Saturday, December 13, 2008

Food Allergy Roulette

I was doing some research on food allergies and their connection to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (more on that later) and ran across a post on Nancy Lapid's Celiac blog referencing an article from the Chicago Tribune. They've confirmed that there are thousands of food allergens in popular kid's food which are never recalled, and that children end up guinea pigs for the manufacturers and not much is done about it. It's not surprising that this happens, considering how many levels of processing that manufactured food products go through. And they change all the time, due to market conditions and prices of ingredients. But it is appalling that the manufacturers don't have any quality control, especially when they produce a "gluten-free" product that isn't. And there aren't laws yet to address this, but maybe someday. Just another reminder that the only way to be 100% safe is to cook at home with ingredients that you're sure of. But since that's not realistic, we need to be vigilant about the manufactured foods that we do buy.

Here are some scary stats the Chicago Tribune original article "Food Roulette".

- Roughly five products a week are recalled because of hidden allergens
- One-third of all products recalled for hidden allergens are cookies, candy, ice cream or snacks
- Of all product recalls for hidden allergens since 1998, only 53% were announced to the public

Be careful out there! Use tools like this one to track some of your household purchases.

Chicago Tribune Food Allergy Recall Database


Anonymous said...

That is such a scary article. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I felt compelled to blog about it myself. You have a very helpful site. Thank you!

elizabethx said...

Scary stuff!

Tara Howard said...

Hi Food Allergy Queen,

I hope this message finds you well!

After reading your blog I felt compelled to reach out to you and readers in hopes I might be able to help to find free-from allergen foods.

I work at THRIVE, the only allergy and gluten-free expo in North America. We are hosting a large scale business to consumer expo dedicated to providing the best products, services and informational support for people suffering from food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances as well as for people with respiratory, environmental, skin, eye and latex allergies in Chicago at McCormick Place on April 18-19th, 2009. It is our intention to offer our attendees exhibitors showcasing an assortment of allergy specific products, a Marketplace Forum where attendees can view demonstrations and sample products, a Healthy Living Forum where allergies will be discussed by world renowned medical physicians and professionals, a Free-From and Gluten-free Cooking Stage, and a bookstore.

I don't know if you are local to the Chicago area, but tickets are available online. Even if you are unable to attend, please visit us at because we have wonderful non-profit organizations we are affiliated with that would be able to provide food allergy education and resources for you.

I hope this helps!

Take care,

Tara Howard