Dear friend of a kid with food allergies:
Are you sick and tired of overprotective moms who kill your spontaneity by demanding to read every label on every food item that is ever used in the classroom or other social event?
How about the moms who say "thank you" when you've gone out of your way to provide a safe, store-bought treat for their kid, only to demand to read the label on the original packaging before letting their kid eat it?
It's not that they don't trust YOU. They just don't trust the FOOD.
That's right! You might be providing a specific brand of a specific food that the very mothers have told you their kids can and do eat on a regular basis, yet they still demand to read the package... it's frustrating, I know!
But there is good reason and they are completely justified in doing so!
Food manufacturers can and do change their recipes and manufacturing or packaging procedures at any time without warning and food allergy moms must continually use vigilance in double (and sometimes triple) checking every food label, every time, even on trusted brands.
In fact, experts recommend that you check labels three times: once when buying, again when putting on the shelf at home, and a third time before serving.
Why? Because, even with the top 8 food allergens, which are required by law to be labeled in plain language, labels can still be tricky. There are at least three different things to look for on every food label... and that's just for one allergen. Add in additional allergens that aren't covered by the Food Allergen Labeling and consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA) and it gets even tougher!
Plus, voluntary "may contain" or "produced in a facility statements" which can have a serious impact on the foods people with food allergies consume, aren't always printed near the ingredient list and can be easily overlooked. Even seasoned food allergy parents sometimes make mistakes by overlooking things on food labels (I know I have)... wouldn't you rather they make the mistake for their own child than have it on your head? They would too!
So don't be upset... just save the packaging and let them inspect it for their own peace of mind.
And please, don't give up! Food allergy parents LOVE it when you go out of your way to find safe snacks and treats their kids can eat. They recognize and appreciate your thoughtfulness... just don't throw away that label!
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