The Kellogg company announced that starting in April, they will be adding peanut flour to four flavors of their Austin Crackers and Keebler lines of snacks. The Austin Cheddar Cheese Cracker Sandwiches, Austin Grilled Cheese Cracker Sandwiches, Austin Pepper Jack Cracker Sandwiches, Austin Variety Pack Cracker Sandwiches, Keebler Club & Cheddar Sandwich Crackers, Keebler Cheese & Cheddar Sandwich Crackers, Keebler Pepper Jack Sandwich Crackers, and Keebler Variety Pack Sandwich Crackers will all be affected.
This poses a serious risk to children and families who have peanut allergies who may be unaware of changes. Previously safe products will now be unsafe for affected individuals and to take to nut free schools. Although Kellogg has issued a statement saying that they are committed to allergy management and will be labeling all products with potentially allergenic ingredients, parents on their community message boards are upset.
A petition has been created on Change.org by the allergic community comprised of food allergy sufferers, parents, allergists, pediatricians, teachers, school nurses and caregivers, to get Kellogg to remove peanut flour from their otherwise peanut-free products. They are urging the company to take the safety and health of their customers seriously. “Surely there are other less allergenic alternatives that will achieve your nutrition goals without endangering this large and growing community, even if doing so means sacrificing some of your profit in the interest of serving that community,” the petition asks.
KidsHealth.org says that while companies do have to list potentially allergenic ingredients on the label, the DO NOT have to list for potential cross contamination. Adding peanut flour to their products can potentially make additional Kellogg food items dangerous due to being made on shared equipment. This raises concerns from parents as to the safety of their children’s snacks. There is no word if Kellogg will label for potential cross contamination.
Kellogg has stated that both lines of crackers will be labeled to state that they include wheat, soy, milk, and the new peanut ingredients. They encourage anyone with questions or concerns to visit their websites at www.keebler.com or www.austinqualityfoods.com or call Austin at 1-877-453-5837 and/or Keebler at 1-877-453-5737.