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How often are foods that contain peanuts mislabeled?

The risk of undeclared peanuts gained renewed attention when a 25-year-old woman died after consuming a cookie that was in a mislabled package.
How often are foods that contain peanuts mislabeled?
Posted at 2:00 PM, Jan 31, 2024

For the third time in 2024, the Food and Drug Administration issued a recall of a food product for not properly labeling an item containing peanuts.

On Tuesday, the FDA said nearly 250 cartons of Byrne Dairy Mighty Fine Chocolate Ice Cream have been recalled for possible presence of peanuts that are not declared on the label. The cartons have a Last Date of Sale of 10/4/2024. 

The items were sold in stores throughout Upstate New York.

The recall follows two others earlier this month for undeclared peanuts. The FDA issued recalls for Whitley’s Peanut Factory deluxe nut mix and Big Island Candies brownie assortment for having undeclared peanuts. 

In 2023, the FDA issued 26 recall alerts involving undeclared peanuts. The recalls were mainly for dessert items, but noodles and breakfast sandwiches were also included in various recalls. 

The risk of undeclared peanuts gained renewed attention earlier this month when officials said a woman died after she consumed a cookie that did not note the presence of peanuts on the label. 

SEE MORE: Toothpaste formulated with peanuts could help those with nut allergy

Attorneys said Órla Baxendale, 25, had a severe allergic reaction after consuming a Florentine cookie from Stew Leonard’s grocery store in Connecticut. The law firm of Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman and Mackauf said an oversight led to the cookies being available without proper labeling from Nov. 6 through Dec. 31. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 6% of adults and 8% of children live with a food allergy — with peanuts among the foods that cause the most severe reactions. 

Peanut allergies can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, difficulty breathing, hives or skin rash, nausea and vomiting, stomach cramps and swelling, the Cleveland Clinic says. More severe symptoms can include anaphylaxis, which can make it hard or impossible to breathe. 

The FDA requires food producers to properly label products that are sources for food allergies, including peanuts, milk, fish and other products.

The FDA has a full list of recalled products on its website that may contain undeclared peanuts. 

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