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.

02 October 2014

Food Allergy Consumer Alert: Halloween Candy

Each year, I find more and more food allergy safe options for my son. We've never missed trick-or-treating due to his food allergies, even though he does not eat any of the candy he gets while trick-or-treating. He is very happy to eat the safe candy I've got ready and waiting at home, and we have so much fun every year. As you consider your Halloween candy purchases (candy corn, marshmallow cremes, etc) and plans, I wanted to share some concerning information with you.
Over the last few years, I have noticed more and more food allergy families mentioning in online forums that they purchase food allergy safe candy at dollar stores. The labels say what we want to see: "This product is processed in a facility that does not use peanuts, tree nuts, milk or wheat." Like anyone, I love to get a bargain and I visit the dollar store myself from time to time. (not for toothpaste; not a big fan of antifreeze in my toothpaste.) I want to urge you to PLEASE do thorough research on the candy you buy. I recently discovered that Greenbriar International, which seems to be the Dollar Tree company, has had some problems with lead in their candy. From what I found in a cursory Google search, Greenbriar International (aka Dollar Tree) is related to Landmark Confections and Coastal Bay Confections, both candy brands sold at Dollar Tree stores. As recently as August 2014, some of their candy was found to be in violation of the California Health & Safety Code (Proposition  65). I found a "Sixty Day Notice of Intent to Sue for Violation of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986". In this notice, they discuss "Violations of Proposition 65 Concerning Candy Containing Lead". The notice states the violations have been occurring for more than three years!
There has been so much frightening news lately: Ebola, Enterovirus 68, people jumping the fence at the White House and getting in the White House! As the old saying goes, buyer beware! Check those labels, and then maybe check out the company that manufacturers the candy or food you buy. Those of us managing food allergies are pretty savvy consumers, so take a good long look when you are at the store and make sure you aren't getting more or less than you bargained for...

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