Peanut Allergies And Box Mixes?

Business By CakeMommyTX Updated 6 Aug 2009 , 4:26pm by janebrophy

CakeMommyTX Posted 6 Aug 2009 , 1:57am
post #1 of 15

If some says "no peanut products" are boxed cake mixes ok ( I use the WASC recipe)?
I know some of them have an peanut/wheat allergry disclaimer on them.
Is it safe to make a yellow box cake as long as I don't smother it in peanut butter and sprinkle it peanuts?
I've never done a cake for someone with an allergy before, it makes me nervous.

14 replies
-Tubbs Posted 6 Aug 2009 , 2:11am
post #2 of 15

I would be very wary of this. Those box mixes are made in big processing plants where cross-contamination could occur. I don't think manufacturers are obliged to include the 'may contain traces' warning - some do it as a courtesy.

You'd be much safer with a scratch recipe where you can control what goes in.

CakeMommyTX Posted 6 Aug 2009 , 2:16am
post #3 of 15

What about the flour? I've read the same warning on flour before also.
This is why I've never done a cake like this before, I see a long sleepless night ahead of me worrying about this.

BlakesCakes Posted 6 Aug 2009 , 2:16am
post #4 of 15

It's not only the box mix that you have to worry about---------in theory, if it doesn't say that it was made with nuts (or in a facility that processes nuts), then I suppose it should be OK.

You need to worry about cross contamination from the items in your home or shop. Some people are so highly allergic that the dust or oils from nuts left behind by a pan, spatula, etc., can cause a reaction.

Under no circumstances will I do a cake and tell someone that it's allergen free. My home has nuts in it and I don't want to be the one with my neck on the chopping block when someone at the party goes to the hospital. I honestly believe that only the parent of an allergic child (or the allergic person themself) should take on that kind of liability.


janebrophy Posted 6 Aug 2009 , 2:34am
post #5 of 15

My son is Peanut Allergic -

I use Betty Crocker mixes, before and after diagnosis, they are fine.
The concern I would have, is exactly what BlakesCakes mentioned - cross contamination. I have a completely nut free kitchen. Anything I make, I would give to my baby, I know it's safe. As the parent of a PA, I would never feed my child something from a kitchen where nuts/nut products are frequently used. Unless it's guaranteed peanut free, we're not touching it!

As long as you are clear that you DO use nuts in your kitchen, the customer will be able to make the informed decision.

drdm99 Posted 6 Aug 2009 , 2:39am
post #6 of 15

My daughter has a nut allergy and I always bring her her own cupcake to a birthday party. I wouldn't want to put that responsibility on anyone else.
I guess you could technically do a nut free cake, but tell the parent that there could definitely be a cross-contamination issue and put the decision and responsibility back on them as to whether or not they feel comfortable with you making the cake. I never give my kid something from a bakery, way too much cross-contamination concerns, but everyone is different just as each child's reaction to an allergen is different.

As for a box mix, if I use one, it's Duncan Hines. They don't have any disclaimer regarding processing peanuts/tree nuts for these mixes. Be careful, because they started making a smaller box to produce a dozen cupcakes and these are processed in a plant that also processes peanuts.

The end all is that it is a huge responsibility to take on and you better put something in writing that covers yourself in case there is an issue.

CakeMommyTX Posted 6 Aug 2009 , 2:44am
post #7 of 15

I do use peanut butter, but the last time I had peanut butter in my kitchen was last Halloween, so almost a year ago.
I guess I will verify with the customer exactly what they mean by "no peanuts".
I request no peanuts on my sundaes, not because I am allergic but because I don't like them.
I am allergic to avacados, tomatoes, melons and other things but it is a mild reaction and I still eat them, so I guess there no way to know for sure unless I ask the customer.
The "no peanut products" just scared me a little.
The order is basically a done deal, they only informed me of this when they saw there was a "Special Instructions/Request" spot on my order form.
So if it was a really serious thing you'de think they would have asked me that right up front?

drdm99 Posted 6 Aug 2009 , 2:58am
post #8 of 15

I can't imagine anyone with a peanut allergy not mentioning this up front before placing an order. And they have to know that you don't specialize in allergy friendly cakes.

Also,I would not mention to them the last time you had peanut butter in your kitchen was a year ago because I'm sure there have been many items processed with peanuts that have come into your kitchen. Don't feed them any false sense of security. I learned this when I took my daughter to a friend's house whose children have all kinds of allergies and I thought my kid should definitely be able to eat there without any problems and sure enough, she ate a cookie and within a minute, she was vomitting everywhere. I finally tracked down the ingredient she is allergic to, but it was not a fun experience for either one of us. I just want you to be ok at the end of the day.

mommyle Posted 6 Aug 2009 , 3:00am
post #9 of 15

I tell people that there are nuts in the house. We do everything that we can to eliminate cross-contamination, but... And then it's up to them.

Quick story though, a good family friend has a DH who is allergic to every nut under the sun EXCEPT for peanuts, but the DD is allergic to peanuts. Go figure. And she still bakes with nuts and the fave sandwich of the DS is PBnJ. Her feeling is that if they are stupid enough to eat something that they full-well know they shouldn't, well then they deserve it! And then she laughs. She is really funny!!!!

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 6 Aug 2009 , 5:25am
post #10 of 15

I'd have a waiver ready to sign along with the contract!

CakeMommyTX Posted 6 Aug 2009 , 3:40pm
post #11 of 15

Ok so it turns out it's the little sister of the birthday boy and it's not really a "allergy", she got an upset stomach once after eating a peanut candy bar so ever since then they don't feed her peanuts or peanutbutter.
She eats a normal diet with the exception of peanuts and peanut products (Reeses peanutbutter cups, peanut butter, etc.)
Cakes and other things that may have been proccessed around peanuts are fine, she eats those all the time.
Whew, I was so worried I was going to have to decline the order, but turns out it's fine and I won't be sending anyone into anaphylactic shock!
Crisis averted, thank you for all your help!

brincess_b Posted 6 Aug 2009 , 3:48pm
post #12 of 15

id still be adding something into the contract to cover your self!

-K8memphis Posted 6 Aug 2009 , 3:48pm
post #13 of 15
Originally Posted by drdm99

My daughter has a nut allergy and I always bring her her own cupcake to a birthday party. I wouldn't want to put that responsibility on anyone else...

...The end all is that it is a huge responsibility to take on and you better put something in writing that covers yourself in case there is an issue.

This is clear and correct thinking.

I would never knowingly provide anything for someone who might need an epi pen or die from it.

Deathly thoughts for you.

-K8memphis Posted 6 Aug 2009 , 3:49pm
post #14 of 15

Oh good--case closed--I was posting when you were

Happy ending.

janebrophy Posted 6 Aug 2009 , 4:26pm
post #15 of 15

Glad to hear the crisis has been averted! LOL! Good food for thought though, contracts, contracts, contracts!!

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