Mixed Feelings Over Recall

I’ve loved Haagen Dazs since I was a little girl. The chocolate bar with chocolate drizzle just speaks to me, so I was surprised to find out that they just recalled over 10,000 packs of chocolate peanut butter ice cream. Anyone on the east coast should be wary of the product as it was mislabeled, saying the flavor is just chocolate chip without noting peanuts as an ingredient.

On one hand, I’m actually pretty fearful. This is scary for the everyday person with peanut allergies. The thoughtless, heavenly act of stuffing your face with ice cream just became something to over-analyze (beyond just asking for or looking into the ingredients and asking servers to clean their utensils). Even if you aren’t allergic to peanuts yourself, then presumably you can still understand to how serious a product recall is. Bringing me to my other hand: I’m impressed by how much Haagen Dazs is owning up to their mistakes. Even on their own site, this breaking news is the first thing you see. I have not yet heard of an incident related to this story, so I hope that remains true in the coming days/weeks. Luckily we live in a world where news spreads like rapid fire.

While I don’t have another hand, I also hope the company can bounce back from it… I will accept (peanut) free ice cream, if I must.


Kissing With Nut Allergies

During an electrifying night out with multiple instances of PDA along the streets of Manhattan, I reflected on a story about kissing that I was told during summer camp. As we campers departed Honesdale, PA after two months away from home, we shared stories of what happened on the last night. One girl noted that she almost got to first base with a boy she liked but couldn’t do anything because he had eaten a peanut candy bar from the canteen. She claimed that if they had waited three hours after he ate nuts (which apparently they didn’t have?) then she would have been fine – leading me to believe that it takes three hours for your mouth to clean itself of all food. Her conviction was so sound I didn’t question it for years, despite all of the horrid stories in the media about the “kiss of death.” Today I looked to debug her information.

A few years ago, Mount Sinai studied the post-eating saliva of ten people who just had a peanut butter sandwich. After five minutes, the peanut allergen was still recognized in seven of ten people; after one hour, only one person still withheld the allergen in their saliva, and he wasn’t allergen-free until 4.5 hours later. While I couldn’t find much more beyond this study, which seemed too small to rule out my initial thought, I now resolve to pass along one doctor’s advice: “if you can’t [avoid peanuts altogether], the next safety strategy is to wait several hours and eat several meals without peanuts before kissing your partner.” (WebMD) While her guidance is often easier said than done, be as careful as possible, especially during a long night of fun.