So, while us consumers who purchase food for ourselves or for someone with an allergy are very appreciative of this labeling, we are also very, very confused! In Part 1, I discussed a recent study that found over 24 different advisory terms with the major ones being some form of "May Contains", "Manufactured/Processed in a Facility/Plant", or "Made on the Same/Shared Equipment". I posed a question to you readers. Which allergen advisory labels prevent you from purchasing a food?
A study was published in 2007 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology regarding that very question. At both a 2003 and a 2006 FAAN conference, participants (625 and 645, respectively) from all over the US were asked whether they heeded advisory labels, and if so, which ones. This graph was included in a report by Dr. Scott Sicherer and presented to the FDA regarding the Use of Advisory Labeling of Allergens in Foods.
I know it was just one study with 200 items, and I know that everyone has to make up their own mind and follow their own gut instinct as to what they feel comfortable eating. We've never given Abigail anything that has the word peanut on it's label unless it ends with "free" as in peanut-free facility. This isn't a game-changer for us. But, if I was purchasing foods that had advisory warnings and thinking some were less risky than others...than I might consider the possibility that there's a bigger risk than I original thought!