Friday, April 23, 2010

What A Nut Allergy Means {for us}

Goodbye nut products. The day we came home from the hospital we threw anything out that mentioned "nut" on it's label. I've learned so much since that day. For example, in the US, food makers must note if there are nut products IN the product. They don't however have to note if the product was made in the same facility or on the same line as other nut containing products. This is important, as even if a product doesn't contain nuts, if it has come in contact with them, it can still cause a reaction. Cross contamination is a big risk. So although a product doesn't mention nuts, we have to be careful. Some brands are known for being better about labeling than others and can generally be "trusted" in the way of taking their labeling at face value. Hershey's is one of them. Hershey Kisses have become my best friend lately.

Eating out is another adventure. Even if a dish is nut free, such as a grilled cheese, it's important to make sure that the cook and server understand that it can't come in contact with nut products. For example, if a non-nut product is prepared on the same surface as a nut product was prepared on, there is a cross contamination risk. Cooks have to be sure to sanitize all surfaces, use a clean cooking utensil, etc. Eating at places that use peanut oil {Chick-Fil-A} is a no-no. So are places with open containers of peanuts {Five Guys}.

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