8. Do not allow your food allergic child to eat bakery items that are not packaged and labeled

Of course, you realize we are talking about food allergens that are typically found in baked goods. If your child has a fish or crustacean shellfish allergy, you can probably skip this one. Before our daughter was diagnosed with egg, peanut and tree nut allergies, we regularly went out for donuts, cookies or muffins. There is something about those crystal clear glass cases filled with beautiful treats that can really brighten your day! A trip to the local bakery can turn a regular day into something special. And whether it's part of your regular routine or is reserved for special occasions such as the first or last day of school, it is a hard thing to give up.

But if you're striving for total avoidance of your allergen, you absolutely must give up baked goods that are not packaged and labeled.


You have NO IDEA what the ingredients are, because there is no ingredient label. The protection provided to consumers by FALCPA does not apply to food that is not packaged. “But,” you're asking, “what if I ask the baker or owner of the store what the ingredients are? And what if I pick a simple sugar cookie that does not contain peanuts or tree nuts – what's the problem?”

Here's the problem:

Every single baked item in the case is basically exposed to the food allergens that the bakery uses – even if those allergens are not an ingredient in your cookie. All of the bakery items in the case were probably baked in the same kitchen. What if the peanut butter cookies were baked right before your sugar cookies were baked, and what if there was still some peanut residue somewhere – on a whisk, on the countertop, on a baker's hands or gloves, on the baking sheet, and the list of possibilities goes on. Good Manufacturing Practices do apply to stand-alone bakeries, the bakery at your grocery store, and restaurants, but again, it is very hard to get rid of all traces of an ingredient that is used in your cooking or baking process.

Even if exposure to food allergens does not happen in the baking area, it could happen in the display case. The peanut butter cookies might have touched the sugar cookies. Or whoever put the cookies in the display case might have put the peanut butter cookies out first and then put the sugar cookies in the display case without changing gloves or washing their hands.

Even if exposure doesn't happen in the display case, it could happen as customers are being served. What if the person who is bagging the cookies for customers forgets just once to use those little protective serving papers? They served the customer before you peanut butter cookies; then with the same hands, they served your child a sugar cookie.

Even if they use a new protective serving paper each time they reach for a cookie, would you trust your child's safety to those little protective serving papers? Do you see how many different ways your food could be exposed to the allergens you are trying to avoid? Please do not eat baked goods unless they are packaged (preferably sealed by the baker as we do) and labeled with a complete ingredient list in accordance with FALCPA.

A dedicated bakery like Egg-Free Epicurean that does not allow your food allergens through the door is your safest bet. On the bright side, this is why we created Egg-Free Epicurean. Our dedicated egg-free, peanut-free, tree nut-free facility bakes those beautiful, decadent treats that you've had to give up. Well, you don't have to give them up any more. We ship anywhere in the USA. Please check out our Egg-Free, Peanut-Free, Tree Nut-Free Goodies.


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