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.


Gab said...

Try peanut free planet. I just got an email from them promoting their candy corn.

Oh and we just tried the choco boom bars from Enjoy Life and they are great. Just like a nestle crunch or plain chocolate bar.

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Libby said...

You may need to resort to DIY:


Vivian Mahoney said...

I found a candy corn recipe.

Here is a vegan version with no eggs or milk.

These sound time consuming but fun!

Julie E said...

I called Blueberry Hill today to ask for more detail about possible cross-contamination. She said they do package some peanut products in the same building, but she said they are in an enclosed "allergen room" separate from the room that processes the candy corn. She said the candy corn line never processes peanut products.

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Unknown said...

I want to add that the terms "peanut-free facility" and "peanut-free" are very subjective. On Food Allergy Buzz, I am using my own definition which is that there are no peanuts in the building at all. I realize that may be an extreme position. As evidenced by the polls currently in the left sidebar, many people agree with that definition, but not everyone shares the same view. It's great to be able to share our views online!

Jenny said...

The candy corn conundrum!! I have searched for this in vain the last 2 years.

Vermont Nut-Free Chocolates used to make candy corn but they stopped. I e-mailed them and begged them to put it back in their catalog, but did not hear back from them.

I think this illustrates how important it is to have consistent labeling practices. We really don't know what we're getting, do we? And if someone claims to be peanut-free, can we believe them? If I go out of my way to order expensive candy and pay additional shipping costs, you bet your booty I want it to be "nut free" no ifs, ands or buts.

But as Jennifer B points out, peanut-free means different things to different people.

Thanks Jennifer for your hard work on this topic!

Anonymous said...

Was this entire post from last year? Was it in 2008 or 2009 you called manufacturers? If it was last year, are we still short of candy companies making peanut free candy corn?