The mystery of Annie’s Naturals ketchup
It had never occurred to me to check the Web site as well. I know now, though.
One lesson came courtesy of The Nut Free Mom's blog post on discrepancies she's noticed between ice-cream cartons and manufacturers' Web sites. The other came when I was poking around Annie's Naturals Web site and happened to notice that, online, the ketchup carries a peanut warning. As of last month, though, there is no warning on the bottle labels.
Annie's ketchup is a staple in our house. It's expensive, but it's the only brand I've found without garlic. Before I discovered Annie's, I'd tried making ketchup for garlic-allergic Big Guy, but the results ranged from inedible to pretty bad.
I emailed the company to find out which was correct, the label or the Web site. The Web site, the company said. But with a big caveat.
The company said its food-safety programs are audited regularly and that handling of the Big Eight allergens - wheat, soy, egg, peanut, shellfish, fish, milk and tree nuts - follows strict protocol that includes washing equipment after one of those allergens is processed.
So, even though the ketchup is processed on charged equipment, I feel comfortable continuing to use it. It doesn't meet my gold standard - an allergen-free plant - but at least I know they wash equipment between runs.
I've been fooled before, though - just weeks after Van's assured me that it took similar care to prevent cross-contamination, it had a recall for allergen-contaminated products.
Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.