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Author Topic: Living with Food Allergies, 2013 and on  (Read 119827 times)

Description: Day-to-day experiences

Offline SilverLining

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Re: Living with Food Allergies, 2013 and on
« Reply #1560 on: May 29, 2017, 06:06:22 PM »
I decided this was a good example to forward to the CFIA to show what allergic shoppers are forced to deal with.
And how did you do this?  I submitted a very misleading label to them this week and they just cited that it met current labelling laws and there is nothing they can do.  I replied that the whole point was to demonstrate how their current rules are confusing customers.

And don't get me started on the unregulated peanut-free logo... Especially when accompanied with the words 'nut free' - what does it even mean then?  Sorry, caught in a labelling vent today after three irritating/misleading/confusing labels in as many days.

I sent a message on FB.

As a person living with food allergies I regularly have to contact companies because, as you know, there is no requirement to label when there is cross contamination. No warning means no warning...it does not mean no risk. And a warning of dairy does not mean it is safe for other allergens. Last I heard....there were no laws about it AT ALL in Canada. ~~ Recently I went to purchase a product, and there was a product in the same size and shape package from the same company, and it had sesame seeds. Since I am allergic to them I sent an e-mail asking if the products are produced on the same equipment, and do they put warnings if there is a risk of cross contamination. Here is the response I got. ~~~ As part of our adherence to BRC accreditation (and CFIA), we have a robust allergen control program in place.  Among other things it includes separating raw materials, scheduling products - like with like - I.E. mustards run with other mustards when possible and both ATP sanitation testing combined with allergen swabs.  We don't use any "may contain" statements on our products.
~~~ clear as mud.  When every company has their own language the average shopper doesn't stand a chance. It is Food Allergy Awareness Month in Canada. I would like the CFIA to be aware of how impossible it is for people with allergies to get just a straight answer about cross contamination. We need labelling that is clear and consistent.


They have not responded. First time ever that they did not respond to me.
Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.  ~~~  Maurice Setter


Offline spacecanada

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Re: Living with Food Allergies, 2013 and on
« Reply #1561 on: May 30, 2017, 09:14:57 AM »
Good one!  The only regulation is that here in Canada they are 'encouraged' to use the wording 'may contain' instead of the other variations of such statements.  I wonder if we can start a petition to make 'may contains' mandatory for shared lines.  (Shared facilities would be even better, but I know many people are ok with shared facilities.). With such a strong food allergy community, we may get enough signatures. 

But then again, many - and I would confidently say most - people still believe that no may contains statement means it is safe.  Their tolerance levels may be higher, their comfort zone bigger, etc. But I truly think most of them do it because they either aren't educated of the risk or simply don't have the time and energy required to call/email for each and every item and choose to accept that risk- or the stigma of being an allergy person/parent and needing to know these 'ridiculous' details - when half of time the answers aren't clear anyway.

And then restaurants cooking for people with allergies rarely, if ever, know anything beyond what is on the label!  (I had one restaurant refuse to serve me an item because the chef couldn't call and ask about may contains because it was after hours - bless that Disney chef - but most wouldn't have a clue.). And people wonder why I won't eat out anywhere... I cannot trust them to know as much as I need them to know about the ingredients they are using. 

And the ongoing world-wide cumin/spices contamination, with products still accepted to be on the shelves without a warning...

The situation is extremely complicated.  Preaching to the choir here, possibly even the pastor, I know.  LOL.
anaphylaxis to tree nuts, peanuts, and potatoes; severe dairy intolerance; vegan (preference)
family members allergic to dairy, egg, peanut, sesame, shellfish

Offline SilverLining

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Re: Living with Food Allergies, 2013 and on
« Reply #1562 on: May 30, 2017, 04:26:41 PM »
Sometimes you just have to let it out.
Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.  ~~~  Maurice Setter


Offline PurpleCat

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Re: Living with Food Allergies, 2013 and on
« Reply #1563 on: May 31, 2017, 06:43:22 PM »
DD got into it with a young lady she thinks is just a couple years older than her.  She was at an ice cream place with bumper cars, mini golf, etc... with her senior class.  The young lady worked the food counter and DD was trying to get a burger without the bun, etc... to eat safely.  I don't know exactly what she said, but it was something like..."if you can eat gluten you don't have food allergies"!  And apparently the interaction was ugly.

Offline SilverLining

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Re: Living with Food Allergies, 2013 and on
« Reply #1564 on: June 01, 2017, 04:21:57 PM »
I would be reporting that to the manager. Anyone working in preparing/serving food needs to know a but about food allergies. And they need to not hire people with "fad" ideas about it.
Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.  ~~~  Maurice Setter


Offline PurpleCat

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Re: Living with Food Allergies, 2013 and on
« Reply #1565 on: June 01, 2017, 07:10:57 PM »
She sent an email last night.  Glad she is taking initiative.

Offline SilverLining

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Re: Living with Food Allergies, 2013 and on
« Reply #1566 on: June 01, 2017, 07:34:13 PM »
She sent an email last night.  Glad she is taking initiative.

I'm glad she is.  :thumbsup:
Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.  ~~~  Maurice Setter


Offline SilverLining

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Re: Living with Food Allergies, 2013 and on
« Reply #1567 on: June 01, 2017, 07:36:27 PM »
I am starting to think CFIA may have blocked me on Twitter.  During May (food allergy awareness month) they kept asking questions and I kept answering. Now it's June. Their questions have changed....my responses have not.
Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.  ~~~  Maurice Setter


Offline GoingNuts

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Re: Living with Food Allergies, 2013 and on
« Reply #1568 on: June 21, 2017, 06:35:15 PM »
This afternoon I was at a meeting with a group of coworkers I work rarely with directly.  One of them took out a bag of nuts and started eating, then he stopped and asked if anyone was allergic.  I almost leapt out of my seat to throw my arms around him, LOL. 
"Speak out against the madness" - David Crosby
N.E. US

Offline PurpleCat

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Re: Living with Food Allergies, 2013 and on
« Reply #1569 on: June 21, 2017, 06:53:37 PM »
 :thumbsup:

Offline spacecanada

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Re: Living with Food Allergies, 2013 and on
« Reply #1570 on: June 22, 2017, 11:17:55 AM »
Yay!!
anaphylaxis to tree nuts, peanuts, and potatoes; severe dairy intolerance; vegan (preference)
family members allergic to dairy, egg, peanut, sesame, shellfish

Offline spacecanada

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Re: Living with Food Allergies, 2013 and on
« Reply #1571 on: July 07, 2017, 07:17:04 PM »
How can one itty bitty hive (smaller than my pinky fingernail) be sooooo itchy?
anaphylaxis to tree nuts, peanuts, and potatoes; severe dairy intolerance; vegan (preference)
family members allergic to dairy, egg, peanut, sesame, shellfish

Offline GoingNuts

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Re: Living with Food Allergies, 2013 and on
« Reply #1572 on: July 08, 2017, 05:07:34 PM »
Convo overheard between a tween and her extended family - "We can't go to Panera because they are really bad about my allergies ".   

Way to go, advocating for yourself, girlfriend.  I have no idea who she was, but I was darned proud of her.
"Speak out against the madness" - David Crosby
N.E. US

Offline YouKnowWho

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Re: Living with Food Allergies, 2013 and on
« Reply #1573 on: July 14, 2017, 01:44:20 PM »
So worry about upcoming surgery and the what if's have been taken over by making lists of foods in freezer, what stores to find key food items (DS1's bread is only sold at one chain but not all locations typically have it or DD's safe bread options at various locations).  On the flip side this is ruining my chances of sleeping at night...
DS1 - Wheat, rye, barley and egg
DS2 - peanuts
DD -  tree nuts, soy and sunflower
Me - bananas, eggplant, many drugs
Southeast USA

Offline hezzier

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Re: Living with Food Allergies, 2013 and on
« Reply #1574 on: July 14, 2017, 04:30:09 PM »
DD has asked to switch flavors of Kind Granola bars she eats so no longer eating the PB flavor.  At her work inservice, she asked if anyone had food allergies before she pulled it out to eat it.
DS (12 yrs) TN
DD (15 yrs) cat, wasps and yellow jackets

NH, USA