A note from Ria Sharon of Checkmytag.com, and note from me on what it’s like to be an allergymompreneur

May 9, 2007 at 5:58 pm (Allergy News!, Blog & Websites, Blogroll, Canada, Contributors to the Podcast, education, gear, kids, labeling, newspapers, peanut, Products, social issues, USA, Websites)

Most of our friends and family are amazingly thoughtful and ask, “Is this safe?” before they give our little guy anything to eat. A few just give me the box so I can check the label. But almost all will admit their discomfort with making the call themselves, partly because they are not sure what to look for when they are reading packaged food labels.

Next week is Food Allergy Week so we are making extra efforts to promote food safety for our food-allergic friends and loved ones. The Spring issue of our bulletin, Be Aware. Be Safe. is devoted to taking the mystery out of the new labeling laws. Please help us raise awareness and understanding of food allergies, by passing this .pdf along to your friends, co-workers, educators, and childcare providers.

Also, visit our Community page, http://www.checkmytag.com/community.html beginning May 20th to read personal accounts from the blogosphere on how food allergies have changed the daily lives of a growing number of families.

Thanks for helping to keep kids safe,

Ria

Ria is a very warm and helpful individual.  Please check out her site!  It is not just about “selling shirts” for her.

Someone recently accused me of only doing this blog to direct people to my allergyware.com site.  She didn’t say it accusingly, but rather matter-of-fact.  As if.  😦  Why do I make the shirts?  Why did I do it in the first place?  Because allergies are a “growth industry?”  Because I was looking to make a quick buck?  C’mon.  My kid could DIE if he eats a peanut.  There were no shirts at all out there for sale except from England, when he tested positive for peanut.  What would YOU do?

Honestly, it is issues like the above that I am using this hiatus to think over.  I don’t want anyone to think that it is my desire or motivation to profit from my son’s life-threatening allergy.  The fact is, I’m not a millionaire who can set up a fund to research the cure.  I do not have the time to volunteer a lot and do a lot of political stuff, plus I do not have the temperament for it.

What I am is a writer with a degree in accounting.  I am a business person by training and a story-teller by birth.

I write this blog and I sell tee-shirts because I buy the tees myself.  My kid also wears shirts by other allergymompreneurs.  He took his first field trip today with his medicine in a bag from allergykids.com (thanks, Robyn).

If you are so cynical that you think for the past five years I have enjoyed some kind of status as Allergy Tee Shirt Emperor, then you are forgetting the heartbreak and daily stress and agony that go along with safe-guarding a child who is too young to speak for himself.

Pushing six years old, he is finally getting closer to being able to speak up for himself to people about his allergy.  He still can’t read, give himself his epinephrine shot, or measure out his own Benadryl.  He is dependent on any adult in his vicinity to notice if he develops hives, has trouble breathing, his eyes swell up, etc.

So I made him shirts.  When he was recently fed a nut-containing brownie at school, I sent him to school the next day in an allergy shirt, in addition to talking to his teachers about what happened.  You know what?  Call me materialistic & opportunistic and any other “istic” that you want, but I FELT BETTER knowing his shirt said this in big letters:

cutelittlesamallergyshirt.jpg

(this was him four years ago, nearly exactly!)

This is him today, in a Nut Free Zone hoodie:

sam042607.jpg

I love this child.  He is not a model, a product spokesman, a clotheshorse, or a mannequin to hang shirts on.

HE IS MY CHILD.

If you think I’m doing this blog and doing my shirts for the money, or you wonder why I don’t do more: I am doing what I can, where I can, with what I can.

I love my children, all three of them, and I am doing my best.  This blog is filled with photos, links, articles, podcasts, recalls, news, you name it.  I am doing my best.  I doubt I will ever give up the blog, but for now I am not in the frame of mind to do videos or audio podcasts.  I probably will again.  I do not feel like I am “done,” you know?  But my time is sort of maxed out right now.

Now head on over to Ria’s site, or any of the awesome Allergy Mom (and Dad) sites listed in this blogroll.

Sorry for the tangent, but I think it deserves to be said: Allergy Moms who started Allergy businesses have their hearts in the right place. They should be commended, not distrusted!

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Mayfield Ice Cream recall

May 9, 2007 at 1:37 pm (alert, Allergy News!, ice cream, labeling, nut-free, peanut, USA, Websites)

PEANUT ALLERGY ALERT
May 9, 2007

Mayfield Dairy Farms is recalling “Mayfield Turtle Tracks” ice cream due to
undeclared peanuts.

The product was distributed to retail stores in Northern Alabama,
Northwestern Georgia, Southeastern Kentucky, and Tennessee.

The product is packaged in 1.75-qt. cartons with a code date of 4/11/08 and
plant code of 47225 on the side of the lid of the carton. The UPC code is
75243-20120.

Consumers who purchased the product may return it to the place of purchase
for a full refund or exchange. Consumers with questions can contact the
company at (800) 629-3435.

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If your child has peanut allergy, he/she may react to SOY, as well

April 22, 2007 at 12:46 pm (Allergy News!, asthma, Blog & Websites, kids, medical, nut-free, peanut, Science, soy, tree nut, USA, Websites)

Dear AllergyKids’ Friends,

Soy Induced Anaphylaxis in Children with Asthma and Peanut Allergy
As many of you know, soy is one of the top eight allergens. What you may not know is that a child with a peanut allergy can have an allergic reaction after eating a food that contains soy, according to the Asthma and Allergy Resource Center.

How could soy cause an allergic reaction in my child with peanut allergy?
In scientific terms, soybean allergens are “homologous” to known peanut allergens and can be recognized by 44% of peanut-allergic patients.

What that means is that a child with a peanut allergy can have an allergic reaction and even go into anaphylaxis after eating soy. Because this cross-reactivity is rarely mentioned in the press, many parents are unaware of the potential health risks that soy may present to children with peanut allergies.

What are the Signs of a Cross-Reaction to Soy?
According to Ingrid Yman, PhD of the Swedish National Food Administration, these deaths initially appear as an asthma attack, with no or very mild symptoms for the first 30-90 minutes after the consumption of food containing soy. Then, the children suffer fatal asthma attacks.

What Can I Do to Protect My Child with Peanut Allergy?
According to Dr. Yman, PhD of the Swedish National Food Administration, “If your child is allergic to peanuts, you should consider eliminating soy as well as all peanuts from your child’s diet, even if your child has never reacted poorly to soy in the past. Some sensitive children have “hidden” soy allergies that manifest for the first time with a severe – even fatal – reaction to even the low levels of “hidden” soy commonly found in processed food products. Those at the highest risk suffer from asthma as well as peanut allergy.”

The Swedish National Food Administration study analyzed severe food allergy reactions of children that died after consuming soy. These children had known allergies to peanuts but not to soy.

What products contain soy?
Soy can be found in soy milk, tofu, soy sauce, baby formula and other soy products.

Soy is also used in many processed foods, as soy lecithin, soy lectin, soybean oil and other soy derivatives.

Soy is commonly used as animal-feed in livestock.

It is only within the last nine years that soy has become one of the top eight allergens.

Soy has recently been genetically engineered to contain new proteins and potential allergens.

Are there other facts that I may not know about soy?
According to Daniel Sheehan, PhD and director of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) National Center for Toxicological Research, soy-fed babies are taking part in “a large, uncontrolled and basically unmonitored human infant experiment.”

The British Dietetic Association now warns parents to avoid soy formula given the results of a 2003 study conducted by Dr. Gideon Lack from St Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College, London, UK.

The French Food Agency will soon require warning labels on all soy foods, soy formulas and soy milk so that consumers will be aware of the risks that soy poses to children under the age of three, those with hypothyroidism, and women with a family history of breast cancer.

In January 2006, the American Heart Association reversed its position on soy.

Why haven’t I heard this before?
AllergyKids is one of the first independently funded food allergy organizations in the world. We highlight all food allergy research that relates to the health and well-being of children and their families.

Being independently funded, AllergyKids is able to avoid conflicts of interest that funding ties may present – the importance of which is detailed in the work of Dr. Susan Linn of Harvard University and Marion Nestle, former editor of the Surgeon General Letter on Nutrition and Health.

What can I do to learn more?
AllergyKids would like to highlight the work of Kaayla Daniel, PhD. In her book, The Whole Soy Story, Dr. Daniel details the cross reactivity between soy and peanut, specifically addressing in detail the risks that soy poses to children with peanut allergy and asthma.

In the United States, the Weston A. Price Foundation is spearheading efforts to address children with peanut allergy who were fed soy as infants and toddlers.

What else can I do?
If you believe that the consumption of soy products or soy formula may have played a role in the development of your child’s food allergies, please contact:

Sally Fallon, President
The Weston A. Price Foundation
PMB 106-380 4200 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20016
Phone: (202) 363-4394
info@westonaprice.org

How can I support AllergyKids’ Independent Research?
To support AllergyKids’ independent research, even if you don’t have a child with food allergies, please consider purchasing products for your child or your child’s school or preschool so that we can continue to provide families with the tools to help protect children.

We invite you to follow the lead of Linda, a nurse in upstate New York who conducted a fund raiser with her association of school nurses and purchased custom-designed AllergyKids Kits for every elementary school in the district.

Please forward this email and encourage friends to sign up for our FREE newsletters
Please consider forwarding this email to your friends and family in an effort to spread this previously unhighlighted information about the risk that soy poses to children with asthma and peanut allergy.

If you would like to include this letter on your website or in your blog, please refer to AllergyKids as the source of this information and encourage your readers to sign up for our free newsletters which will continue to provide leading research.

If we can ever answer any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at http://www.allergykids.com or 1.800.671.1525.

As Robert F. Kennedy said, “Some men see things the way they are, and ask ’why?’”
For our children, we see things the way they should be, and ask ’why not?’

In our quest for a cure for these children, no truth is too complex. We must simply have the courage to pursue it.

With hope for our children,
Robyn O’Brien
Founder, AllergyKids
Mother of Four
1.800.671.1525

About Robyn O’Brien: Prior to launching AllergyKids, Robyn was in the process of applying for a PhD after drafting her first book, Sugar Mamas: Nutrition’s Impact on the Health and Well-Being of Mothers and Their Children. When her fourth child was diagnosed with potentially life threatening food allergies, she curtailed her personal pursuit in an effort to create greater awareness of the millions of children with food allergies.

Prior to motherhood, Robyn worked as an analyst on one of the nation’s largest mid-cap portfolio management teams. Her team was responsible for $20 billion in assets, covering everything from Enron, to Ebay to Martha Stewart. Robyn received an MBA in finance on a full scholarship and was a Fulbright Fellow.

In her efforts to create awareness of children with food allergies, she has received encouragement from Erin Brockovich and parents around the world.

Robyn asks that you please consider forwarding this email to others who are looking to protect the health and well-being of their families.

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Allergy Alerts – wheat, peanuts, tree nuts

April 19, 2007 at 10:06 am (alert, Allergy News!, almond, cooking, food, labeling, nut-free, peanut, tree nut, wheat)

WHEAT ALLERGY ALERT
April 18, 2007

Patrick Cudahy, Inc. is recalling “ROSELI SOPPRESSATA” (salami) products
due to undeclared wheat.

The salami products were distributed to restaurants, caterers, and the food
service industry in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida,
Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina,
Pennsylvania, and Texas.

The product was sold in 10-lb. cartons (containing 4 packages each)
of “ROSELI SOPPRESSATA.” Each label bears the establishment number “EST.
28” inside the USDA seal of inspection. Each package also bears a packaging
date code of “6313,” “6346,” “6356,” “7003,” “7018,” “7026,” “7047,”
“7058,” or “7086.”

Consumers with questions should contact the company at (866) 534-0197.

PEANUT, ALMOND, PECAN, WALNUT, AND CASHEW ALLERGY ALERT
April 16, 2007

Harry & David Operations Corp. is recalling five types of candies because
they may contain undeclared peanuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts, and cashews.

The candies were distributed throughout the United States through Harry and
David Stores.

All lot codes of the products listed below are being recalled. The products
were sold in 6-oz. paperboard boxes with a folded over top. The boxes are
striped in several color variations.

• “Dark Chocolate Clusters The Ultimate Walnut Cherry Caramel Indulgence”
candies in green and cream striped boxes

• “Dark Chocolate Clusters The Ultimate Peanut & Peanut Butter Indulgence”
in red and cream striped boxes

• “Dark Chocolate Clusters The Ultimate Pecan Cranberry Caramel Indulgence”
in dark red and cream striped boxes

• “Whole Almond Confection” in brown and white striped boxes

• “Whole Cashew Confection” in dark red and cream striped boxes

Consumers are requested to return product to the place of purchase for a
full refund. Consumers with questions may phone the company at (800) 233-
1101.

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Allergy alerts! 3! US and Canada – Harry & David, Tickleberry, Greenleaf

April 11, 2007 at 9:49 am (alert, Allergy News!, Canada, labeling, milk, nut-free, peanut, tree nut, USA)

Harry & David Issues Nationwide Allergy Alert on Harry and David Dark Chocolate Clusters The Ultimate Walnut Cherry Caramel Indulgence for Undeclared Peanuts And Cashews
Contact:
Harry & David Operations Corp.
800-345-5655

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — April 6, 2007 — Harry & David Operations Corp., of Medford, Oregon, is recalling approximately 65 – 6 oz. boxes of Dark Chocolate Clusters The Ultimate Walnut Cherry Caramel Indulgence because they may contain undeclared peanuts and cashews.People who have an allergy to peanut or cashew products run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

Harry & David is recalling all Dark Chocolate Clusters The Ultimate Walnut Cherry Caramel Indulgence boxes with a “Best Before” date of 071123. These products are: 6 oz. paperboard boxes with a folded over top. The boxes are green and cream striped. The “Best Before” date is printed in black ink and located below the Nutrition Facts panel on the back of the box.

These products were distributed throughout the United States through Harry and David Stores since March 15, 2007. Sales of this product have ceased.

There have been no injuries reported to date. Anyone concerned about a potential illness associated with this product should contact a physician immediately.

The recall was initiated after it was determined that the product contained peanuts and cashews. Investigation into the cause is ongoing.

Consumers are requested to return product to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions about the recalled product may phone the Customer Service division at 800-345-5655, 24 hours a day.
________________

ALLERGY ALERT
UNDECLARED MILK, SOY, SULPHITES, PEANUTS AND WHEAT IN TICKLEBERRY’S CHOCOLATE COVERED DRIED FRUIT PRODUCTS
OTTAWA, March 28, 2007 – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Tickleberry’s are warning people with allergies to milk, soy, sulphites, peanuts and wheat proteins not to consume Tickleberry’s Chocolate Covered Dried Fruit products described below. The affected products contain milk, soy, sulphites, peanuts and wheat which are not declared on the label.

The following Tickleberry’s Chocolate Covered Dried Fruit products, sold in 100 g packages, are affected by this alert. These products have been distributed nationally.

Product Undeclared Allergen
Chocolate Dried Blueberries Milk, Soy, Peanuts
Chocolate Dried Cherries (Pastel) Milk, Soy
Chocolate Dried Cherries (Dark) Milk, Soy, Sulphites
Chocolate Dried Strawberries Milk, Soy
Chocolate Dried Raspberries Milk, Soy
Chocolate Dried Apricots Milk, Soy, Sulphites, Wheat
Chocolate Dried Cranberries Milk, Soy
Chocolate Dried Cranberries (White) Milk, Soy
Chocolate Cherry, No Sugar Added Milk, Soy

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.

Consumption of these products may cause a serious or life-threatening reaction in persons with allergies to milk, soy, sulphites, peanut and wheat proteins.

The manufacturer, Tickleberry’s, Okanagan Falls, British Columbia is voluntarily recalling the affected products from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information, consumers and industry can call one of the following numbers:

Dale Hoy at Tickleberry’s
250-490-5281

CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 / TTY 1-800-465-7735 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday).

For information on Milk, Soy, Sulphites, Peanuts and Wheat, five of the nine most common food allergens, visit the Food Allergens web page at http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/labeti/allerg/allerge.shtml.

For information on receiving recalls by e-mail, or for other food safety facts, visit our web site at http://www.inspection.gc.ca.

– 30 –

Media enquiries:

Dale Hoy at Tickleberry’s
250-490-5281
Shashi Kulkarni (English)
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Food Recall and Emergency Response
613-368-1622 Julie Lacoursière (French)
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Food Recall and Emergency Response
613-760-4044
_______
http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/corpaffr/recarapp/recaltoce.shtml

___________ALLERGY ALERT
UNDECLARED SESAME SEEDS IN NINO D’AVERSA BREAD CRUMBS
OTTAWA, March 23, 2007 – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning people with allergies to sesame seeds not to consume Nino D’Aversa Bread Crumbs. The affected product may contain sesame seeds which are not declared on the label.

The affected product, Nino D’Aversa Bread Crumbs, is sold in 375 g containers bearing UPC code 0 65763 00120 6. All codes are affected by this alert.

This product has been distributed in Ontario.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

Consumption of this product may cause a serious or life-threatening reaction in persons with allergies to sesame seeds.

The manufacturer, Nino D’Aversa Bakery Ltd., Downsview, Ontario is voluntarily recalling the affected product from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information, consumers and industry can call one of the following numbers:

Armando or Domenic, Nino D’Aversa Bakery Ltd., at 1- 416-638-3271;
CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 / TTY 1-800-465-7735 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday).

For information on sesame seeds, one of the nine most common food allergens, visit the Food Allergens web page at http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/labeti/allerg/allerge.shtml.

For information on receiving recalls by e-mail, or for other food safety facts, visit our web site at http://www.inspection.gc.ca.

– 30 –

Media enquiries:

Shashi Kulkarni (English)
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Food Recall and Emergency Response
613- 368-1622 Jean-Louis Michaud (French)
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Operations Co-ordination – Quebec Area
1-866-806-4115

MILK ALLERGY ALERT
April 3, 2007

Greenleaf is recalling “Lemon Bars” due to undeclared milk.

“Lemon Bars” were sold to consumers in a single retail store, Elevated Ice
Cream Company in Port Townsend, Washington. The product is not packaged and
therefore not coded. The bars are sold individually at the retail store’s
counter.

Consumers who have purchased the product may return it to the place of
purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the
company at (360) 379-0989.

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Peanut Allergies by Brenaya Hewlett

March 19, 2007 at 7:12 am (Canada, education, kids, medical, nut-free, peanut, safety, school, shots, social issues, USA)

“May contain traces of peanuts” “Made in a facility that also processes peanuts.” These are two sentences I hate the most.” The one sentence I love the most, “made in a peanut free facility” Chairperson, honourable judges, ladies and gentlemen and fellow students. I’m going to share with you how a person gets an allergy, what anaphylaxis is and how challenging it is to live with a peanut allergy. Do you like peanuts? Well I sure don’t because to me, they are criminals.

I got my allergy because I was born prone to allergies. I have significantly lower levels of enzyme which breaks down the chemical that causes bronchial spasms. I also have high levels of IgE antibodies that are activated during and allergic reaction. Allergies are hereditary instead of someone just getting it from one parent I got it from both of mine. Because both of my parents are already lacking enzyme to give to me they give me even more IgE antibodies. I got my peanut allergy after I was born. Since I was born prone to allergies that is what started it. When my mom was breast feeding me almost every food made her nauseous but she still needed her proteins so she overdosed on peanut butter and whole peanuts. Since I have low levels of enzyme my kids will have terrible allergies because I have practically none to pass on and way to much IgE to give. Studies show that over sanitized conditions in the west have caused immune systems to overreact to absence of other infections.

What is anaphylaxis? A dictionary defines this as “a term commonly used to denote the immediate transient kind of allergic reaction characterized by a contraction of smooth muscle and dilation of capillaries due to release of pharmacologically active substance classically initiated by the combination of an allergen, mast cell-fixed and cryophilic antibody known as IgE” you might now have understood any of that but in simpler words anaphylaxis is an immediate allergy reaction that completely shuts down every single thing in your body. It is a life-threatening reaction when cells in your respitory system swell causing suffocation, cardiac failure and loss of consciousness. It must be instantly treated with epinephrine to buy you enough time to get to the hospital. Statistics show that 1.5 percent of Canadian kids have deadly peanut allergies and 15 children die a year because their peers at school were eating peanuts around them.

It is extremely challenging to live with a peanut allergy. Just imagine living your whole life knowing you could just touch a door knob and die. Try a little experiment, be me for a week you cant eat anything with any type of nut in it. Each food that you do eat you have to read the ingredients twice to be sure. At the bottom of the list get used to seeing made in a facility that also processes peanuts, and if it does say that sorry you cannot consume. If you accidentally touch peanuts, scrub your hands arms and face for five minutes and air dry. if you smell peanuts cover your mouth and nose and run away until the smell is gone. It is harder than it may look!, And there is always cross-contamination. When you are at your friends house you cant eat anything. If they had peanut butter on the knife and then put the knife in the margarine and you ate it well it is now time to go to the hospital because you are in anaphylactic shock. To sum it up, peanut allergies aren’t just something that the victim takes cautions about but everyone needs to.

In conclusion, 73 percent of people don’t know enough about allergies to be around a person that has severe reactions. Today you heard how people get allergies, what anaphylaxis is and how annoying allergies are. Next time you meet someone with any type of severe allergy show some sympathy for them. If they go into shock get out the epi pen and pull off the grey cap at the tip and jab it in their thigh, believe me it might sound weird but you will be their hero.

Brenaya wrote this speech for school. Thanks for sending it in!

Oh, PS. Sometimes people write to me and say they are having trouble breathing. If you do that, PLEASE go to the emergency room or doctor as before you even finish your email! I would drive you, myself, but oftentimes I get emails from other countries from children saying they are having trouble breathing. As a parent (and a human being) it troubles me to think that you emailed me and then perhaps collapsed.

If you write me once because you are feeling sick, please write me later and tell me you are okay. I worry about anaphylaxis and asthma and what might be happening to you.

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Peanut allergy immunotherapy News

March 1, 2007 at 1:12 pm (Allergy News!, education, medical, nut-free, peanut, safety, USA)

AAAAI: Oral Immunotherapy Dampens But May Not Cure Peanut Allergy

By Neil Osterweil, Senior Associate Editor, MedPage Today
Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
February 26, 2007

Add Your Knowledge™ Additional AAAAI Coverage

Scott D. Nash, M.D.
Duke University

SAN DIEGO — An oral immunotherapy regimen can help take the sting out of severe peanut allergies, reported investigators here.

Five of seven children with severe peanut allergy were able, after two years of immunotherapy, to tolerate a dose of 7.8 grams of peanut flour, equivalent to eating more than 13 peanuts, reported Scott David Nash, M.D., of Duke in Durham, N.C., and colleagues.
Action Points
Caution patients that oral immunotherapy should not be attempted at home, and should only be performed under the close supervision of a physician because of risk of anaphylaxis.

This study was published as an abstract and presented as a poster and at briefing at a conference. These data and conclusions should be considered to be preliminary as they have not yet been reviewed and published in a peer-reviewed publication.
Yet while oral immunotherapy can desensitize patients to peanuts, children who undergo it may not be in the clear, cautioned the authors in a featured poster session at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology here.

“We think that our patients are now at decreased risk for anaphylaxis if they have accidental ingestion [of peanuts], but we’re not recommending that our patients reintroduce peanuts into their diets, and all patients were on peanut-elimination diets during the study,” said Dr. Nash.

The investigators enrolled children with a convincing clinical history of peanut allergy who had peanut-specific immunglobulin E (IgE) of 7kU/L or greater.

The children were started on a modified rush immunotherapy protocol, performed in the research unit, in which they would receive over one day increasing multiple doses of peanut flour (mixed in a food of choice, such as applesauce), with dose escalating from 0.1 mg to 25 mg, or, if tolerated, to 50 mg. About half of the patients were able to tolerate the 50 mg dose by the end of the day; the remainder were able to tolerate either 12.5 or 25 mg, said Dr. Nash.

The children then went home and remained on their current dose daily, returning to the center every two weeks for a dose increase until they reached a dose of 300 mg, equivalent to about one peanut. Parents were asked to keep a daily diary of symptoms.

After patients had been maintained on 300 mg of peanut flour daily for two years, they returned to the center for an open food challenge of up to 7.8 g of peanut flour, equal to a good adult-sized handful of nuts. The challenge was delivered as escalating doses beginning at 600 mg every 30 minutes up to the maximum.

In all, five of seven patients had no reaction on the food challenge. One patient took the full dose, but 90 minutes later had a reaction, including stridor, that required epinephrine. The remaining patient made it to 4,200 mg, and then required epinephrine for cough and diffuse hives.

They also looked at immunologic characteristics of food allergy, and found that peanut-specific IgE and IgG both rose initially and the fell during the study, while peanut-specific IgG4 increased throughout the study.

“Peanut oral immunotherapy, we feel, is safe and effective for peanut-allergic patients, and we feel that our immunologic findings for peanut oral immunotherapy are similar to what we find for other forms of oral immunotherapy,” Dr. Nash said.

No financial disclosure information was reported.

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Peanut Allergy Alert

February 27, 2007 at 9:30 am (alert, Allergy News!, peanut, recalls, USA)

PEANUT ALLERGY ALERT
February 26, 2007

Daiei Trading-Chicago-Co., Inc. is recalling 8.8-oz. packages of Bean
Cracker, “Itomo Mame Mix” due to undeclared peanut.

The product was distributed in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois,
Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio,
Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.

The Bean Cracker, “Itomo Mame Mix” comes in an 8.8-oz. clear plastic
package, with item number 22-3163, and UPC code 784145220251.

Consumers who have purchased the product may return it to the place of
purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the
company at (630) 752-0089.

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Boston Legal episode on food allergies

January 20, 2007 at 9:58 am (Allergy News!, education, kids, medical, nut-free, peanut, school, social issues, television, USA)

According to Gina, I missed a TV show featuring food allergies.  A child died of peanut allergy in a classroom scenario–I’M GLAD I MISSED IT.  However, I do hope the show spread some awareness.  Here is a statement from FAAN about peanut allergy, food allergy, reactions, etc:

Boston Legal: It’s not about who is liable

The fictional Boston Legal episode which aired on Tuesday, January 16 th on ABC featured a peanut-allergic child who died after accepting candy brought in from home by a classmate. Unbeknownst to the child, the candy contained traces of peanuts. The teacher was on her cell phone with her back to the class when the reaction began.

When the teacher turned to face the class, she recognized the reaction was occurring and quickly administered epinephrine. Unfortunately, the child died (within 20 seconds of ingestion). The family sued the teacher and lost.  The fictional defense lawyers contended that teachers are over-worked, there are a lack of school nurses to care for students, the family had the means to hire a “shadow nurse or aide” for the child and didn’t, and that they could have sent the child to private school where there is a lower student to teacher ratio and didn’t.

The show accurately depicted the fear and constant vigilance individuals with food allergies live with day in and day out. Hopefully, the lucky viewers who do not have food allergies have a better appreciation for food allergies and will understand when someone says that even trace amounts of an allergy-causing food can be fatal—that they are not kidding.

The show has generated outrage and fear in parents of children with food allergies throughout the country. It also misrepresented a few key facts, which have caused great concern for families raising children with food allergies.

The time sequence presented was designed to be dramatic. It achieved that but was misleading. Fatalities don’t occur 20 seconds after ingestion. Epinephrine, the medication of choice for handling a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis, works quickly and patients often respond within minutes.

The lawyers on the show suggested that the family should have sent their child to a private school in order to receive the best care. This argument, however, ignores the fact that federal law grants every child the right to receive free public education. What is more, there is no data to support the notion that children are somehow “safer” in a private school setting.

The lawyers on the show also stated that the family should have hired a nurse to follow the student around and keep the child safe because teachers can’t be expected to keep children safe. This show unfairly depicted how teachers handle food allergies in the classroom. Millions of school-age children with food allergies are kept safe because of the systems in place by teachers, parents, and students working together.

If you have a child with a food allergy:

  • Talk to your child’s doctor and be sure you know what symptoms to look for during a reaction and what action to take. Share this information with anyone who is caring for your child.
  • Speak to your school principal about any concerns for keeping your child safe. Be sure systems are in place to recognize and treat allergic reactions quickly—quick response is key.
  • Remember that the real power lies within the child. Role play various situations, stress not sharing food with others, and suggest the use of FAAN’s Be A PAL: Protect A Life from food allergies program to educate classmates and friends.
  • Let the show’s producers and the network know what it’s like to live with a food allergy. Send a copy of your letter to FAAN.

David E. Kelly Productions
David Kelly, Executive Producer
1600 Rosecrans Ave
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 ABC Audience Relations Department

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Nut-free facilities

January 20, 2007 at 9:54 am (Allergy News!, Blog & Websites, Blogroll, cooking, kids, nut-free, peanut, Websites)

Thanks, Karen, for the LINK and the list.

babypinkcreeper.jpg

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