Let’s Use All Allergens

If you make food products for a limited target market, your audience becomes dramatically more limited based on the number of allergens in the product.


If an ingredients list contained these items only, you could always make a case for the natural healthy products section: milk, almonds, peanuts, wheat and soy.

In the instance of this store-brand, the product’s ingredient list is full of additional materials and yet it contains enough allergens to make a product solely from those five items.  I don’t really understand why this is necessary or why it happens in an industry where having these particular ingredients in a factory will in-turn require labeling for everything produced there.  Do you really need to have all these inputs for this item?  Do you really need to use this line for pecans and walnuts?  Maybe.  Maybe not…

In this instance it seems that this manufacturing site is handling every possible allergen except shellfish and eggs, and must have wanted as many allergens as possible in the recipe, so they only have to mention the two that are also shared equipment indicated by the phrase, “May contain traces of pecans and walnuts.”  Genius.  Cost-cutting, penny-pinching, every-shred-of-value-captured; brilliance.  And risk accelerated beyond belief.  But that’s just my opinion.  Your choice is entirely up to you…unless you happen to have any food allergies…and you’d never touch this one.


What about the factories that make the toasted oats, crisp rice, and wheat flakes used in this recipe?  They are all blending multiple raw materials together too.  Do they share equipment with ingredients of concern?  If so, it’s not mentioned on any labels anywhere I’ve seen…it might be a risk, and might not.  When food gets this complicated, it’s hard to choose safely when you or someone you love might be in jeopardy.

DrDIY is a food-safety professional with an extensive sanitation background within the food & beverage manufacturing industry. He consults on food-safety - from hygienic-design to integrated pest-management through microbiology support, quality improvement audits, total-process management philosophy, CIP optimization, and lean-six-sigma project participation.

Overcoming an extended disability through a complete overhaul of diet and nutrition, DrDIY embraced traditional naturopathy and combined the wisdom of nature with the principles of modern sanitation to help build more sustainable systems within the food industry. He continues to study and practice holistic nutrition, food-safety, detoxification, and self-improvement and this site represents personal experience and opinion - and does not reflect the position of any employer past or present.

His posts have always been a 'stream of consciousness' montage with occasional ventures into Christology and pop culture, just to keep things interesting.

Please take note: Great conversation involves many ingredients - including disagreement or healthy-conflict. I may delete comments that are illegal, offensive or off-topic, obscene, fraudulent or misleading, deceptive or property of others. Respectfully articulated differing perspectives are always welcome.