Please forgive me for standing on my soapbox for this one. I must apologize in advance because we are only just getting to know one another, but this one is pretty important to me, and my beautiful eight-year-old daugher N.
I was reading through status updates on Facebook recently, and one parent friend of mine was asking where she could buy creme of tartar. A series of responses followed, with bulk food stores being the most recommended. Then followed some suggestions for playdough recipes. I made a comment that if the playdough were going to be used in a school setting, then it would be important to take food allergies into consideration.
A response from another parent followed mine. She said that she had sent playdough into schools using ingredients purchased at the bulk food store four times and it had not been a problem for the children with allergies. Well it won’t necessarily be a problem, but there is always a chance that it could be. Bulk food stores are not OK for people with food allergies. The possibility of cross contamination always exists between the bins, so there are no guarantees that the products at a bulk food store do not contain traces of other things like peanuts or nuts, for example.
I have a beautiful daughter with a life-threatening peanut allergy. I believe that I am a fairly level-headed parent dealing with this. I am vigilant. I am not crazed. I am always respectful. In general people are highly understanding and accommodating, and they want to do the right thing (thank you!). But the topic of bulk food stores and food allergies has not been discussed or publicized enough for people to be even aware of the issue. It is completely understandable, so I’m just hoping to get the word out a bit more. If you use products from the bulk bins at the bulk food stores, you just cannot say that they are peanut, nut or anything else-free.
We really have had such a positive experience with the schools and other families on this. The parents of children with allergies who came before us have done such a great job in making life pretty easy for us. I would like to keep that momentum going, and keep making things better.
OK, jumping off my soapbox now. Thanks y’all!