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Food industry 'nuts' need to act, not merely be aware page 3
Allergy awareness is good, but actually acting on that awareness would be better

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Date published: 4/20/2008

By Richard Amrhine


Gee, I wonder what else could have gotten in there. I generally avoid using brand names in derogatory fashion, but Sun-Maid, please go buy a clue and I'll reimburse you. Perhaps the statement also applies to your board of directors: "May contain an occasional nut."


Not only did someone write that, but the writer was no doubt instructed to write that. Maybe the conversation went like this:

Supervisor: Does that candy have nuts in it? The feds require us to tell people about that.

Label writer: No, boss, no nuts in that.

Supervisor: I don't know I saw Billy Bob over there flick something into a batch last week. Coulda been a nut--coulda been something else.

Label writer: OK, boss, how about this--"May contain an occasional nut."

Supervisor: Perfect.

I refuse to believe that major food manufacturers with plants across the country are unable to produce foods that do not come into contact with nuts. In fact, I don't think that's the issue at all.

With all the reports of food contamination in recent years and stepped-up government inspection efforts, companies could remove many of their nut warnings. But the brilliant legal department probably warns that just to be safe, the statement on the label ought to cover their short-sighted, lazy corporate butts.

Food Allergy Awareness Week is May 11-17. Awareness is good, but an industry acknowledgment of the need to produce allergen-free foods would be better.

Richard Amrhine is a writer and editor with The Free Lance-Star.
Email: ramrhine@freelancestar.com

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