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Safe Snack Guide Halloween Edition

The Halloween Edition of the Safe Snack Guide is hot off the press, waiting for you to download your copy.

As we do every year, we’ve dedicated a whole page to Halloween-themed and bulk-packaged candies and chocolates, just in time for trick-or-treat and nut-free classroom celebrations. With each listing we provide size/packaging information and indicate whether the items are individually wrapped.

Please also be advised that we have removed chocolate products from Giddy Yoyo, as the company has informed us that they have begun using raw coconut oil (considered a tree nut according to the FDA but not in Canada) as an ingredient in a few of their new varieties. Their other health foods and supplements remain top-8 allergen free, and the company plans to remove the coconut oil in later formulations. When that happens, we will re-list Giddy Yoyo chocolate products and let you know with a subsequent update.

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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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Now that the kids are back readin’, ritin’ and ‘rithmetickin, it’s time for the 2015 Back-to-School update of the Safe Snack Guide and Allergence! We’re pleased to announce the addition of new products from the latest member to join our Manufacturer Partnership as well as new offers.

New Partner

PhillySwirlPhillySwirl – specializes in refreshing Philadelphia-style Italian ice products that are swirled together in delicious flavor combinations. Their products featured in the Guide are all marketed free of the “Top 8” allergens including peanuts, tree nuts and eggs. Click here to learn more about their products including their store finder.

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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 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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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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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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SSG-UpdateWe’re pleased to announce the addition of new products from a long-time member of our Manufacturer Partnership Program.

ENJ Mixes

The new, much anticipated Enjoy Life Baking Mixes announced by the company in March have finally hit store shelves and are now listed in the Safe Snack Guide and Allergence screening service.

Click the following links to see details of each variety including how they are manufactured with regard to the 11 allergens we track: All Purpose Flour Mix, Brownie Mix, Muffin Mix, Pancake + Waffle Mix, Pizza Crust Mix.

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Please note that we have removed the following products from the Safe Snack Guide based on an official response from Pepperidge Farm:

  • Goldfish Grahams – all varieties

Also note that this advisory only affects the Graham varieties, which are manufactured on lines that may be shared with cookies that contain nuts. We are maintaining their Cracker varieties (which comprise the majority of the Goldfish line) which have been verified by the firm to be manufactured on dedicated lines which do not process peanuts or tree nuts.

For more information, please see the response from Pepperidge Farm by clicking here.

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Goldfish_LogoEach month, we receive hundreds of inquiries from readers of our Safe Snack Guide, a resource relied upon by thousands of schools and tens of thousands of parents nationwide to help keep peanuts and tree nuts out of the classroom and the home. We do our best to respond in a timely fashion, but take special notice when we spot a trend.

Lately, we’ve received dozens of inquiries with concerns regarding Pepperidge Farm’s Goldfish line. As the firm is not a member of our Manufacturer Partnership, we reached out to them as you might… starting with the “Contact-Us” page on their website.  We made clear that we would not be satisfied with a canned response from their customer service department and instead requested an official reply from firm management.

Eventually, we reached Brian Blanchard, Vice President of US Snacks for Pepperidge Farm who put us in touch with Ellen Passero, Manager Quality and Consumer Affairs for the firm.

We asked two specific questions: Which Goldfish varieties are reliably manufactured on dedicated lines that are free of peanuts and tree nuts, and which are manufactured in facilities free of the same.

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