Allergen Alerts: Peanuts!

So you’ve discovered that you have a mustard allergy. No big deal, right? You just won’t have PB&J sandwiches anymore …

I’m afraid to break it to you, my friend. Peanuts are found in a lot more than just that jar of peanut butter in the back of your fridge. Here’s a list of ingredients or potential ingredients in which your new found nemesis might sneak up on you.

Food and products that contain or often contain peanuts

    • Ethnic foods, such as satay, Thai (for example, curries), Vietnamese (for example, crushed peanut as a topping, spring rolls) or Chinese (for example, Szechuan sauce, egg rolls)
    • Hydrolyzed plant protein and vegetable protein
    • Vegetarian meat substitutes™

Other possible sources of peanuts

    • Almond & hazelnut paste, marzipan, nougat
    • Baked goods
    • Chili
    • Cereals
    • Desserts
    • Dried salad dressings and soup mixes
    • Icing, glazes
    • Snack foods, for example, trail mixes

Non-food sources of peanuts

    • Ant baits, bird feed, mouse traps and pet food
    • Cosmetics and sunscreens
    • Craft materials
    • Medications and vitamins
    • Mushroom growing medium
    • Stuffing in toys

Note: These lists are not complete and may change. Food and food products purchased from other countries, through mail-order or the Internet, are not always produced using the same manufacturing and labelling standards as in Canada.

Source: Health Canada: Peanuts – One of the ten priority food allergenshttp://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/pubs/securit/2012-allergen_peanut-arachide/index-eng.php.

The Health Canada link is great and gives a general overview of allergic reactions, peanut allergy FAQs, sources of peanuts, cross-contamination, steps that the Canadian Government have taken to deal with food allergies, as well as links for more information.

You can be further prepared by keeping an eye out for food recalls and allergy alerts that are put out by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). When you subscribe to the email notifications, you can select the specific allergens that you are interested in receiving alerts on. When you receive the alert, it will look something like this:

A recall has been added to the CFIA’s Food Recall Report.

Class 2
Reason for Recall: Allergen – peanut
Product(s): Dymatize Nutrition brand Elite Gourmet Cookies & Cream bar
Distribution: Internet, and may have been distributed nationally

Product details are available at
http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/corpaffr/recarapp/2013/20130109be.shtml

What’s a Class 2 Recall, you ask? It’s how the CFIA categorizes the recall. In this case, it’s a moderate risk case (There is a moderate risk that eating or drinking that product will most likely lead to short-term or non-life threatening health problems).  Recall Class definitions are described in detail on the CFIA website: http://inspection.gc.ca/about-the-cfia/newsroom/food-safety-system/food-recalls/eng/1332206599275/1332207914673

If you are afraid that these notifications might get buried in the long list of daily emails in your inbox, you’ll also find these alerts on the FAE Facebook Page if you are a big Facebooker and have Liked the Page. You can also get alerts via Twitter by Following @CFIA_Food

Safe & Happy Eating! :)

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