News of Quaker Rice Cakes New Allergen Warnings Slow to Spread

May 28

News of Quaker Rice Cakes New Allergen Warnings Slow to Spread

ricecakesAlthough it has been a little over three months since PepsiCo Foods Canada announced that their Quaker Rice Cakes and Crispy Minis now may contain peanut, I’ve been disturbed that they are still on the menu at daycares with peanut-allergic children in our city. In fact, these products were for so long considered a staple as a “safe-snack,” and many still consider them as such. I was a regular consumer of these rice cakes, and I might not have learned of the formulation change (which is the result of the introduction of the new peanut butter flavours) if I wasn’t a regular visitor to the Allergic Living message board where someone had posted an alert. I think these alerts were sent to those who have registered to receive Quaker Foods product alerts and not many, if any, other folks.

Luckily for me, I was pre-warned of the change, and carefully inspected the packaging of the Quaker Rice Cakes, eventually finding the “MAY CONTAIN PEANUTS” warning. Shortly after, when a friend of mine was packing a few bags of these rice cakes to bring on a trip she was taking with her peanut-allergic son, she was shocked when I told her that she’d better look for a warning on the packaging. Her shock turned to annoyance as we both tried to straighten out the top of the rice cake package, scrunched together with a bread-bag-type tie, to read the warning. The warning is, shall we say, NOT obvious.

These rice cakes were a staple at my son’s child care centre, and I’m having some difficulty erasing the concept of Quaker Rice Cakes being a safe snack from their minds. I’ve finally found them an alternative brand (NoName) for which I’ve obtained the manufacturer’s assurance that they are free from peanuts. But change is slow, and this week the child care centre accidentally purchased and served the Quaker brand (I was able to intervene before my son was given any).

I’ll continue to spread the news to others and hope the news continues to spread. It would be nice if the multinational, billion-dollar-earning, food-producing corporations could help out too.