With an eye on the food allergy community as a unique group of consumers since 2008, we're on a quest to find and share ways to continue enjoying the good things in life allergen-free.

07 June 2016

How to Create Your Own Best Food Allergy News Source

One of the themes of Food Allergy Buzz this year is empowerment and empowering yourself with food allergy knowledge. Today, I'm going to show you an easy way to keep up on food allergy news without needing to follow or subscribe to any blogs. After all, you have the same resources available at your fingertips as all those food allergy bloggers do! You can easily obtain that news yourself and have it automatically delivered to your email inbox with virtually no effort by using Google alerts!

Here's how it works.

Go to Google alerts. You will see a box that says "Create an alert about..."

In that box, type in a keyword for a subject about which you would like to receive news article and blog post alerts, such as "food allergy" or "dairy allergy" or "anaphylaxis".

There are additional options you can select before you hit "create alert". You choose how often you receive alerts, what sources (blogs, news, sites), language, how many results, and the email address where you would like to receive the alerts. You will see a preview of your alert, so you can see if it will provide you with the information you seek., and you can tweak your alert as needed.

This is such an easy way to keep up on food allergy news. No more waiting for a favorite blog or website to share the latest. In fact, there is a good chance you may get the news before anyone can even write a blog post about it!

Another important tool for those managing food allergies is FDA recalls. What if you miss one? How can you make sure you hear about all of them? Go to http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ to sign up for email alerts of FDA recalls. Click on the link that says "sign up to receive Recalls, Market Withdrawals, and Safety Alerts". You will see a new window open that looks like this:

Just enter your email address and then click on "Submit:. You will receive every recall by email. While it may be a bit of overload, you certainly won't have to worry about missing any, anymore.

I hope this post helps you find some new ways to get your food allergy news. Empowering yourself with food allergy knowledge makes managing food allergies so much easier!

08 May 2016

Food Allergy Awareness Week 2016: Turn It Teal

Turn It Teal is a grassroots effort which begin in 2014, and was founded by Stephanie Lowe. According to the Turn It Teal website, turnitteal.org, their mission is "to light as many sites as possible during Food Allergy Awareness Week, May 8-14 this year." They seek to encourage "more people to become educated about food allergies, their daily impact on people, and how they can help those with allergies, perhaps some day helping to find a cure."

Turn It Teal has succeeded in getting a number of locations to light a site in teal in honor of Food Allergy Awareness Week. I am copying the latest information from the Turn It Teal Facebook page to share with you here:

"If you haven't already done so, you can ‪#‎turnitteal‬ here on Facebook and Twitter with a

Here is the most up to date listing of lightings. Use #TurnItTeal if you are able to make it to any (here, on Twitter or Instagram).
Month of May: Concourse at Landmark Center (aka The King and Queen) – Atlanta, GA
May 8-14: Big Dam Bridge – Little Rock, AR
May 8-14: JFK Airport Air Traffic Control Tower – New York, NY (blue due to lighting constraints)
May 8-14 Lumiere Casino and Hotel – St. Louis, MO
May 8: Empire State Building- New York, NY
May 8: Mercedes-Benz Superdome – New Orleans, LA
May 9-15: Kanawha Boulevard Bridge – Charleston, WV
May 9: Terminal Tower – Cleveland, OH
May 9: University East Building – Cleveland, OH
May 10: Wells Fargo’s Duke Energy Center – Charlotte, NC
May 13: Peace Bridge – Buffalo, NY
May 13: Pacific Science Center – Seattle, WA
May 13: Niagara Falls – Buffalo, NY/Canada (Around 10 PM for 15 minutes blue due to lighting constraints)
May 14: The Zakim Bridge – Boston, MA
May 9-14: Mid-Hudson Bridge – Poughkeepsie/Highland, NY
May 15: CN Tower – Toronto, ON (Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative)
May 15: Toronto City Hall – Toronto, ON (Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative)
May 15: 3D Toronto Sign – Toronto, ON (Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative)
May 15: City of Mississauga Clock Tower – Mississauga, ON (Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative)"

Kudos to Turn It Teal!!! They deserve so much credit for their efforts, and what a beautiful way to bring attention to Food Allergy Awareness Week!!!!

21 April 2016

#BCRFancy Twitter Party Tips

Reposting an oldie but a goodie...updated now.

Twitter Party Tips

If you're new to Twitter, attending a Twitter Party can seem pretty complicated and even a bit daunting. Fear not! A couple of easy steps, and you'll be ready to watch the Tweets fly, and maybe...before the hour's up, you might even decide to Tweet too!

Basic Twitter Tips
If you think you might want to Tweet during the party, you will need to get a Twitter account. It's free and easy to do. They don't require much personal info at all to open an account. Just visit www.twitter.com and click on the Sign Up button on the right. You will be asked to provide your full name, a user name, a password and your email address. Having a Twitter account means you can Tweet a message to everyone and anyone on Twitter, provided you keep it to 140 characters or less in length. You can follow other people on Twitter who you think have interesting things to say and likewise, people can follow you! If someone unseemly follows you, you can always block them.

When you rest your cursor on a tweet on your screen, you'll see you have the option to reply or retweet. If you read a tweet that you think is worth repeating to your followers, you can retweet. You'll see the tweet with a RT in front, ready to send. Hitting reply automatically puts the screenname of the Twitter user you are replying to at the beginning of your Tweet. For example, if you reply to a Tweet from me, your reply would begin "@FoodAllergyBuzz".

Attending a Twitter Party
So, you've signed up for Twitter. You get how to reply, retweet and tweet. How do you participate in the Twitter Party? A few important things will make it easy for you.

First, you need to know what the hashtag is. For the #BCRFancy Party, we will use #BCRFancy. That means all tweets intended for our Twitter Party must include "#BCRFancy" in that 140 character tweet or the people at the party won't see it! Using the hashtag enables everyone there to filter out tweets unrelated to the party. The tweets tend to come fast and furious during Twitter parties. It can be difficult to keep up. The last thing you need is unrelated Tweets interspersed with Twitter Party Tweets. That'll just confuse you and make your eyes go buggy!

Twitter Search
If you want to keep it simple, use Twitter Search. You can just type #foodallergy into the search box on the right side of your twitter page about a third of the way down. That brings you "real time" search results for tweets with #foodallergy. Sometimes it does not refresh as fast as you'd like, and you'll find it's difficult to keep up because while you're waiting for your search results to refresh, people are still tweeting away. It keeps things simple and uncluttered, though, and you can keep your Twitter page open in a separate window in case you wish to Tweet, Retweet, or Reply.

Twitter Dashboards
If you are comfortable with a very minimal amount of learning an application/tool, try a Twitter Dashboard, such as Tweetdeck or Tweetgrid. There are many. I'm a Tweetdeck fan myself--it's free and simple to use. I find using a Twitter dashboard makes it easier to keep track of replies, direct messages, and #foodallergy tweets simultaneously. For the party itself, I recommend using 4 columns: Mentions, Direct Messages, a column for #foodallergy search results, and a column for your tweets. That way, you can see all of the relevant info simultaneously.

That's my quick and dirty lesson on how to attend a Twitter Party. I am sure I am leaving out quite a bit, but hopefully this is enough to get you started! Please also take a look at a related post about Twitter Parties and how they work over at Best Allergy Sites. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me jenniferATfoodallergybuzz.com--I'll reply as quick as I can. Hope to see you at the party!

25 March 2016

#BCRFancy Twitter Party April 21, 2016

Have you heard? Food Allergy Buzz is teaming up with Fancypants Baking Co. for a fun-filled Twitter Party on Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 8:00 pm EDT/5:00 pm PDT. A few lucky party-goers will win some amazing Fancypants Baking Co. cookies. To find out more about the party and the prizes, please view the invitation. The hashtag is #BCRFancy. The BCR stands for Bite. Crunch. Repeat. -- the words you see on every Crunch cookies package and they are what you'll want to do once you try Crunch cookies!

When I first discovered Fancypants Baking Co. cookies at a local supermarket about 8 years ago, I could not believe my luck.  Finding peanut and tree nut-free cookies made in a nut-free, peanut-free facility in the bakery department at the supermarket was very unusual then. It wasn't like today where you can find nut-free cupcakes, Lofthouse peanut-free cookies, Enjoy Life cookies and bars, or Skeeter Snacks. In fact, it was just the beginning of being able to find Enjoy Life Foods in supermarkets.

Not only has Fancypants Baking Co. been around for years, but they have been nut-free and peanut-free the entire time. Their decorated cookies come in delightful designs and each cookie is decorated by hand. You can see the detail and care with which each cookie is made, in the above photo. They are non-GMO verified, certified Kosher, and the icing is colored with plant-derived colors not artificial

In more recent years, Fancypants Baking Co. has expanded their product line to include Crunch Cookies. Their Crunch cookies are available in supermarkets around the U.S. and come in four different flavors--brown sugar, chocolate chip, double chocolate, and sugar. They are non-GMO verified and certified Kosher too. There are also seasonal varieties as well, too many to list here.
Here is a 2014 video about Fancypants Baking Co. when they were preparing to expand into their now current, newer, bigger facility: 

If you cannot find Fancypants' cookies in your local supermarket, ask your supermarket to carry them. In the meantime, you can always place an order online on the Fancypants Baking Co website!

Hope to see you at the @BCRFancy Twitter Party!

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