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.

20 September 2008

Isn't There Any Candy Corn Made in a Peanut-Free Facility?

**Special note 09/28/08: I have not published the emails from Blueberry Hill or Peanut Free Planet here due to their number and length.  They are available online now; the links are in a new post, The Rest of the Candy Corn Story**

Is there any candy corn made in a peanut-free, nut-free facility?   Internet searches turned up nothing helpful.  I actually telephoned the National Confectioners Association a few weeks ago with this very question.  Why? Trying to find a new halloween treat for my peanut allergic four-year old.   The National Confectioners Association told me they are not aware of any peanut-free, tree nut-free facilities making candy corn.  In fact, they informed me that much of the halloween candy sold in the U.S. is not even made in the U.S. anymore.  It is made in China and other distant locations, so there's no telling what the facilities are like.  They recommended I check with Gimbal's, a U.S.-based manufacturer best known for their jelly beans and fruit slices, which are free of the top 8 food allergens.  Unfortunately, Gimbal's does not manufacture candy corn.  

I remembered reading somewhere that Blueberry Hill Foods candy corn is made in a peanut-free facility, so I sent them an email in late August.  They responded on August 27 saying "Please know that we do use peanuts in our facility, however, they are contained in a separate area and the equipment used to make the candies is not shared."  What exactly is meant by separate area? Same room?  Same building?  I avoid scenarios such as that for other foods, so I've concluded that we'll skip candy corn again this year. Maybe Gimbal's or another peanut-free, nut-free candy manufacturer will begin candy corn production next year.  Until then, we'll stick with our nut-free chocolate made in the U.S.A. and supplement with Halloween stickers and other non-food items.

*UPDATE: I received an email from Peanut Free Planet on September 24, 2008 with additional information about Blueberry Hill candy corn and also more information from Blueberry Hill directly on September 25, 2008.  Read The Candy Corn Mystery to learn the details.
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