Once again, we’ve received a spate of worried messages like this one recently:
I have called Pepperidge Farm several times over the past couple of days and have been told over and over again that they do not have dedicated lines and the regular gold fish is manufactured on shared lines with tree nuts.
I think your list should be updated. I don’t think they are safe anymore.
First, let me say that we truly appreciate the feedback we receive from our readers regarding the items on our Safe Snack Guide, especially those preceded by a black dot. Those are “legacy” items from companies that are not members of our Manufacturer Partnership, and as such we do not have direct relationships with them that require notification when they change their processes. We resort to contacting them periodically as you do.
But we’ve been around this block before with Pepperidge Farm, whose consumer line employees don’t seem to be clued in to the specifics regarding their Goldfish products.
So we reached out to Ellen Passero, Quality Director for the firm and asked her to clarify for us as she did back in December. Her reply, received Saturday, August 5, 2017 is as follows:
Dave thanks for reaching out again to clarify the conflicting information that your members have received. Our position on peanuts and tree nuts for the manufacture of our Goldfish Crackers has notchanged, and I apologize for any confusion. We will work with our Consumer Response Center to provide clear information to consumers, but for now I will reiterate the information I sent to you back in 2015:
Regarding your question about which varieties of Goldfish are RELIABLY made on lines that do not also process peanuts and tree nuts, I can confirm that all varieties of our Goldfish Crackers are made on lines that do not process peanuts or tree nuts. We are known by many consumers to be peanut/tree nut free and we are proud that we can provide that assurance. This has been our practice for many, many years.
Conversely, our Goldfish Graham Cookies Are processed on lines that also process other cookies, some of which contain tree nuts. We are specific in our communication at our call center to separate the crackers from the cookies for this very reason. Of note, these cookie lines are subject to strict procedures regarding cleaning between runs in accordance with good manufacturing practices.
Your question of which varieties are produced in facilities that do not process peanuts or tree nuts is a little less straightforward. We produce a wide range of cookie, cracker and bread products at multiple facilities, and the mix of products produced at each facility shifts with demand. That means, at any given time there may be products being made in a facility that is not processing any nuts at the time, but that same product may also be produced in another facility that is processing tree nuts. However, even within the same facility, we are conscious of allergens and have strict procedures to manage the presence of allergens. We work closely with organizations like FAAN and FARP in order to understand how we can best manage the risk of allergens while respecting the needs of all consumers. Additionally, it is worth repeating, regardless of if Goldfish crackers are or arent being made in a facility that processes tree nuts, Goldfish cracker are always produced on lines that do not process peanuts or tree nuts.
Thanks again for reaching out. Please let me know if I can provide further assurance to you and your members.
So, to summarize:
- Pepperidge Farm has not changed their Goldfish manufacturing processes since they issued the original statement to us in 2015;
- Goldfish Crackers are reliably made on dedicated equipment that does not process peanuts and tree nuts;
- Goldfish Grahams may be manufactured on lines that also process tree nuts;
- All Goldfish varieties may be manufactured in facilities that process tree nuts.
- All Goldfish varieties listed in the Safe Snack Guide are manufactured on dedicated lines that do not process peanuts and tree nuts.
Our thanks to Ms Passero for clarifying for us once again.
We will follow up here once we receive information regarding the disconnect between Pepperidge Farm’s consumer line and the facts behind the manufacture of their products.