Tag Archives: allergy

Food Safety Alert: Raisin Recall

raisins
Allergy Alert: Raisins Recalled for Sulfites

A New York company is recalling its 14 oz. packages of “Deer Raisin Golden” raisins because they contain undeclared sulfites. Consumers who have severe sensitivity to sulfites run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reactions.

In a news release, Best Food Cash & Carry Inc. of Maspeth, NY said the problem was discovered after routine sampling by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Food Inspector and subsequent analysis by Food Laboratory personnel.

The consumption of as little as 10 milligrams of sulfite per serving has been reported to elicit severe reactions in some asthmatics, including anaphylactic shock in some sensitive individuals. Analysis of the “Deer Raisin Golden” raisins revealed they contained 11.07 milligrams per serving. The presence of sulfites was not declared on any label.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with the raisins.

The recalled “Deer Raisin Golden” were distributed in 14 oz, clear uncoded plastic packages in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut retail stores.

Consumers who purchased the recalled packages of Deer Raisin Golden may return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Contact the company at 718-786-8961 if you have questions.

(Food Safety News)

Chicago school bans homemade lunches, the latest in national food fight

CT  SCHOOL-LUNCH-2C_MAIN 0411 KMStudents who attend Chicago’s Little Village Academy public school get nothing but nutritional tough love during their lunch period each day. The students can either eat the cafeteria food–or go hungry. Only students with allergies are allowed to bring a homemade lunch to school, the Chicago Tribune reports.

“Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school,” principal Elsa Carmona told the paper of the years-old policy. “It’s about … the excellent quality food that they are able to serve (in the lunchroom). It’s milk versus a Coke.”

But students said they would rather bring their own lunch to school in the time-honored tradition of the brown paper bag. “They’re afraid that we’ll all bring in greasy food instead of healthy food and it won’t be as good as what they give us at school,” student Yesenia Gutierrez told the paper. “It’s really lame.”

The story has attracted hundreds of comments so far. One commenter, who says her children attend a different Chicago public school, writes, “I can accept if they want to ban soda, but to tell me I can’t send a lunch with my child. ARE YOU KIDDING ME????”

For parents whose kids do not qualify for free or reduced price school lunches, the $2.25 daily cafeteria price can also tally more than a homemade lunch. “We don’t spend anywhere close to that on my son’s daily intake of a sandwich (lovingly cut into the shape of a Star Wars ship), Goldfish crackers and milk,” Northwestern education policy professor Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach told the paper in an email. She told The Lookout parents at her child’s public school would be upset if they tried to ban homemade lunches.

“I think that lots of parents at least at my child’s school do think that what they pack is more nutritious [than school lunches],” she said. A Chicago public school teacher started a blog to protest the city’s school lunches, and last year the schools tightened their nutrition standards for cafeteria-served school lunches. Every lunch must contain whole grains, only reduced-fat salad dressings and mayonnaise are offered as condiments, and the meals must feature a different vegetable each day. Meal providers also must reduce sodium content by 5 percent annually. About 86 percent of the district’s students qualify for free or reduced price school lunches because their families live close to the poverty line.

Change in Chicago’s school cafeterias feeds into a larger effort to combat the country’s childhood obesity epidemic. About a third of America’s kids are overweight or obese, and since children consume at least 30 percent of their calories while in school, making lunches healthier is seen as one way to counter that problem. Poorer kids are also more likely to be obese or overweight than middle class kids, and to consume a bigger proportion of their calories while at school. Forty-four percent of American kids living below the poverty line are obese or overweight, according to a 2010 study published in Health Affairs.

While we haven’t been able to track down another school that bans homemade lunches outright, many smaller food battles have been playing out in cafeterias across the country. As principals try to counter obesity in their schools, healthy intentions can come across as overreach, occasionally sparking parent and student anger.

Alabama parents protested a school’s rule that barred students from bringing any drinks from home, as ice water was provided at lunch. East Syracuse, New York schools have outlawed cupcakes and other desserts. And schools around the country have kicked out chocolate milk and soda vending machines. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin even showed up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with dozens of cookies to express her disdain for a debate in the state about recommending teachers limit the number of times per month the sugary treats are eaten in classroom birthday celebrations.

Tucson, Arizona’s Children’s Success Academy allows home-packed lunches–but only if nothing in them contains white flour, refined sugar, or other “processed” foods, the Arizona Republic reported in a story last year. The school has no cafeteria, so some parents told the paper they struggled to find foods to pack that meet the restrictions. Many schools ban fast food or other take-out meals.

Soon, cafeteria offerings across the country will all be healthier, whether students like it or not. Last year’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, championed by First Lady Michelle Obama, calls for higher nutritional standards to serve the 32 million kids who eat lunch every day at school (most of whom qualify for free or reduced price lunches through a federal government program). For the first time, the USDA will set calorie limits for school lunches, and will recommend they contain more vegetables and whole grains, and less salt, USA Today reports. French fries should be replaced by vegetables and fruit, the guidelines say.

The bill also calls for stricter food safety checks on cafeteria food.

Article provided by: Liz Goodwin

Dealing With Food Allergies During The Holidays

thanksgiving-food

Our blog of the day comes from a mother who has a son that suffers from multiple food allergies. In this blog she gives some tips on how to deal with food
allergies during holidays and family functions.

“Holiday gatherings almost always center around food, folks, and fun, with a huge emphasis on food! That’s great except when you or, one of your children,
has food allergies. It can lead to some awkward times and hurt feelings. Since my main goal for my family is to live a thriving life, in spite of allergies, one thing I have to do is to plan ahead!

This past year Thanksgiving was at my house, so the planning and meal prepping was all done by my family, and we are getting more and more used to cooking dairy and egg free, all though we certainly haven’t arrived! But eating over at someone else’s can be no problem
with a little planning ahead.

First, figure out your game plan. Where are you going? Grandma’s? Cousin Eddie’s? George’s next door? How aware and adaptable are they in regards to food
allergies? I ask because some people are more than accommodating and will be happy to include things that are “safe” for you or your little one to eat. And
some people will look at you cluelessly when you even talk about allergies. You mean you can’t have milk? Only not cow’s milk? Is there another kind of milk?
Get out, they can make milk from nuts, is that even real? And who would drink it? You know what I mean!

Anyway, depending on the severity of the allergies, if the host/hostess is willing to cook something new, have a few recipes ready that you’d like to suggest. If your allergies are so severe and you don’t want to
risk a reaction from cross contamination, tell them your dilemma, and ask how they’d feel about you bringing your own food. Now I don’t mean a full course meal for everyone, just pack what YOU would need to eat for the meal. Or if that would be too awkward, make up a couple of recipes for you to share with everyone. This not only ensures you will have something you know is safe for you
to eat, but then you can also watch their surprised faces when you tell them that the delicious, creamy, pumpkin pie you made is, in fact, dairy/egg free.

I actually had someone say to me once, at a gathering, “I thought when you said that dessert you made was dairy free and egg free it would probably mean taste free, too. I was really surprised to find out how good it really was!” It was good to get feedback from someone on a new recipe, and it also opened the door
for me to talk about my son’s food allergies, raising awareness about it.

With all that being said, remember the best laid plans can go awry. Something I try and do when we go to a gathering and I’m not sure how it will go, is bring
snacks just, in case, there is nothing for my son to eat. Something quick and easy to grab and bring to gatherings are fruit and vegetable trays that are
already prepared (discard the calorie laden, milk infested dips that are usually included, though), this also, always insures there is something he likes, that
is safe to eat! ”

To read more of her blogs go to:

http://www.thrivinglifewithallergies.blogspot.com/