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.

14 July 2009

Pet Peeve--The Allergy Friendly Bandwagon

I have to share some food allergy pet peeves!

You know those companies that are trying to appear allergy friendly? You know the ones--they don't really do anything extra to their products to make them allergy friendly. Their labels haven't been written to be allergy friendly either. Nonetheless, because their product happens to not contain a major allergen, they try to jump on the allergy friendly bandwagon. For some reason, that gets under my skin. That and the broad statement so many manufacturers give when we call or write to inquire about the presence of certain allergens in their products or their manufacturing facility. I am sure you've heard it--"We follow the FDA" blah blah "8 most common allergens" blah blah. That information really isn't helpful! I don't know about you, but I certainly expect and hope that U.S. food manufacturers follow federal regulations. I don't think they deserve special attention because they label the way they are supposed to according to FDA regulations!

Unfortunately, I don't find that the regulations require these manufacturers to provide enough detailed information. It is those manufacturers that go above and beyond what is required that deserve extra credit. One company that goes above and beyond in their labeling is Amy's. All the information I need is right there on the package! And...it is actually something I can buy at the supermarket and not special order online! How often does that happen?! There are others as well. Let's see how many I can think of off the top of my head...

Cherrybrook Kitchen
Enjoy Life
Pamela's Products
Philly Swirl

I am already stumped. Maybe I need more coffee! What other really food allergy friendly manufacturers can you think of whose products are available at the supermarket and have great allergen labeling?


Karen said...

Guardian Angel Foods in parts of Canada free from milk eggs and peanuts/ nuts

New Moon Kitchen (Ontario, Canada) free from milk eggs and peanuts/nuts

Sha Sha milk free (on website) and nut free (on label)


Sunrype in Canada free from facilities, most major allergens, some products shared lines in USA only

Pita Break milk free facility

Nowheymama said...

Namaste! I can even find them in our little town.

Unknown said...

Wow--you can find Namaste at your supermarket?! Lucky!

Jenny said...

Yes, it's disturbing that companies pat themselves on the back for following FDA regs. And hopefully the FDA will step up their labeling rules since the leadership has changed. We will see!

Ruth Smith said...

Yes-these companies do irk me.

Even worse to me are the new supposed for profit "allergy friendly" websites popping up all over the place promising one thing or another. Dig a little deeper and you'll find a marketing professional or non allergy/food allergy person behind the whole thing.

Many of these sites post unsafe or incorrect information unbeknownst to the average person. Or they steal articles, blog posts, videos, and content from other reputable sites-never offering up anything unique or new.

Unfortunately that is what happens when someone sees a growing market.

Great post Jennifer. I too would caution readers to be careful of such sites, companies, and products.

Good and legitimate companies and websites out there offer up free information or information willingly and have experience in the food allergy world-be it a product or informational site. With the exception of non profit support sites that offer memberships-you shouldn't have to pay for it.

I think a good way to identify a legitimate company, product, or web site is to identify the person behind the site. Do they or family members have food allergies? Are they active in the allergy community? Can you find a bio or any info about them? Do they charge a ridiculous fee to be a "member" or part of their community?

And of course always, always read labels thoroughly and take advice from websites with caution.

Jane Anne said...

I am incredibly frustrated with labeling. Just this weekend I discovered that an item wasn't labeled as having allergens but it had a huge allergy warning on the company's website. How do they think that having a warning on the website will help consumers at the grocery store!?
Thanks for the reminder to remember to support the allergy friendly companies.

I found some cupcakes at Wal-mart that have the peanut-free symbol on them. I blogged about it on today's post: Allergy Happenings

Lynda18901 said...

Kitchen Basics stocks have a prominent "allergen watch" statement on each package and I find it at most grocery stores in my area.

RLR said...

Gimbal's Fine Candies has a great label on their packaging. And very allergy-friendly jellybeans.
Of course, I was so excited to find them thatI blogged about them!

Anonymous said...

Ian's frozen chicken nuggets - very allergy friendly, easy to read labels. I called the company and personally spoke to the owner who could not have been nicer and very helpful.