Being the parent of a child with severe food allergies conditions one to the necessities of reading labels on food items at the grocery store. The labels list the ingredients in food along with the cautionary and legal protection phrases that include “may contain peanuts” ; “may have come in contact with peanuts and nuts” ; “made in a facility that has peanuts, almonds…” etc. It is a challenge to find cookies, snacks, chocolate bars that do not have a cautionary reference to the ever-present “may contain….” phrase!
It is ever more confusing and frustrating when the ‘may contain…” phrase applies to peanuts, shellfish, nuts, eggs, milk or gluten. This may come as a singe caution or include numerous food allergens together. Perhaps most frustrating of all is when a particular food product has none of the food allergens used to make it, yet other products are made in a facility where any of these food allergens may be used as an ingredient. In sum, all of the foods made at that facility carry either a food allergen as an ingredient or use cautionary “may contain..” cautions for those foods that do not have it as an ingredient.
If you grab something from your kitchen cupboard, it is likely that you will find a “MAY CONTAIN….” caution on the ingredients label!
I thought I would give it a try myself and the first container that I took out had “WHEAT BRAN” listed under the ingredients label – that’s it, that’s all! Good and reassuring for those who have allergy sensitivities to look out for and avoid.
An ingredient label with only one or two items is all too rare and consumers are faced with a list of ingredients that is very long and often contains unknown and foreign sounding names that may also include the “may contain…” caution.
You can imagine my surprise when I recently visited a West Island Montreal DOLLARAMA. I was happily surprised to see several food items with “PEANUT FREE” labels on the front of one food item while the other had “PEANUT FREE” / “GLUTEN FREE” at the front of the package. These items happened to be placed at the end of the food aisle, so were clearly and conveniently located and displayed for shoppers to see!
I took photos of the Dare MAXI FRUITS BARS and QUAKER CHOCOLATE CHIP BARS featured here in the Allergy Explosion Blog. These items are great for homes, schools and other groups to provide safe snacks for all children.
Kudos to the DOLLARAMA in Kirkland, Quebec carrying snack items that are safe for children with peanut and gluten allergies! Hope you can find these wonderful food items at your local DOLLARAMA.