Friday 20 July 2012

Trace Amounts-Nut Allergies-Baked Goods-Bakery-Peanut

Nut-Free Cookies? Better Read That Label Again

A reader recently notified me of a new nut-free bakery in nearby Rhode Island. I was so excited! I thought, this is great, more options! It just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it? Or so I thought. Here is what the website states:
"No nuts are present in our AIB-Certified facility, so our baked goods never come into contact with nuts of any kind. Our nut-free facility means that people with nut allergies can rest assured when enjoying our delicious baked goods."
That sounds good, right? It states that, however, right below their list of cookie flavors and the cookie flavors were concerning--they use M&M's. That's right, this "nut-free" bakery apparently uses plain M&M's. It's actually the first cookie flavor they have listed. One of the photos on their website looks like a brownie topped with M&M's.
"may contains" = risk of cross contamination
As most peanut and nut-allergic individuals know, plain M&M's packages bear "may contain peanuts" statements. That means there could be trace amounts of peanuts in the plain M&M's. In fact, recently there was a news story about a mother accused of murdering her peanut allergic child with plain M&M's.
The bakery's website further states "We make natural baked goods in a nut-free facility for restaurants, cafeterias, and other foodservice outlets." Yipes. Does this mean that restaurants and other businesses are then serving/selling what they believe to be nut-free baked goods? 
Yesterday, I sent an email to the bakery--Cross Country Cookie--to inquire about their use of M&M's as a "nut-free" bakery but have not heard back from them yet. I can't help but wonder, if they use M&M's, what kind of chocolate are they using? Their use of M&M's raises all sorts of questions about the nut-free nature of their baked goods or lack thereof. I suggested some alternative sources of chocolate and candy to them, with the hope that they will switch to nut-safe and peanut-safe ingredients. If they are going to use ingredients which bear "may contains" warnings, they should change the wording on their website and other materials, and not refer to their food as nut-free, or include the "may contains" warning on their own labels. I hope to hear back from them soon. I must note, the bakery is not new. According to their website, they've been in business for 25 years.
I write this post to remind readers that the terms nut-free and peanut-free mean different things to different companies and different people. Until the FDA defines what peanut-free and nut-free should mean on food labels, manufacturers will continue to use these terms (and terms like dairy-free, soy-free, etc.) how they wish. It's potentially dangerous but that's the reality. It's so easy to imagine how things could go very wrong when a bakery says it is nut-free but uses ingredients that contain traces of peanuts and/or nuts. Some nut allergic and peanut allergic individuals react to trace amounts. We know this. Some of us have experienced this ourselves, or witnessed it, or read newspaper articles about horrific reactions to trace amounts. You see where I'm going with this. I don't think I need to spell it out more. 
This problem is not limited to peanut and nut allergies; it's across the board, for all food allergies. A free-from food labeled as such, should actually be free of that ingredient. This is why I believe the FDA should set official definitions and thresholds for free-from food labels, but that's a story for another day. read more..

Saturday 14 July 2012

Parent Workshop-College Student-Food Allergies-Food Allergy-Workshops

Food Allergy Workshops for the College Bound, July 2012

Are you a parent with a freshman heading going off to college and want to ensure a safer and easier transition?
Are you the freshman (or college student) and want to talk to other students like you? (And with someone who’s gone through three higher degrees with food allergies, asthma and allergies?)
I’m thrilled to announce this pilot program with an introductory fee!
*Food Allergy Workshops for the College Bound*
For parents and teens in two [2] separate sessions
The sessions are:
    •    Run by experienced social worker, coach and consultant
    •    Solutions focused
    •    Include a clear plan of action
Thursday, July 12, 2012 Parent workshop
Thursday, July 19, 2012 Student workshop
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM Eastern Time
Prepare before you go
Consult and connect on site
Plan for various social situations outcomes
$149.00 per workshop*
*Buy 2 workshops and get 25% off
Workshop is limited to 10 participants, so register early to reserve your spot!
Email me for more information and to sign up today. read more..

Monday 9 July 2012

Symptoms Of Celiac Disease-Bodily Functions-Wings Of Hope-Gluten

A Guide to Living Gluten - Free

On the Wings of Hope, LLC is proud to announce their newest book, “A Guide to Living Gluten-free”, has been published and is available at numerous outlets including, and The digital version is currently available at This book is ideal for any "newbie" to the gluten-free lifestyle, but has useful information for those who have been living gluten-free for some time.
It covers the various emotions that can be experienced when switching to a gluten-free lifestyle - relief, fear, panic, denial, self-pity, anger and acceptance, to name a few. The book discusses brain fog and bodily functions. Yes, bodily functions, which can be such a large part of the Celiac lifestyle! Also covered are the challenges faced by different age groups. Each age group experiences a unique set of challenges with a gluten-free lifestyle. The book includes a two week sample menu and gluten-free recipes to help people who are just beginning their journey on a gluten-free lifestyle.
1 in 130 people have Celiac disease, which is an autoimmune reaction to gluten, a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye, which causes damage to the small intestine. The symptoms of Celiac disease can mirror symptoms of other illnesses, and many times is misdiagnosed. Undiagnosed Celiac disease can lead to other health conditions such as arthritis, malnutrition, migraines, internal hemorrhaging and cancer.
Previous books from On the Wings of Hope include a cookbook "Don't Feed Me - Gluten-free, Dairy-free Cooking" and a children's book, "I Can't Eat Your Treats - a kid's guide to gluten-free, casein-free eating". On the Wings of Hope, LLC is dedicated to helping children with Celiac disease and food allergies by providing needed information at On the Wings of Hope, LLC’s owner and president, Joyce Nielsen, has over 30 years of experience in researching and dealing with food -related health issues. She has four grandchildren with Celiac disease and Ms. Nielsen was diagnosed with Celiac disease in 2009. She believes in a holistic approach to health that deals with the whole person, rather than treating individual symptoms.
"We are all angels with one wing, we need each other to fly"
Joyce Nielsen, President
On the Wings of Hope, LLC
(formerly Don’t Feed Me, LLC) read more..

Thursday 5 July 2012

Summer Recipes-Summer Foods-Cold Summer

Easy, Allergy-Friendly Summer Foods

When the temperature climbs and you don't even want to be in your kitchen, let alone turn on the oven, what are you going to eat? Turn to these easy, allergy-friendly summer recipes for your next cool-down snack or cold summer meal:...Read Full Post read more..

Severe reactions to food more common than thought in young children

Severe reactions to food more common than thought in young children

Young children with allergies to milk and egg experience an unexpectedly high number of reactions to these and other foods, according to researchers. More than 70 percent of preschool children with documented or suspected food allergies suffered a significant reaction during the three-year period. Researchers also found that caregivers failed to administer the medication epinephrine in 70 percent of the severe and potentially life-threatening reactions. read more..

The European Academy Of Allergy And Clinical Immunology-University Of California, San Francisco

Protection Against Respiratory Infection Linked To Asthma From Dog-Associated House Dust

House dust from homes with dogs appears to protect against infection with a common respiratory virus that is associated with the development of asthma in children. Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, present their findings today at the 2012 General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology... read more..

Allergies Become Epidemic: Food Allergy Sufferers Double In The Last 10 Years

This week the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) launched its Food Allergy Campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness of the sharp increase of anaphylaxis in children, an allergic reaction that is severe and potentially life-threatening... read more..