BBC News – Hopes rise for low allergy peanut

Jun 15

BBC News – Hopes rise for low allergy peanut

How amazing could this be? If they can create a peanut that is low allergy, when will they be able to create one that is NO allergy? I know there is the camp that is against the whole genetic manipulation of food, but it’s very cool and promising. Besides, genetically modifying food and plants may lead us to some very important medical discoveries! Researchers are working on peanuts that are low allergy, which could put an end to the problems the popular seed can cause. Through mixing varieties, the US team has managed to remove or reduce key proteins thought to spark the allergy. They stress the resulting peanuts are not genetically modified but the product of conventional cross-breeding. Peanut allergies are relatively common and usually cause breathing problems. But at their most serious, they can lead to a potentially life-threatening anaphylactic shock. Read on… via BBC News – Hopes rise for low allergy peanut. Share...

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Keeps Me Safe Bracelets

Jun 14

Keeps Me Safe Bracelets

I was contacted today by Kat in Spain, who wanted to let me know of the Keeps Me safe bracelet. They are an alternative to the Medic-Alert bracelets and the thing about them is thier looks. Hi Kat’s own words: “…the Medic Alert bracelets arent particularly attractive and many people after purchasing one don´t have the desire to wear them on a daily basis as they should, especially women and children. The Keeps Me Safe bracelets certainly are beautiful and trendy, they are made from natural stones /Swarovksi crystals / leather, making them something beautiful rather than something to be ashamed of, and they are not expensive, meaning that people could buy one tag and various bracelets to swap on a daily basis depending on how they feel.” Check out Keeps Me Safe at www.keepsmesafe.com and is available in both English and Spanish. Sample tag: Check out some of these bracelet designs. Share...

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Congratulations Delicardo Foodcard Winner

Jun 03

Congratulations Delicardo Foodcard Winner

Thank you everyone who visited and left a comment for the giveaway! A special congrats goes out to Sarah D. of Matthews, North Carolina. She will be receiving her free pack of Gluten Foodcards in the mail! For those who did not win, watch the web and especially the Delicardo Facebook page. They sometimes have special offers and contests so you may yet win! Share...

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Today is the last day for the Delicardo Foodcard Giveaway!

May 15

Tomorrow morning sometime I will turn off commenting and randomly choose a winner in the Delicardo Foodcard Giveaway! Until then get your comment in as soon as you can! You still have a chance to win! Spread the word! Share...

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Peanuts lead allergy list, national survey finds

May 08

The Toronto Star’s Health Zone reminds us just how many kids are nut or peanut allergic. Canada’s first nationwide food allergy survey shows that about 1.7 per cent of children under 18 have a probable peanut allergy, while another 1.59 per cent have a probable allergy to tree nuts, such as hazelnuts and walnuts. This study was from 2008-2009 and was conducted over the phone to 10000 families. That’s a good sized sample and shows that a great many children are affected. It’s also notable that there is a great difference between results in the US and Canada. He says the rates are higher in Canada than in the U.S. — a 2002 American study found that 0.83 per cent of children have peanut allergies and 0.51 per cent are allergic to tree nuts. Keep in mind the time between studies. It is possible for those results to have changed in 6 years. Read the whole article here. Share...

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Toronto restaurant offers cooking classes for food allergic kids

May 07

Another feature of Health Zone from the Toronto Star. The Chef Upstairs in Toronto has started offering cooking classes for children. The Chef Upstairs is a food allergy aware restaurant that is completely free of peanuts and tree nuts. Check out this full article. It’s great to see restaurants picking up on the need for specialty venues or even just being aware that a good portion of clients may have sensitivities and allergies. Share...

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Food Allergy Complexity: More Than Meets the Eye, by Margaret Pingolt

May 06

Margaret Pingolt is a journalism student at Arizona State University. She requested a few questions answered from yours truly for an article she was working on. Below is a wonderfully written piece on college age people and life away from home. Thanks, Maggie! By, Maggie Pingolt PHOENIX- Waking up the day of high school graduation is typically a gift from the gods, a chance to leave the confines of an underage life with parents.  For some with food allergies, it’s just another day of heightened awareness.  One misstep at the party buffet and the night is ruined in hives, sneezing or anaphylactic shock. Going to college is a difficult tradition in and of itself.  In addition to a life threatening condition like food allergies, teens and young adults are at the highest risk of death because of vehicle accidents, drug overdose, and alcohol intoxication. Chelsey Heath, a freshman at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, has an anaphylactic peanut allergy.  She feels many young adults with food allergies do not practice healthy behaviors. The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network says, “A study showed that teens with food allergy and asthma appear to be at the highest risk for a reaction, because they are more likely to take risks when away from home, are less likely to carry medications, and may ignore or not recognize symptoms. “ The inability to accurately assess risk is one reason many college students with food allergies disassociate themselves with behaviors that may prevent an allergic reaction.  Some students may find healthy, safe options difficult to find on campus; others may feel they’re invincible to reactions. “I’m a very type-A person, but the average student who goes and get’s drunk could be in real danger.  How many people would be able and willing to help them if they went into anaphylactic shock?” says Heath. Anaphylactic shock, the most detrimental of reactions, is categorized by a change in blood pressure, swelling of the esophagus and difficulty breathing.  Symptoms may also include hives, swollen lips and change in skin tone. All reactions within the anaphylaxis range are deadly and must be treated immediately. Studies indicate those with food allergies are likely to struggle with more than one food allergy and a culmination...

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Immunotherapy may reduce peanut allergy

May 06

The Toronto Star’s Health Zone has started a series of food allergy related articles in responce to Food Allergy Month. This article reviews a new study from Mcmaster University and Dalhousie University in Halifax where 30 children with peanut allergies are going through the ingestion immunotherapy process. One notable difference in thsi study compared to the one done in the US is that they will be allowing in children with severe reactions. The study in the US worked only with children whose allergic reactions were mild. Snippit Encouraged by the positive results of British and American trials on oral immunotherapy and peanut allergies, Canada will soon begin its own research. The study, being run by Hamilton’s McMaster University and Dalhousie University in Halifax, will focus on 30 children with peanut allergies. They will ingest small quantities of peanuts over an extended period of time. The British and American trials have shown that gradual and steady exposure to the peanut allergen can reduce or, in some cases, eliminate reactions altogether. Researchers aren’t calling it a cure, but it could be a big step in the right direction. “Children in the U.S. and England have been given tiny amounts of peanuts and it appears to be working,” says Dr. Susan Waserman, an allergist at McMaster and one of the Canadian study organizers. “Right now, there’s no treatment beyond avoidance and the use of (epinephrine auto-injectors), so this is all good news.” The project will be presented to an ethics board in the next few months, with the work beginning shortly thereafter. Read the full article here. Share...

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May Declared Food Allergy Awareness Month in Canada

May 04

This just came across my desk from Anaphylaxis Canada. I have yet to find a link online but as soon as I do i’ll post it. News Release from Anaphylaxis Canada Anaphylaxis Canada welcomes Parliament’s declaration of May as Food Allergy Awareness Month “It means so much to me” – Sara Shannon, whose daughter Sabrina died of an allergic reaction Toronto, May 4, 2010 – Anaphylaxis Canada applauds Parliament’s motion recognizing Food Allergy Awareness Month and will be commemorating the occasion by promoting a number of initiatives intended to support the 1.3 million Canadians who live with food allergies. This is the first year such a month has been designated in Canada and will now be a permanently recognized occasion. Several other countries including the US, UK, Italy, New Zealand and Australia have similar declarations. “The declaration of Food Allergy Awareness Month is a significant step in the ongoing effort to educate the public about food allergies,” said Laurie Harada, Executive Director of Anaphylaxis Canada and herself the mother of a teenager with multiple food allergies. “We are thrilled that all political parties united to support this motion.” Food allergy is a growing public health issue in Canada. More than fifty percent of Canadians know someone with a food allergy. While allergic individuals must take responsibility for their condition, awareness and support of the community are key to keeping people, especially children, safe. Without treatment, anaphylaxis, the most severe form of an allergic reaction, can cause death. In the visitor’s gallery to watch Parliament vote on the motion was allergy advocate Sara Shannon. Sara’s daughter, Sabrina, had her own advocacy efforts tragically cut short by a fatal anaphylactic reaction in 2003 when she was just 13 years old. “This means so much to me,” said Sara Shannon, “and it would have meant so much to Sabrina. In her short life Sabrina experienced many parts of Canada, from the mountains of British Columbia to the beautiful city of Montreal. She would want everyone to share in this country’s beauty and possibility and would therefore be very pleased that the serious issues around food allergies are getting attention from our federal lawmakers.” Anaphylaxis Canada will be recognizing Food Allergy Awareness Month through a...

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Delicardo Foodcard Giveaway!

Apr 14

Comments are no longer being accepted towards the draw, a winner has been chosen and will be contacted soon! Thanks for playing! Exciting! Together with Delicardo we are proud to annmounce that we will be giving away a package of 10 Delicardo food cards! The contest is simple. Leave us a comment stating what type of Foodcard would work best for you and  and at the end of the give-away we’ll pick a random guest to receive a card set! The contest will run until May 15th (1 month from today!) so to give everyone a good chance to enter and get their comments in. I may have to massage the rules a bit so these are not set in stone. Also only one entry per person! Good luck! Share...

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Introducing Delicardo Foodcards – Your Dining Assistant.

Apr 12

Introducing Delicardo Foodcards – Your Dining Assistant.

How do you describe your allergies to a waiter or chef? Are you sure you covered everything? After he leaves to go place your order, did you forget to tell him one other thing about what you can not eat? What if the waiter forgets to mention something to the kitchen or says the wrong thing? What happens if you are travelling? Do you know how to describe your allergies to someone in their native language? Delicardo Foodcards can help you get through these situations. The Delicardo Foodcard contains all the information a food preparation professional could need. It lists the food you can and can not eat. It even tells them where these allergic reaction-inducing ingredients can be most commonly found. Available in English, German and Spanish (they are currently working on a French version as well as other languages) you can order them specially for the vacation you are about to take. The cards are available for just about any allergy or sensitivity out there: Nuts Celery Egg Fish Histamine Milk Seafood Soya And More! Delicardo Foodcards are developed with help from nutrition professionals and chefs to give as accurate a description as possible. The design is made to be easy to read. There is an area for you to add your own notes or for waiters to add theirs. Each individual allergy can be included on a card, or you can customize your cards to include as many allergies as you want to make a combination card. Check out the Configurator here. In the Configurator you can also add your own notes if there are specific foods you want listed that are not included by default. You can also include information about medication. The cards are currently available through the Delicardo website, and pricing for packages of 10 or 50 cards is in Euros. We at Eat Nut Free have inquired if there will be a North American distributor, and we should have news about that in the near future. Together with Delicardo we will be hosting a give-away of a 10-pack of cards. Depending on the response we may give away more! Stay tuned for details of the contest within the next couple of weeks. Share...

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New Epipen Design – Order new cases now.

Apr 02

New Epipen Design – Order new cases now.

The new Epipen has been released in the US and Canada. The new design makes it easier to hold as well as more obvious which end is the business end. One drawback is all our Epipen fitted pouches will not fit the new pen! Oh No! 🙂 Get all the details at http://epipen.ca/CONSUMERS/English/About_EpiPen/New_EpiPen.cfm New EpiPen® and EpiPen® Jr (0.3 and 0.15 mg epinephrine) Auto-injectors (“EpiPen”) now available! Easy-to-read instructions. Easy-grip bodyBuilt-in needle protection. Labelled orange needle cover contrasts with blue safety release for easy orientation* via Welcome to EpiPen.ca. Share...

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Book – The History of the Peanut Allergy Epidemic

Mar 31

Available in real paper (not as an e-book), this book offers a glimpse into the history of the peanut allergy. I hope to have a review up in the near future, but in the mean time pick up a copy and tell us what you think. The History of the Peanut Allergy Epidemic, the first documented history of the rise of peanut allergy, is now available http://www.peanutallergyepidemic.com Written by Heather Fraser a Toronto-based historian and mother of a peanut-allergic child, this meticulously researched book pinpoints the moment of the allergy’s appearance and reveals the perfect storm of social, medical, political and economic factors from which the epidemic has grown. The epidemic proportions of peanut allergy have spawned intense research into numerous risk factors including peanut consumption, birth month, hygiene, parasite levels and even head size.   And yet, no one has been able to connect the specifics of this surprising epidemic with a functional mechanism of sensitization – how have 2 million children in just the last 20 years become sensitized to this one food?  Neither coincidence nor genetic fluke can explain the speed at which this allergy has spread in children or its peculiar features.   The allergy appears primarily in western countries including the US, Canada, Australia and the UK and in toddlers, boys more often than girls in a ratio greater than 2:1. The history of food allergy provides some answers starting with Charles Richet who coined the term anaphylaxis in 1913 to describe a sudden and unexpected prevalence of mass allergy related to pharmaceuticals.  Clemens von Pirquet in 1906 called these altered reactions in children allergy.  Combing the literature, Fraser discovered that outbreaks of peanut allergy began to occur only after WW II.  There was a slow but noticeable growth of the allergy in children through the late 1960s up until about 1989. Around 1990, there was an explosion of this allergy just in toddlers.  This moment is well documented by ER records, cohort studies of the time and eyewitness accounts.  Society only recognized the epidemic when this mass of allergic kids showed up for kindergarten. The surge of peanut and food allergic 4 and 5 year olds took everyone by surprise – school systems, teachers, parents, entire...

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What is this Facebook thing?

Mar 26

For some reason I totally missed putting Eat Nut-Free on Facebook! Well, it’s kind of empty now, but you can now become a fan at our new Facebook Fan Page! Remember to follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our News feed too! Now you can get our news and keep in touch from anywhere! Share...

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Introducing Mr. Christie Snak Paks Soft Baked Cookies!

Mar 18

Introducing Mr. Christie Snak Paks Soft Baked Cookies!

We were recently very pleased that Kraft Foods gave us the opportunity to try their new Mr. Christie Snak Paks Soft Baked Cookies. They come in three flavours — Oatmeal Cinnamon, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, and Double Chocolate — and are conveniently packaged in 30 gram snack-sized pouches, six per box. All three varieties are made in a peanut-free facility and so are perfect for school lunchboxes. Our son was so happy to try the new cookies, he didn’t waste any time getting to work. Not being as fond of chocolate as most children, our son decided that the Oatmeal Cinnamon flavour would likely be his favourite (and they were), so he started with them. He took his “job” quite seriously at first, studying the first cookie and calmly stating, “I like the colour” (incidentally, there are no artificial colours or artificial flavours in the cookies). Then, taking small nibbles, he continued, “I like that they’re soft and chewy. I really like the taste of it.” But soon he was excitedly exclaiming, “They’re YUMMY! I love them! I want another bag!” (By the way, the soft texture is due to added vegetable purée [zucchini, pumpkin, or carrot, depending on the flavour]). He’d eagerly polished off two packages before we introduced him to the next flavour, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip. By then, he was munching away happily, mumbling out a “They’re nummy” between chews. Then, trying the Double Chocolate variety, he commented that they are “a lot chocolatey.” Soon, there were wrappers all over the place, and our satisfied boy said, “They should be in the stores so we can buy them. My friends would love them!” I’m certain that they will. These cookies did not last more that a few days in our house, and my husband and I only got a couple of small tastes. As for all those wrappers, Kraft Canada has a partnership with a company called TerraCycle, which allows the cookie wrappers to be collected and reycled. Through TerraCycle’s partnership with Kraft Canada,  groups such as schools and charites can earn money by collecting the used cookie packages, which TerraCycle then recycles, or “upcycles,” into items such as backpacks, pencil cases, and yoga totes.  That’s cool stuff! Mr. Christie Snak Paks Soft Baked Cookies will be available...

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The AllergyEats Blog

Mar 03

The AllergyEats Blog

Allergy Eats is a database site that takes your experiences in eating out and makes it available to the world. Well, to the USA. I tried searching in Canada and was unable to. Hopefully he will expand :). Paul wrote the following, I follow that by his press release. AllergyEats was 20 months in the making and lists over 600,000 restaurants that can be searched geographically and are sorted based on the restaurant’s level of  “allergy friendliness.”  This rating is derived from fellow food allergy and intolerant diners who choose to rate the restaurants by answering 3 simple questions.  Diners also have the opportunity to add comments to their quantitative ratings as well. As a standalone restaurant database, AllergyEats is a useful tool for locating places to dine. In addition, however, I have included features such as allergen information, gluten-free menus, industry certifications, and other relevant information where available. The site will grow in value for those with food allergies or intolerances as more restaurants are rated and comments posted. New Website Takes the Guesswork Out of Restaurant Dining for People with Food Allergies and Intolerances BOSTON (February 24, 2010) – If you or a loved one is prone to food allergies, you know the challenges of finding a restaurant where everyone will feel comfortable. That search has just gotten easier. A new website, www.allergyeats.com, combines the best of Internet technology with peer-to-peer information to help people know in advance how well (or poorly) a restaurant responds to people with food allergies and other food intolerances, such as Celiac Disease. The website lists over 600,000 restaurants in the United States and is searchable by geographic location, provides maps and driving directions, lists phone numbers and includes menus, industry certifications and other information of interest to food allergy sufferers when available. Users are encouraged to help the rest of the food allergy community by answering three simple questions (takes less than a minute) about their dining experience. The answers are compiled into an objective “allergy-friendliness rating” that gives users instantaneous at-a-glance information about the “allergy friendliness” of specific restaurants. There is also a place on the site for written comments, which will be monitored to ensure they contain only food-allergy related opinions. “This site is an outgrowth of the difficulty I...

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Reverse Allergy Alert Quaker Crispy Minis are Nut-Safe again

Mar 02

This is great news. We love rice snacks and the Quaker brand was always the best. When they started producing them on a line that also processed peanuts we were shocked and promptly dropped them from our grocery list. We were pleased to receive this notice today telling us they are reducing  the allergens by changing the production of some of their treats. NOTE: this is from the notice below. The changes will reduce the number of potential allergens in most flavours of rice chips products only. Allergen labeling on other Crispy Minis products, including Crispy Minis Bite Size rice chips, Crispy Minis Delights cookies and Crispy Minis rice cakes, remains the same. NOTICE FROM: PepsiCo Canada March 2010 IMPORTANT NOTICE: QUAKER BRAND TO REDUCE ALLERGENS IN SEVERAL CRISPY MINIS® RICE CHIPS As part of its ongoing mission to deliver healthy and convenient options that fit into a healthy lifestyle, PepsiCo Canada’s Quaker brand is making changes to its manufacturing and allergen control procedures for its Crispy Minis rice chips. The changes will reduce the number of potential allergens in most flavours of rice chips products only. Allergen labeling on other Crispy Minis products, including Crispy Minis Bite Size rice chips, Crispy Minis Delights cookies and Crispy Minis rice cakes, remains the same. The reduced allergen Crispy Minis rice chips are now on store shelves in major Canadian retail outlets. Accordingly, ingredients listings will be changing, and precautionary labeling will be adjusted only on affected products, as follows: CRISPY MINIS RICE CHIPS FLAVOUR CURRENT FORMULA NEW FORMULA Ketchup Contains Milk and Soy Ingredients. May Contain Wheat, Egg, and Peanut Contains Milk and Soy Ingredients Sea Salt & Lime Contains Milk and Soy Ingredients. May Contain Wheat, Egg, and Peanut Contains Milk and Soy Ingredients Salt & Vinegar Contains Milk and Soy Ingredients. May Contain Wheat, Egg, and Peanut Contains Milk and Soy Ingredients Caramel Kettle Corn Contains Sulphites. May Contains Wheat, Milk, Soy, Egg and Peanut. Contains Sulphites. May Contain Soy. Crunchy Dill Contains Milk and Soy Ingredients. May Contain Wheat, Egg, and Peanut. Contains Milk and Soy Ingredients. Butter Popcorn Contains Milk and Soy Ingredients. May Contain Wheat, Egg, and Peanut. Contains Milk and Soy Ingredients. Sweet Chili N/A new flavour Contains Soy and...

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Website for Restaurant and Travel Destination Reviews

Mar 01

Website for Restaurant and Travel Destination Reviews

We tried something like this in our forums that just ended up being a haven for spam so I am happy to see someone that is devoting their site to it. www.lonelyplate.org is  all about getting the word out on places to go and safely enjoy your time out without worry. I went to Disney World a couple years ago and they were FANTASTIC! We’ll be going back sometime very soon to reproduce the trip, pretty much exactly. Land and sea cruise/park package. Stay at Animal Kingdom and just soak it all in. Ok, I’m leaving. Wait, Here’s the info in this press release. Check it out and participate! Make this the Go To place for this info!! PRESS RELEASE: New Food Allergy/Celiac Restaurant and Travel Review Website WASHINGTON – A new website catering to the food allergy and Celiac community, www.LonelyPlate.org, was launched in February by Sharona Schwartz, who up until a year and a half ago was News Coverage Manager at CNN’s Washington Bureau. While at CNN, Schwartz produced award-winning television reports with chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta on food allergies.   She is also the mother of a daughter diagnosed with multiple food allergies, including wheat, peanuts, fish and more. At LonelyPlate.org, individuals dealing with food allergies and Celiac can write reviews about restaurants, hotels, airlines and theme parks they visit. “There are fantastic online resources reviewing restaurants and hotels, but because I couldn’t find any that consolidated our unique experiences in an easy, interactive, international platform, I decided to create an interactive database where we can review restaurants, hotels, airlines, and kid-friendly venues,” says Schwartz. “Wouldn’t it be great to give a shout out to a place that did a great job helping you have a safe meal, or warn others of a place to stay away from at all cost?” Schwartz says. Recognizing dining out for those with food limitations is an experience fraught with worry for many, Schwartz says the website will disseminate reports, both positive and negative, to families facing similar medical challenges. “This kind of information-sharing is crucial not only to keep each other safe but also can be a message to restaurants that we are a consumer community worth...

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How strange an allergy are these?

Jan 18

How strange an allergy are these?

Ever stop to think of those people who are alergic to water, or vibrations? What about those poor individuals who can’t be around deodorant or underwear? These are real allergies and our friend at Online Nurse Practitioner Schools outlines 20 of the strangest allergies I’ve ever heard of. Here’s #12 for example: 12. Pressure One of the most common classifications of urticaria, dermatographism comes from a negative reaction to varying degrees of pressure. Depending on the severity of the case, anything from a slight touch upwards can trigger an allergic episode. It can either affect the entire body or localized areas. Many individuals stuck with the condition have quite a bit of fun with it, using their bodies as outlets for creative expression by scratching messages and designs into their skin. While a permanent cure has yet to be found, antihistamines usually work well as a treatment option. More serious instances may require some shifts in lifestyle to minimize potentially painful contact. Hop on over to their site to see the whole list! Share...

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Peanut residue/oil cleanup

Jan 11

Peanut residue/oil cleanup

We recently received an email asking a question that I am sure is on many people’s minds, especial those who are new to nut/peanut allergies. I.P. asked: I have been searching and searching to try to determine how long nut/peanut residues last on surfaces.  I cannot seem to find an answer to this question.  My son suffers from peanut and nut allergies and I was wondering how long an allergen stays on door knobs or other surfaces before they “die” or does it just sit there until someone cleans it up. My reply was this: You will be glad to hear that it is actually quite easy to get rid of peanut and nut residue. This article outlines a study from a few years ago on how most cleansers will remove it from surfaces. Take note that dish soap does not work very well. You need to use a cleanser like Fantastic or Lysol wipes. http://www.webmd.com/allergies/news/20040510/peanut-allergy-cleaners Also it is important to realize that nut proteins are not living things and they do not die. They will last (practically) forever on a surface if left alone. Just so you understand, the theory of why dish soap does not work well is because they think that it produces a barrier around the protiens that prevent it from being washed away. Water alone actually does a better job than dish soap. As you can see, though peanut cleanup is very important, it can be done very easily so don’t cut corners. Photo by sheilaz413 on Flickr Share...

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