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Author Topic: Need help for MFA friend  (Read 304 times)

Description: Friend needs to be educated

Offline Former Member

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Need help for MFA friend
« on: May 16, 2018, 11:28:32 PM »
Hello, I was on this board a long time ago because of my MFA daughter, now an adult and doing well as far as allergies.  I now have a friend who had several reactions requiring epi.  She then was diagnosed as allergic to sesame (at least two of the severe reactions were after eating sesame), almonds, macadamia nuts, and possibly others.  She had a severe reaction after eating almonds (this was after she tested positive to almonds), so I am sure that one is correct also.  The problem is that she is really lax about cross contamination.  She thinks it is safe to eat peanuts, despite being allergic to macadamia nuts and an ana reaction to almonds.  She said she loves peanuts.  She also eats cashews.  I explained to her that if you are allergic to tree nuts it is recommended to avoid peanuts due to cross contamination.   She said that she is not allergic to all tree nuts, so it is okay to eat peanuts.  So then I rephrased it and said if you are allergic to even one tree nut it is recommended to avoid peanuts.  She said that if there is no cross contamination warning on the package it is safe.  She somehow believes that any time there is cross contact that the law requires it to be stated.  I keep telling her that is not true, but she insists it is.  I watched her eat in a restaurant and just because she gave the waiter (not the manager and not the chef) a piece of paper listing her allergens she thought the food would be safe.  She ate fries without any questions about what else is made in the fryer.  I cringed at some of the things she was saying.  Try as I might, I could not convince her that she is eating unsafe food.  She is having mystery reactions.  I went out to dinner with her and my MFA daughter, hoping that when my MFA daughter asked for the chef and asked him several questions about what she would order that my friend would observe that there is much more to it than just handing the waiter a piece of paper with your allergens.  I understand that it must be hard to give up foods that you safely ate for decades and I think she just does not want to believe that she must give these foods up.  She has needed epi six times in the past year and a half.  In addition, she is having minor mystery reactions.  I need some articles, especially something explaining that peanuts are unsafe for people with TNA and that cross contact is not required to be stated on the label, also an article about how to order in a restaurant.  I am really worried about her.  I think she is sick of me talking to her about this, but she is so reckless with her allergies that I am afraid she will have that final reaction.  TIA!

Offline SilverLining

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Re: Need help for MFA friend
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2018, 06:17:47 AM »
Sorry to hear about your friend. I went through a similar situation when a friend’s child was diagnosed with the same allergies I have. He reacted when his family ate pb in the morning, and so he ate in another room. Yet his mom would not give up her morning pb.  :-/

The best place to show the law is the FDA or CFIA site where it actually says “may contain” labelling is not required. (Assuming you are in either Canada or USA.)
Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.  ~~~  Maurice Setter


Former Member1

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Re: Need help for MFA friend
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2018, 01:36:46 PM »
Thank you.  I went to the FDA website and I cannot find anything about what is not required, only what is required.  She really is convinced that companies are required to list shared equipment.  Do you have any other ideas where I can find something saying they are not?  I went to the FARE website before I posted, but there really was not anything useful there.  I have noticed that they don`t really give advice.  It is pretty standard if someone is TNA that the allergist advises them to avoid all tree nuts and also peanuts.  I don`t think she is going to believe me until I find an article or a link. The fact that she has had numerous severe reactions does not seem to be convincing her.  She described throat closing and her eyes getting so swollen that her vision was blurring, yet she continues to eat peanuts because she is not allergic to them.  I almost feel like she needs an intervention of some sort.  It reminds me of posts that were on here years ago when the child was TNA/PNA and the relatives would not give up their nuts at Thanksgiving dinner.

For some reason it won`t let me post under the  user name I used yesterday, but I am the one who posted the OP.

Offline spacecanada

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Re: Need help for MFA friend
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2018, 03:40:09 PM »
In all fairness, peanuts are not tree nuts and many people with tree nut allergies can successfully eat peanuts. The trick here is to finding peanut products that have no cross contact with or traces of tree nuts. Many major brand peanut butters (Kraft is the only one I can think of) are free from tree nuts.

I am on my phone now but will try to find a link about labelling laws later. Are you in Canada or America - or elsewhere?
anaphylaxis to tree nuts, peanuts, potato, and wheat

Offline rebekahc

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Re: Need help for MFA friend
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2018, 04:12:26 PM »
Here's a link to FARE's information about avoiding cross-contact especially when dining out.  It might be helpful to her.

https://www.foodallergy.org/life-with-food-allergies/living-well-everyday/avoiding-cross-contact

I agree with SC that cross-contact between peanuts/tree nuts and tree nuts/other tree nuts really depends on the manufacturer.  Perhaps you could call several or go to their websites to find both safe and unsafe ones to show her.
TX - USA
DS - peanut, tree nut, milk, eggs, corn, soy, several meds, many environmentals. Finally back on Xolair!
DD - mystery anaphylaxis, shellfish.
DH - banana/avocado, aspirin.  Asthma.
Me - peanut, tree nut, shellfish, banana/avocado/latex,  some meds.

Offline SilverLining

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Re: Need help for MFA friend
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2018, 04:31:26 PM »
https://www.fda.gov/food/guidanceregulation/guidancedocumentsregulatoryinformation/allergens/ucm059116.htm

Number 16 on this page.

Quote
Does FALCPA require food manufacturers to label their products with advisory statements, such as "may contain [allergen]" or "processed in a facility that also processes [allergen]?"

No. FALCPA does not address the use of advisory labeling, including statements describing the potential presence of unintentional ingredients in food products resulting from the food manufacturing process. FALCPA does require FDA to submit a report to Congress, a part of which assesses the use of, and consumer preferences about, advisory labeling. In earlier guidance, FDA advised that advisory labeling such as "may contain [allergen]" should not be used as a substitute for adherence to current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs). In addition, any advisory statement such as "may contain [allergen]" must be truthful and not misleading.

However, I suspect your friend will interpret that differently than what it actually says.
Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.  ~~~  Maurice Setter


Former Member1

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Re: Need help for MFA friend
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2018, 09:17:24 AM »
In all fairness, peanuts are not tree nuts and many people with tree nut allergies can successfully eat peanuts. The trick here is to finding peanut products that have no cross contact with or traces of tree nuts. Many major brand peanut butters (Kraft is the only one I can think of) are free from tree nuts.

I am on my phone now but will try to find a link about labelling laws later. Are you in Canada or America - or elsewhere?

I am in the U.S.  Yes, the issue is cross contact.  She is not allergic to peanuts, but insists that if there is no warning about cross contact with almonds or macadamia then the peanuts are processed free of cross contact.

Former Member1

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Re: Need help for MFA friend
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2018, 09:19:54 AM »
Here's a link to FARE's information about avoiding cross-contact especially when dining out.  It might be helpful to her.


I agree with SC that cross-contact between peanuts/tree nuts and tree nuts/other tree nuts really depends on the manufacturer.  Perhaps you could call several or go to their websites to find both safe and unsafe ones to show her.

Thanks.  This is very helpful.

Former Member1

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Re: Need help for MFA friend
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2018, 09:22:25 AM »

Number 16 on this page.

Quote
Does FALCPA require food manufacturers to label their products with advisory statements, such as "may contain [allergen]" or "processed in a facility that also processes [allergen]?"

No. FALCPA does not address the use of advisory labeling, including statements describing the potential presence of unintentional ingredients in food products resulting from the food manufacturing process. FALCPA does require FDA to submit a report to Congress, a part of which assesses the use of, and consumer preferences about, advisory labeling. In earlier guidance, FDA advised that advisory labeling such as "may contain [allergen]" should not be used as a substitute for adherence to current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs). In addition, any advisory statement such as "may contain [allergen]" must be truthful and not misleading.

However, I suspect your friend will interpret that differently than what it actually says.

I think this will help.  Thank you.  (It is making me delete your link in my reply, but I saw your link.)

Offline SilverLining

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Re: Need help for MFA friend
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2018, 09:27:49 AM »
Good luck. I hope something gets through to her.
Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.  ~~~  Maurice Setter


Offline spacecanada

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Re: Need help for MFA friend
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2018, 03:03:46 PM »
Here are some additional links:

Allergic Living: Labelling in America
https://www.allergicliving.com/2014/01/06/may-contains-on-food-labels-what-you-need-to-know/

Allergic Living: Labelling in Canada
https://www.allergicliving.com/2014/01/06/may-contains-on-canadian-food-labels/

Newly Diagnosed: Understanding Labels
http://www.allergysupportcentre.ca/understanding-labels.html

Some people are simply in denial or don't understand the severity of food allergies - even people with allergies.  I often find it easier to educate people without allergies, than those with them, oddly enough.  Good luck trying to get some messaging across in a positive manner.  I would also suggest mentioning an anaphylaxis emergency plan and creating a list of questions to ask their allergist.  That may be a good place to start - deferring questions to an allergist.  (If the allergist understands the real-world challenges of living with food allergies, that is.)
anaphylaxis to tree nuts, peanuts, potato, and wheat

Former Member1

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Re: Need help for MFA friend
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2018, 03:23:15 PM »
All the links were very helpful.  Thank you.




**Personal information deleted per request of FormerMember1 by Hezzier
« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 12:54:31 PM by hezzier »