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.

29 November 2008

Maybe Not So Food Allergy Friendly After All

Jakks Pacific Girl Gourmet Cupcake Maker
Not too long ago, I came across a press release for what I thought was a "food allergy friendly toy" and wrote about it here.  It seemed great that a toy was created with food allergic children in mind.  I even posted about it elsewhere, like peanutallergy.com. On the one hand, I am disturbed that I helped propagate the impression that the toy is food allergy friendly when it may not be. On the other hand, I am glad I posted about it because it instigated a useful discussion. Peanut Free Mama pointed out that there was some conflicting and concerning information on the package which raised questions about cross-contamination!

A question about cross-contamination was disturbing, especially considering the press release presented the toy as suitable for those with nut allergies and celiac disease. I telephoned and emailed the manufacturer. The information I received was less than crystal clear. It certainly was not the reassurance parents of food allergic children desire or need. Based on the manufacturer's statements, it seems there are no nuts in the factory or the mixes. If one assumes that "nuts" in this context means peanuts and tree nuts, the mixes possibly may be safe for peanut and nut allergic individuals. The information on cross-contamination is even less clear with regard to gluten content. It appears that gluten and wheat are not ingredients but that the mixes are manufactured on equipment that handles gluten and/or wheat. The one thing that is certain is that Jakks' allergen information is not as clear as it should be. It should not take multiple emails and group discussion to decipher a product's allergen information.

Do any of you have the Girl Gourmet Cupcake Maker? What have you discovered regarding food allergens in the Girl Gourmet mixes? What's your take on it?

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