Monday, January 17, 2011

Searching: spices made in sesame-free and egg-free facility

I have not found spices I am completely comfortable with.  I have my pantry stocked with Frontier/Simply Organics and Whole Foods 365.  My toddler has not had a problem with any of these spices to date (we had been using them prior to confirmed sesame allergy). Still, I feel like I should do more research in order to find a brand that does not process or package sesame.  

Thus far I have contacted several companies. All responded promptly.   

Frontier:  Company's customer service informed me the facility is not allergen free. They do not state that any of their products are allergen free. They follow strict Good Manufacturing Practices to minimize the potential for cross-contamination, but do not test for the presence of allergens in final products. Both eggs and sesame are present in their facility. Since they utilize the same lines for allergen and non allergen spices, to be on the safe side, they unfortunately recommend not purchasing this line of products. Customer Service emailed a list which includes the allergens present in their facility below. Company's customer service informed me that they do not carry or offer egg in their plant however they do pack sesame seeds in their facility.  They stressed that there is always some risk of cross contamination.

Whole Foods 365 organics:  The label in Canada states, "Good manufacturing practices used to segregate ingredients in a facility that also processes tree nut, milk, egg, wheat and soy ingredients."  So, no sesame is mentioned (It has to be since sesame is considered priority allergen), but egg is listed.  Personally, I am ok with with the tree-nut warning.  As a mother, I am not comfortable taking the risk for my child.  

As you can see, the labeling practices are not consistent.  Is the Whole Foods 365 organics more safe or less safe than the the other brands compared in this post? It's the only brand of the three in this post that has allergy information printed on the product. Should a consumer assume that if no allergen information is present, than the product is safe?  

The allergic individuals have the responsibility of making sense of labels.  We all have different comfort levels with labeling, but I think that we can agree that it is a hard call to make when, as a parent, you are making the decision for a child.  

Do we contact each and every company to inquire about their facilities?  This process could drive anyone nuts.

I am hoping that someone has already done similar research and can share there results with me. 

No comments:

Post a Comment