Don’t choose a brand by it’s cover… | The Food Sensitive ShopperThe Food Sensitive Shopper

Reading the label may not be enough

The Food Sensitive Shopper is also a label reading detective.  Before a packaged food is purchased do you read the ingredients label, scour the package for a disclaimer, and look for the kosher  labeling for more information about cross contact with dairy or other foods.

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More detective work needed?

There is more information about a product that is not on the label.

Widen your detective skills for your safety by:

  • After reading the label and feeling like you want to purchase the product look at similar products with the same brand name.   For example:  Cascadian Farms brand has cereal, frozen juice,  frozen vegetables, pasta sauce and cereal bars.   Look at the same brand on the shelf nearby and around the store.   Did you notice that the brand contains a food or foods you need to avoid?  If the answer is yes then you may want to call the manufacturer to inquire whether the product you want to purchase was made with good practices to avoid cross contamination.   Remember disclaimers are the manufacturer’s choice…there is no law requiring them.
  • Look for damage to the package and avoid purchasing packages with holes, tears, or dents to avoid the possibility of cross contact with a food allergen, gluten, or even bacteria.
  • Are the shelves clean?  I have seen spilled food on many shelves.  Be sure to avoid packages with spills on them to avoid cross contact.
  • Is it locally made? Some locally made packaged food is also only available locally because they manufacture less quantity.  Keep this in mind – locally made food that is not widely distributed is usually made in a shared facility.  No disclaimer does not mean it is free of the food you are avoiding.
  • Has the product had recalls for cross contact with a food you are avoiding?  You can check this and receive product recalls from the Food and Drug Administration.   To sign up for alerts or just to check recalls go to:  http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/default.htm

Do we appear to be over protective?  Possibly but we advocating safety.  In the world of food allergy, celiac disease and other food sensitivities we want you to feel like you can trust that the food that you are eating will not make you sick. You have to go the extra mile sometimes to ensure your food is safe to eat.   Like we say in our house ‘Better to be safe than sorry’…it works for us and hope it’ll work for you too.

Need more information on how to read a label?  Go to our podcast on ‘How to read a food label‘.

Category: Food

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