Help kids with food allergies have a safe and happy Halloween

NOTICE for anyone who would like to help keep the 1 out of 13 American kids who have food allergies safe and out of the hospital tonight: Consider the following options for safer Halloween treats: Nut-free candies: Tootsie Rolls, Tootsie Pops, Charms lollipops, Charms Blow Pops, Dubble Bubble bubble gum, Charleston Chew, Dots gumdrops, Sweetarts, Nerds, Laffy Taffy, Smarties. Top-8-allergen-free candies: Dum Dums lollipops, YumEarth lollipops, YumEarth gummy candies, Surf Sweets jellybeans, Surf Sweets gummy candies. Candy alternatives: Bouncy balls, glow bracelets, glow sticks stickers, plastic spiders, plastic skulls, pencils, bubble bottles. Note that even allergy-friendly candies might be packaged … Read more

The FDA says people with peanut allergies should avoid all ground cumin for now. How do you?

After months of recalls of cumin, spice mixes that contain cumin, and hundreds of thousands of pounds of packaged foods that contain cumin due to the presence of undeclared peanut and tree nut ingredients, on February 18th, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration finally issued a public advisory statement warning people with peanut allergies “to consider avoiding products that contain ground cumin or cumin powder.” The advisory goes on to say: The FDA is continuing to identify companies that received shipments of the ground cumin that contained undeclared peanuts and work with them to remove these products from the market. … Read more

Food safety alert! Peanuts might be in your cumin.

On October 30th, 2014, the parent company of the brand Ortega in Canada, B.H. Foods, announced a recall, in cooperation with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, of a single lot of Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix in the 35.4 grams size, with a best by date of May 8, 2016. The recall notice read, “B.H. Kosher Select Food Dist. is recalling Ortega brand Taco Seasoning Mix from the marketplace because it contains peanut and almond which are not declared on the label. People with an allergy to peanut or almond should not consume the recalled product described below.” Curiously, the next day, … Read more

How to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project this Halloween

Two years ago, Becky Basalone, mother of a child with life-threatening food allergies and founder of FACET, a food allergy support group in Tennessee, painted a pumpkin teal, the color for food allergy awareness, and took it along with some allergy-friendly non-food treats to a local trunk-or-treat for Halloween. Two years later, her Teal Pumpkin Project is taking off across America, with backing from the national group, Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) and nationwide press coverage, including articles on CNN and the Today Show website. As a result, thousands of children who find trick-or-treating much scarier than it ought … Read more

Poison Ivy Salad, or: why my kid’s food allergy means I need to know what you are serving at your party, even if my kid will not be eating any of your food

Oh heavens, do I get tired of explaining to people why I would very much like to know in advance and in detail what food will be served at an event my food-allergic child will be attending, even if my child won’t be eating any of the food that will be served there, because he plans on bringing his own allergy-safe food. People who do not regularly deal with managing life-threatening food allergies often have a very hard time understanding my concerns about my son just being in the same room while a food he is allergic to might be … Read more

Playing Ball

Baseball | When Peanuts Attack

Tonight, my son will risk death to go to a baseball game. For just three games every season, the St. Louis Cardinals rope off a single section of seats at Busch Stadium, and label that section as “peanut controlled.” We will be there tonight, in the third row. “Peanut controlled” means that peanut vendors are not allowed to sell peanuts inside the special roped-off section, and any guests who buy tickets in that particular section will be warned that they will not be allowed to purchase peanuts elsewhere in the stadium and bring them inside. Stadium staff hose the section … Read more

Peanut allergy myth: Peanut allergies were invented by overprotective parents

Peanut Allergy Myths, Debunked | When Peanuts Attack

Myth: Back when I was a kid, no one I knew was allergic to peanuts. So peanut allergies must be a silly fake illness made up by today’s overprotective parents. Reality: A peanut allergy is a real and serious medical condition. Peanut allergies ARE on the rise among children, but scientists do not know why. It’s absolutely true that a few decades ago, peanut allergy diagnoses were not as common as they are today. However, peanut allergies are not some sort of psychosomatic illness foisted on children by their crazy helicopter parents. According to multiple studies published by respected groups like the U.S. … Read more