Peanut free means that food does not contain peanuts, peanut butter, peanut oil or any form or derivative of peanut in the least! It must not contain peanut stearate or “traces of peanut”. Even if the ingredient label reads “May have traces of nuts or peanut,” treat this label as if it read “has nuts or peanuts”. A food item may labeled as having “mandelona” or “new nuts.” This means it contains peanuts marinated in almond flavoring and cut to look like almonds. AVOID these foods.
Peanut-free food or snack can be purchased from stores by buying packaged food with the proper labeling. If it does not have ingredient labeling (i.e. such as in-store produced baked goods), do not buy it because there is no way of knowing if it contains a peanut product, or has been in contact with a peanut product.
When buying from the store, follow these guidelines:
- * Don’t purchase baked goods from bakeries or donut shops where the food has been sitting with other goods under the same glass display or where peanut products are produced. There are many, many ways that your purchase could have been cross-contaminated with peanut. The product may have been made on the same counter as peanut products, or with the same utensils, or the tongs used to pick up your purchase had previously been used to pick up a peanut product.
- * Peanut free “baked” snacks from the store are best if they are well labeled and tightly packaged cookies, crackers and cereals.
Peanut free, What is cross-contamination?
Cross-contamination occurs when a safe food comes in contact with a food allergen such as peanut, nuts, seafood or milk. For those with severe food allergies, eating even the slightest trace of an allergic food can cause a potentially life threatening or fatal reaction. Although not everyone with food allergy is this sensitive, it’s still important to be very careful and follow peanut free precautions.
Reactions can occur by several means:
- * Someone ate a peanut product
- * They unknowingly ate something that was not supposed to contain peanut but had been contaminated with peanut. This could happen through an unintended ingredient or from coming in contact with peanuts during preparation, storage or serving.
- * They touched something with peanut traces and then put their hands in their mouth. The most frequent situation of direct contact is when someone eats a peanut product and then touches a chair or table, leaving a smear of peanut. The next person to use that table or chair could be severely peanut allergic, and that residue, if it gets into their mouth, could be enough to cause a reaction.
Recent research shows that just being near peanuts or peanut containing foods generally does not cause anaphylaxis. The asthmatic with peanut allergy may wheeze and / or have hives, symptoms which could be part of an anaphylactic reaction, and often treated with epinephrine. Follow your doctor’s instructions.
Peanut free transgression:
- 1 A teenager at a summer camp collapsed and died after eating a grilled cheese sandwich made with butter that had also been used to make a peanut butter sandwich.
- 2 A child died after eating a cheese sandwich that had been packed in the same bag together with peanut butter sandwiches.
Peanut free conclusions
Peanut free public and social situations can help to protect children. However, even with these precautions, the safest rule for children with a peanut allergy is that they should always bring their own food from home when food is involved. However, the policy of whether to allow homemade goodies as snacks, and whether the child with a food allergy is allowed to eat the food provided, needs be agreed among the caregivers, classmates’ parents and the parents of the affected child. The reason that parents are requested to bring in “peanut-free” food is to reduce the very real risk of cross-contamination.