED Logo 73x73Red Plate Foods, a family owned business located in Oregon known for their delicious Top-8 free vegan cookies and muffins, has introduced a new line of nut-free (worry-free) granolas. Click here to learn more about Red Plate Foods and their products. [The owner of Red Plate Foods, Becca Williams, recently contributed a wonderful article explaining what you can do to encourage your local market to stock more Free From products entitled: “Editorial: Food Allergy Shoppers, Speak Up!“]

Logo GYO 73x73Giddy Yoyo, a company based in Ontario specializing in raw, organic, nutrient dense foods, has extended their line of organic chocolate and cacao products and added a number of health foods and supplements, including frozen organic wheatgrass juice and spirulina powder. Click here to learn more about Giddy Yoyo and their products.

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RedPlateBecca-e1434551833108Becca Williams, owner of Red Plate Foods – a valued member of our Manufacturer Partnership – has some advice for you.

Running a small start-up that makes delicious Top-8 allergen-free, vegan, GMO-free muffins, cookies, and now granola, Becca knows what she’s up against when trying to get her products into stores that cater to standard fare.

If you truly want to know what you can do to encourage more stores carry a greater variety of Free From products, read what she had to say on her own blog:

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homawoodrumWe often receive questions regarding sesame labeling. Sesame is not considered an allergen under current FALCPA regulations and so is often hidden as “natural flavoring” on the ingredient label.

Considering how lax US label disclosures of the FDA’s “Top 8” allergens can be, those with sesame allergies have a much harder time finding foods that are safe for their dietary restrictions. And if feedback from our blog is any indication, the incidence of sesame allergy is skyrocketing.

Lobbying congress to modernize food labeling regulations is a long, involved process. Homa Woodrum, attorney, blogger, co-founder of the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference,  and mom to a daughter with numerous food allergies, wrote about her recent excursion to Washington DC as part of the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s campaign to require manufacturers to label for sesame as they do for the Top-8 allergens.

Her posting provides a wonderful day-in-the-life recount of an advocate fighting the good fight for changes to benefit the allergic community. If you ever wondered how the process works or considered joining the efforts currently underway to promote a more comprehensive allergen labeling regime, Homa’s article is well worth the read.

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Pretzel!We’re pleased to announce the addition of a new member to our Manufacturer Partnership Program whose products now appear in the Safe Snack Guide and Allergence, our product screening service.

Eleni's New YorkEleni’s New York specializes in beautiful hand-made, hand-iced sugar cookies baked from scratch in a dedicated peanut and tree nut-free facility. No conveyor belts, no automated decorating, no mass production, all done the old fashioned way, one cookie at a time.

The company also markets a line of Crisp cookies in a variety of flavors and Color Me! cookies that come complete with edible markers. (Click to learn more about Eleni’s and their products.)

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