Each 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.
Ms Passero issued the following response:
Dave – Thanks for reaching out regarding our products. Brian forwarded me your inquiry.
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 aren’t being made in a facility that processes tree nuts, Goldfish cracker are always produced on lines that do not process peanuts or tree nuts.
As a result of this response, we will issue an advisory that we have removed Goldfish Graham varieties from the Guide while maintaining the listings for the other Goldfish varieties.
We wish to thank Ms Passero and Mr Blanchard for their help in clarifying this issue.
We urge the management of Pepperidge Farm and their corporate parent, the Campbell’s Soup Company, to join our Manufacturer Partnership and disclose similar information for all their products to the benefit of the allergic community.
Want to help? Click here to contact Pepperidge Farm and ask them to join our partnership! It’s free to manufacturers and allows consumers to research how 11 allergens are processed for each of their products via our free Allergence screening service.