NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– We’ve on your side with a warning to people with peanut allergies.The Kellogg Company has changed some of its products to include peanut flour.
‘Keebler’ and ‘Austin’ brand snack crackers changed recipes last month.The decision has prompted a backlash from doctors and consumers.
According to Foodallergy.org, more than 200,000 people a year end up in an emergency room because of a food allergy reaction. Hoping to not see that number go up, more than 25,000 people have signed a petition asking Kellogg to reverse their decision.
These are the varieties being impacted by the change: cheddar cheese, grilled cheese, pepper jack and variety pack Austin snack crackers. Also, pepper jack, club and cheddar, cheese and cheddar and variety pack Keebler crackers.
These products with peanut flour started hitting the shelves last month. Before the change, these crackers had been deemed safe food choices by many allergy websites and organizations. And now those groups are urging parents to check labels to avoid accidental reactions.
Doctors say the number of people with peanut allergies has tripled in the past fifteen years. But studies show there are ways to bring that number down.
“There are a number of studies that seem to point out to the period of time when peanuts are introduced into the diet. By waiting or delaying the introduction of peanut, it may be more of a problem and more likely to result in peanut allergy than if the food was introduced early,” said Dr. Jeffrey Factor, Connecticut Asthma and Allergy Center.
Doctors say giving babies small amounts of peanut products before they turn one can be beneficial. But, watch carefully and look for signs of an allergy. Some common reactions include a rash or eczema, facial swelling or watery eyes, and vomiting.
That petition to Kellogg went up on the website snacksafely.com. Kellogg responded by saying they will reintroduce a peanut free cracker in September.
Still, doctors say if you know you or your child have an allergy, always check labels as changed like these happen often.