When I first found out Nina had a peanut allergy, it was years ago before most companies put allergy warnings on their food labels. Reading each individual ingredient was cumbersome but absolutely necessary. The companies didn’t specify as to whether or not items were manufactured in the same facility or even worse on the same equipment. Within a few years, though, we started noticing more warnings on food items.
It’s very scary to have a small child and have to read labels so intently. Even as Nina got older, it didn’t get any easier. There was always the worry of what if this item gets recalled and really does have traces of peanuts in it.
I’ve emailed so many food companies and restaurants throughout the years asking about the ingredients they use, and whether or not they use peanut oil at all. Sometimes places or products are safe to eat and then they change something and are no longer safe. There is never any kind of notice with it. You have to read the labels every single time and check the menus / ingredients for every meal you eat at a restaurant whether it be fast food or fine dining.
It can become overwhelming at first, but it becomes routine as the years go by. It feels almost normal and seems odd to you if someone asks you why you are reading every label. It’s hard for others to understand what has now become a normal obsession that is necessary for the survival of your child.
I am very glad that there are warnings on food labels now and that the warnings are being placed in visible areas. Restaurant websites have also become a valuable asset in the struggle to find a safe place to eat.