Peanut allergy is one of the most common and, at the same time, most severe food allergies. Even small quantities of peanuts can be life-threatening for allergy sufferers.
Peanuts must be declared as an ingredient on packages according to EU Directive 2007/68/EC because they are ranked among the most important food allergens. However, peanuts can get into food accidentally due to cross contamination. The accidental contamination can occur in companies that process food that contain peanuts as well as those that are free from them. This can occur, for example, during the production of confectionery, snacks, baked goods, chocolate, cookies, cereals or ice cream. Some manufacturers protect themselves by providing their products with the following disclaimer: “May contain traces of peanuts.”
For allergy sufferers it is important to be able to rely on the fact that a food product actually is free from peanuts if it is declared in this way. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully examine the production areas as well as the end products.