We field hundreds of questions each month about our Safe Snack Guide, a resource relied upon by thousands of schools and tens of thousands of parents nationwide to keep peanuts and tree nuts out of the classroom and the home.
Most are for products from companies that have yet to join our Manufacturer Partnership, the ones denoted in the Guide by black bullets. For these, we make a best effort to verify they are not produced on shared lines where peanuts and tree nuts are also processed, and we do this generally by starting with the consumer service line.
Recently, we’ve had a number of inquiries regarding Hershey’s Kisses and 1.55oz Milk Chocolate Bars, the two Hershey’s brand items listed in the Guide. We decided it was time to revisit the safety of these products by reaching out to the Hershey Company directly and requesting an official response from the firm. Our inquiry was specific: Are these items made on shared lines with peanuts and tree nuts?
We received the following response from Jeff Beckman, Director of Corporate Communications for the Hershey Company:
Your inquiry to The Hershey Company regarding nut allergies was forwarded to me. Let me provide you with a response that should clarify you questions.
First, we take food allergies very seriously and have strict procedures in place to prevent crossover of allergens into other products that do not contain the allergen. In instances where we have a concern about possible contamination by an allergen we take the added precaution of including an allergy information statement on the label.
Our 1.55 standard size HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate Bar does not currently have any peanut ingredients, nor does it carry an AIS statement. The 1.55 oz bar is made in a plant that does not process peanuts and is produced on a dedicated line that does not manufacture any tree nut items. The HERSHEY’S KISSES Milk Chocolates and HERSHEY’S KISSES SPECIAL DARK Chocolates also do not have any peanut ingredients, nor do they carry an AIS Statement. HERSHEY’S KISSES Milk Chocolates are also produced in a plant that does not process peanuts and produced on dedicated chocolate Kiss lines that do not manufacture any tree nut items.
Because ingredients or manufacturing processes can change, we always recommend that consumers continue to read the labels prior to purchasing our products.
There was some ambiguity in the response regarding the Special Dark variety of Kisses, so we requested further clarification. The response from Mr Beckman was as follows:
Special Dark Kisses are produced on the same line as our HERSHEY’S Milk kisses. Produced in a plant that does not process peanuts and produced on dedicated chocolate Kiss lines that do not manufacture any tree nut items.
To summarize, Hershey’s asserts that their Milk and Special Dark varieties of Kisses as well as their 1.55oz Milk Chocolate bars are made in peanut-free facilities on tree nut-free lines.
Please note that they make no other claims regarding other varieties and sizes of these products, so please contact the company directly if you have questions.
We have extended an invitation to Hershey’s to join our Partnership and by doing so provide additional information regarding the manufacture of their products to the benefit of the Food Allergy community. We would then include all of their products in our Allergence screening service and all eligible products in the Safe Snack Guide. Would you like to help? Contact them by clicking here and suggest they join!