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.

12 November 2012

Food Allergy Friendly Thanksgiving Seasoning?

I think it's safe to say Bell's seasonings is a staple in most New England households. For me, when I see that familiar little yellow box, I think Thanksgiving. People use it for their turkeys and stuffings and who-knows-what-else. 

My younger son, who has peanut and tree nut allergies, always eyed stuffing a bit suspiciously and avoided it like the plague. This year, he wants to try it, so I had to check to find out if peanuts or tree nuts are present in the facility where Bell's Seasonings are made. Below is the response I received. I love the very thorough reply. I think it's one of the best answers to my cross-contamination questions that I have ever received from a food manufacturer. Hope this information is helpful to you as you make your Thanksgiving plans!

A review of our allergen information associated
with Bell's Seasoning indicates that, as formulated,
none of the Food and Drug Administration's so - called
"Big Eight" allergens are present. This group of allergens

        Peanuts. Peanut Derivatives
        Tree Nut/Tree Nut Derivatives
        Egg/Egg Products
        Crustacean (Lobster,Crab,Shrimp
        Soybeans/Soya Derivatives
        Milk/Milk Products
        Fish/Fish Products
        Wheat/Wheat Products

Please be advised that Bell's Seasoning is blended on equipment
which has, previously, not been used in connection with product which
contain both Peanut and Tree - Nut allergens. The other, "Big Eight" allergens
have been in products blended on this same equipment.

Sesame seeds are not included in FDA's "Big Eight," hence we do not
demand from our provider specific information on Sesame seed. We do
inquire as to whether there other, sensitizing ingredients, including
"seeds" to which we have received a response of "no."

We inquire of our provider if any of the "Big Eight, if not in the product,
are they present, anywhere, in the facility in which the Bell's Seasoning
is blended. The response to this question is "yes," for  all of the "Big Eight"
allergens except peanuts and tree- nuts; the other allergens are brought
into and stored, somewhere, in the facility.

Finally, Bell's Seasoning is packaged on equipment located in the immediate
vicinity where Bell's Stuffing is blended and packaged. Thus, we are obliged to
advise Bell's consumers that there is the possibility that Bell's seasoning has
picked up, air - borne particulates from the stuffing, i.e. bread, which contain gluten
which is of significance to those who cannot tolerate gluten (Celiac Sprue Disorder).

The question of allergens, increasingly, becomes more entangled, it is
no longer a simple "yes" or a "no," but, rather, you, the consumer are left
with a decision to make which might read as follows - "Based on the answer,
there is risk involved; the decision as to whether I should or should not
eat a particular food becomes, increasingly, mine."

If I can be of further assistance, if you would like to discuss this
response, further, please do not hesitate to get back to me.

Wishing you, your family and friends a wonderful Thanksgiving,

Michael Sanna
Manager, R&D

Thank you.

No comments: