Tip: Click on the Green Links
What is it?
Cross-Contamination is when a "safe" food (one that you are not allergic to) comes into contact with a "danger" food
(like peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, wheat, milk, soy...).
How does it happen?
1. Manufacturers process foods on shared lines and may not clean them properly.
2. Restaurants may use shared cooking/serving utensils.
3. Accidental "danger" foods getting into your "safe" foods.
How to avoid it?
1. During food preparation, always make sure all cooking supplies (pots, pans, measuring spoons, cutting boards, mixing bowls, spatulas, etc.) are cleaned thoroughly.
2. Have a separate toaster/waffle iron for your child.
3. Always read all labels carefully. Know what ingredients to avoid (ie. milk = whey/casein). Manufacturers change ingredients often.
4. Call the manufacturer to ask questions about shared lines, etc. If a product has a warning such as "processed in a facility that contains peanuts", do not feed it to your child.
5. At home, keep all foods well sealed. You do not want cow's milk splashing/leaking on your child's food/bev.
6. Create a labeling system at home. Use a green dot for safe foods and mark safe shelves in your cabinets, frig and freezer.
7. Your child should have their own mayo or jelly jar. Don't share.
8. Avoid buffets and don't mix safe and danger foods on the same table. Accidents can happen with serving utensils.
9. Avoid distractions when preparing and serving foods like the phone.
10. Sign up for FAAN's Free food allergy alerts. See our Resource page.
11. Always have clean hands.
12. Teach your child safety tips like no sharing cups/utensils.
13. Wipe down shopping carts, chairs, tables, groceries..
14. Avoid cooking danger foods at high temps on the stove for air borne allergies. Send child to another room if cooking danger foods.
15. Brush teeth after eating danger food. Can have reaction from a kiss.
16. Beware of lotions, meds, cosmetics... hidden ingredients.
Join Protect Allergic Kids crusade to keep food allergic kids safe everywhere!
Please send the Sample Letter below to everyone you know regarding Food Labeling laws and help Protect Allergic Kids (PAK), a non-profit organization, make a difference.
There are child restraint laws, helmet laws for children riding bikes, etc. why not this change in labeling to save our children? Let these reps know that you are counting on them for their support.
New York District Office
158-15 Liberty Ave.
Jamaica, NY 11433-1034
Recently my child/ A child I know with life threatening food allergies has had reactions to foods due to cross contamination. The FDA does not require companies to label for cross contamination and this change can save lives.
What is cross contamination? It is when a trace of a food allergen (such as nuts, milk, eggs or fish) has come into contact with a "safe" food. The production lines are not cleaned properly following the FDA guidelines.
The FDA needs to require companies to put warnings like 'made in a plant that processes' or 'contains traces of'. For the dairy allergy, companies use symbols on the front of the packaging like "DE" which means produced on equipment shared with dairy, therefore cross contamination may occur. Again, there should be clear warnings by the ingredients.
We are relying on our representatives in Washington to support us in our hour of need. We are not asking for much, just a simple change in labeling that will save our children from these life threatening dangers.
* Visit www.protectallergickids.org to learn more about severe food allergies.
Protect Allergic Kids is not a professional or medical organization. It is a group of parents sharing information and supporting each other. The discussions, meeting minutes, handouts, guest speakers, agendas, and other products of our support group do not constitute medical/legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Always discuss individual health questions and medical issues with a qualified personal physician.