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.

15 December 2009

What's In That Breading? Angel Food Ministries' Allergen Free Box

For some time now, Angel Food Ministries has offered an allergen-free box of breaded meat and poultry. I have tried a few times to get additional information about the breading before taking the plunge and trying it with my peanut allergic son. Breaded meat, poultry and fish scare me a little because he has broken out in hives from breaded chicken and fish made by companies which supposedly do not use any peanuts or peanut products. I can't help but think perhaps the breading somehow contains traces of peanut and I'd like some reassurance before we try Angel Food Ministries' allergen-free box. I telephoned in May and also sent an email. I never received an answer to my questions. I telephoned again last week, leaving a message. Again, no answer. I have to be honest--the lack of information and failure to answer what I consider to be a basic question for food allergic consumers does not inspire confidence.

Now I ask again here, with my Food Allergy Buzz cap on--no longer just as a mother of a peanut allergic child--but as a food allergy blogger and active member of the online food allergy community.  Perhaps this public forum will finally elicit an answer? Can anyone provide additional information about the breading on the meat and poultry in the allergen-free box from Angel Food Ministries? Like so many families in the U.S., we're trying our best to stretch our dollars. The allergen-free box sounds good, but I need more information. I need to know if everything, every morsel and ingredient of food in that allergen-free box comes from a dedicated peanut-free facility. I need to know more about the risk of cross-contamination and possible trace amounts of peanuts and nuts. The website says "Processed to eliminate the eight top serious allergens: Peanuts, Soybeans, Milk, Eggs, Fish, Crustacea, Tree Nuts and Gluten (wheat, rye and barley)." What exactly does that mean, in terms of risk of cross-contamination?

I will copy and paste this post in an email to Angel Food Ministries and will be sure to share any answer I receive with all of you here. If anyone has friend at Angel Food Ministries, I would very much appreciate it if you could direct them to this post so I can find out more about that breading! In the meantime, thanks for your help!


Anonymous said...

I believe the Distributor is Prime Pak in Gainesville Ga. Maybe they could help you. Ask for Todd.

Anonymous said...

Hello Food Allergy Buzz,

The Allergen Free Box for Angel Food Ministries is a wonderful product. I have been using it for years to feed my two children.
I know that my kids enjoy the box tremendously, and my family has felt a great relief knowing they can have healthy proteins without fear.

Like you, I had the same concerns. I found on the current January menu the list of ingredients that Angel Food's Vendor uses to produce their breading. The ingredients were:

Allergen Free Box

Battered with water, white rice, brown rice, modified tapioca starch, flax seed, sugar, salt, spices, dehydrated garlic, spice extractives and oleoresin paprika.
Breaded with white rice, brown rice, modified tapioca starch, flax seed, sugar, salt, spices, dehydrated garlic, spice extractives and oleoresin paprika.
Breading is pre-browned in Canola oil.

From this I saw that there would be no trace of cross contamination of peanuts, or any peanut by products. Since Angel Food buys straight from the vendor and then repackages with their name I doubt that any outside variables could be contributed. I hope this answers any questions you might of had about the Allergen Free Box.

Here is a link also for the vendor that Angel Food Ministries buys their Allergen Free products from.


Happy Holidays!

Unknown said...

Thank you Anonymous Commenter 1 and Anonymous Commenter 2!

Anonymous 1: I will follow up with Prime Pak--thanks for the tip.

Anonymous 2:

The link for the vendor from which Angel Food Ministries purchases the allergen-free food is very helpful--thank you! I will follow up with them. I am very interested in the allergen-free box.

I am curious--how were you able to obtain the allergen-free box for years? I was under the impression that the allergen free box has only been available for about a year--I remember reading the press release sometime around late 2008/early 2009.

Re: the ingredient list and menu. I have read the ingredient list and menus thoroughly. The fact that a food does not contain an allergen as an ingredient does not mean there is no cross-contamination, so I am not sure how you reached that conclusion by reading the ingredient list. There is always the risk of cross-contamination from the suppliers of the ingredients.

It is distressing that no one from Angel Food Ministries has responded to my emails. The information on the website is helpful but does not address cross-contamination. That is huge concern for those with life threatening food allergies and not to be overlooked.

Anonymous said...

If you called to no answer, I apologize and if you called in May too, I apologize too.

We pride ourselves in customer communications and rarely have this issue. I believe that you already have been sent the info on our allergen box. I can tel you tat we have yet to receive a complaint that it is nothing less than what we say. It is a well received and widely commended offering that has helped many families.

Anonymous said...

Send an email to angelfood@angelfoodministries.com and I assure you an answer.

Juda S. Engelmayer
Director, Customer Care and Communications
Angel Food Ministries
D: 770 207 3042
T: 678.234.3318
M: 917.733.3561
 please consider the environment before printing this e-mail

Unknown said...

Thank you Angel Food Ministries and Juda for your comments.

I just re-sent my emails to the address you provided. I will put a link to those emails on here later (as a Google doc) so readers may see precisely what information I am requesting. I will share whatever information I receive so readers with the same questions will then have the answers.

Thank you! I look forward to hearing from you. In these tough economic times, where so many Americans are underemployed, unemployed, laid off, etc. and prices are so disproportionately high, the allergen-free food box is a really wonderful idea and so needed.

Anonymous said...

Eagerly waiting a reply!