Peas Out Mama

blogging about life in the mama 'hood

When Food Allergy Warnings Go Too Far

I’ve grown more sensitive to the problem of food allergies, not because my son has experienced any so far, but because I have several friends and family members who deal with them. In my quest to make safe cupcakes for my cutie niece, I discovered that peanut-related issues lurk in cake frosting, of all things! Fascinated, I’ve become a bit of a label reader.

A few weeks ago, I indulged in a wholesome snack and read the label as if an 8-year-old studying a cereal box at the breakfast table. Here’s what it said (caps theirs):

ALLERGY INFORMATION AND CAUTIONS. CONTAINS: TREE NUTS. Packed in a facility that handles peanuts, tree nuts, milk, soy, wheat and egg products.

Totally helpful, right? I especially found the milk, soy, wheat and egg products info interesting. The other stuff? Not so much. Why?

Because this is what I was eating:

For chrissakes, people.

While I want to ask Are we really that dumb? I can’t; because I know that indeed we are. You only have to recall the McDonald’s coffee lawsuit of 1994 (and yes, I did just send you youngins to Wiki) for a charming reminder of our country’s litigious tendencies. You know some clown would munch away on almonds and then sue the almond people for failing to warn him that the package contained tree nuts. I mean, how’s he supposed to know almonds grow on trees?



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6 thoughts on “When Food Allergy Warnings Go Too Far

  1. Erin on said:

    I totally agree Muffintopmommy! I didn’t see your comment earlier. My daughter’s pre-school teacher has resorted to embarrassing the parents who bring in those snacks. She places them where everyone can see with a sign, “Please return with peanut free snack”.
    However, I think no matter how dumbed down the labels become there will always be those who don’t take it seriously or on the flipside the “Munchausen allergy moms”.

  2. Erin on said:

    It’s moronic to put a warning about nuts, on a package of nuts.
    As you know, I could go on about this subject forever. My problem with the over disclosing of the offending food is that it really minimizes the severity of certain food allergies. I hear people say all the time, in annoyance, “kids these days are allergic to everything”. I understand that annoyance, it annoys me too. And it makes it difficult for children with potentially deadly allergies to be taken seriously. I laugh when someone compares their child’s “allergy”that causes a stomach ache to my child’s nut allergy that causes my child’s throat to close up & compounds her next reaction. I always think but never say, “Oh yeah, I’ll trade you.”

  3. I know, our society is both overly litigious and well, overly dumb. But…as a mom to one with peanut and egg allergy and another with tree nut allergy (I’mma need me a flow chart soon to feed the fam…), I’m actually grateful for the dumbed down labeling. You have NO idea how many times a (not dumb) mom has brought a snack into preschool that very clearly states, “May contain peanuts.” So for most people, it comes down to taking the time to take it seriously. And unfortunately, most people whose kids don’t have allergies I have found do not. Hopefully this will improve over time. So, I for one appreciate your vigilance! Hopefully Boo will be allergy free!

  4. Just before I got your line about the McDonalds lawsuit, I was thinking some NUT would sue if it didn’t have the warning… I was horrified when I recently read the ingredient list on our Arnolds 7 grain bread, which our nugget has been eating for a while now… contains nuts! What??? You’d think with the prevalence of nut allergies, that would be on the front somewhere. Oh, and re: strawberries, read my She are what? post… LOL!

  5. Hear Hear!

    But even with labels such as that one you will still find moms feeding their kids Highly Allergenic food willy-nilly. What? What do you mean it’s only me???

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