Monday, March 31, 2014

No ifs, ands, or NUTS!

Cross Contamination – Part I

When my allergist officially diagnosed my peanut allergy, she advised me to eliminate all nuts from my diet.  This was a shock for me as almonds were a staple in my packed lunches and pecan pie was one of my favorite fall treats.  Nuts are so healthy, how can they be so dangerous??

Why did I have to give up some of my favorite snacks??  Cross-contamination, of course!!  My allergist explained that most varieties of nuts are processed in the same facilities.  So, peanuts might be shelled and cleaned on a machine that then completes the same process with walnuts, almonds and pecans.  Pieces of peanut might be left behind on the machinery to mix with other types of nuts.  These other types of nuts are now “contaminated” by the peanut remnants.  This would go unnoticed by the majority of consumers, but even microscopic levels of peanut protein could cause anaphylaxis to a peanut allergy sufferer.

Be considerate of your friends who have nut allergies – don’t take it personally if we avoid foods and recipes that may contain ANY kind of nuts.  We are just taking precautions to protect our lives.

Keep out of the nut house!!

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