By Nut-allergy Alexis
One of the difficulties when shopping is trying to work out which disclaimers may or may not be necessary.
The problem here is that all ‘may contain’ labelling is entirely voluntary and at the discretion of the manufacturer, so there is no way of easily knowing whether there is an actual risk that may apply to some batches of the product.
An example of this would be where a line is used for product A and product B, and product B contains nuts while product A does not. It is clear that when they switch from one to the other that the first few items off the line for product A may be contaminated with nuts from product B. This would be a good reason for labelling it as ‘may contain’.
However, there is nothing stopping manufacturers from slapping a ‘may contain’ label on any product regardless of risk. As I’ve written before, the only safe thing to do is to treat all ‘may contain’ labels as ‘does contain’ as you are simply unable to assess the risk. In the cross-contamination example above they are not obligated to use a ‘may contain’ label at all.
All they are obliged to declare is whether any of the intended ingredients include any of 14 allergens: gluten, shellfish, fish, eggs, peanuts, soybeans, milk, nuts, celery, mustard, sesame seeds, sulphites, lupin and molluscs.
The eagle-eyed will have noted that peanuts and nuts appear separately on this list. This means that if it is labelled as containing nuts, technically it should be safe for peanut allergy sufferers!
In practice, even excluding the risk of clerical error – as most people would assume ‘nuts’ to include ‘peanuts’ – there is a significant risk of peanut cross-contamination in a factory that handles other nuts, and most peanut allergy sufferers would avoid eating any food that contains nuts.
Desserts are particularly high-risk for cross-contamination as nuts are such a common ingredient. This is why it’s always a pleasure to see desserts made in a nut-free factory, such as the Fabulous Bakin’ Boys Lemon Cupcakes, which are available in all major supermarkets.
Cupcakes are always good as a quick and tasty treat but difficult to find for those with nut allergies. The Fabulous Bakin Boys Lemon Cupcakes meet that need with a safe cupcake. A balanced mixture of sweet and sour, it should appeal to children as well as adults. Very moreish, so just as well they come in packs of 8.
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Fabulous Bakin’ Boys Lemon Cupcakes
A nut allergic treat, a balanced mixture of sweet and sour that should appeal to children as well as adults. Tasted by Nut-allergy Alexis.