Handling Allergies

Business By saberger Updated 16 Mar 2010 , 2:58am by sweetlayers

saberger Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 6:10pm
post #1 of 23

If you bake all recipes and include nut free, how do you handle it? Meaning - do you have a separate part of your kitchen (home or biz) designated to nut-free, including separate pans, mixing bowls, utensils, etc? What are the 'rules' about cross contamination?

I want to be able to promote nut-free, egg free, etc products, but I am paranoid about cross contamination and risking someone's life. What do you do?

Thanks.

22 replies
Loucinda Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 6:49pm
post #2 of 23

I would check with your local health department on their requirements for doing such.

Here where I am I do not sell allergen free cakes, period. If someone calls and asks, I tell them I cannot do their order. I used to have a notice I put on my labels saying "NOT allegen free, may contain, nuts, soy, dairy and/or wheat products" - my insepector told me I did not have to put this on my label, it was up to the individual to READ my ingredient label and decide for themselves.

saberger Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 7:17pm
post #3 of 23

I didn't realize that the health department would be the one to decide that. Thanks for the info.

saberger Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 3:56am
post #4 of 23

Would anybody else be willing to share what they do?

Kitagrl Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 4:07am
post #5 of 23

If they request nut-free I tell them my house contains peanut butter and I do use it in other things as well as other nuts to make sure their allergy is not that sensitive. If it is, usually they will decide not to order. If its not, I make a note and make sure to keep everything as clean and safe as possible but they are warned that the house does contain nuts.

For egg and dairy free its not usually that sensitive, its just a matter of not including that ingredient in their order.

saberger Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 3:17pm
post #6 of 23

Does any have a separate are designated JUST for nut free allergies?

-Tubbs Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 3:45pm
post #7 of 23

My separate basement cake kitchen is nut-free, in that I do not use any nuts or nut products in there, and no nuts have been processed on any of my equipment. I do inform people that I cannot 100% guarantee that there will be no nut traces in any of my ingredients though. I don't do any egg-free or gluten-free.

JanH Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 8:13pm
post #8 of 23

Here's a previous thread on gluten-free baking:
(Which is another area of specialty/allergy baking.)

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-653262-.html

HTH

thecookieladycc Posted 7 Mar 2010 , 7:23am
post #9 of 23

Yeah I thought about doing that but its just toooooo hard to do.
A lady told me that she wanted to get her boss something for his birthday, but it has to be sugar free, nut free and gluten free..... I told her to get him an ice cube and a card.

costumeczar Posted 7 Mar 2010 , 2:53pm
post #10 of 23

I tell people that I can do nut-free, but that since I do work with nuts (in many ways) in the kitchen, I can be as careful as I can be, but they have to assume that there could still be a risk. It's up to them whether they want to do that or not.

Having said that, I just make sure that when I bake nut-free I re-wash all the pans before using them, I have separate utensils that I use, and I wipe down all the equipment really well before mixing anything, etc.

CookieMakinMomma Posted 7 Mar 2010 , 3:13pm
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecookieladycc

Yeah I thought about doing that but its just toooooo hard to do.
A lady told me that she wanted to get her boss something for his birthday, but it has to be sugar free, nut free and gluten free..... I told her to get him an ice cube and a card.


Too funny! And sadly, I think the ice cube would taste better. icon_lol.gif

saberger Posted 10 Mar 2010 , 2:15am
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

I tell people that I can do nut-free, but that since I do work with nuts (in many ways) in the kitchen, I can be as careful as I can be, but they have to assume that there could still be a risk. It's up to them whether they want to do that or not.

Having said that, I just make sure that when I bake nut-free I re-wash all the pans before using them, I have separate utensils that I use, and I wipe down all the equipment really well before mixing anything, etc.




Thanks for sharing! Do you have a separate bowl for the mixer or anything like that? I don't mind getting separate pans, spatulas, cooling racks, but don't know if I would need another mixer in case there is something stuck in some unknown crevice of the mixer. icon_confused.gif

costumeczar Posted 10 Mar 2010 , 11:35am
post #13 of 23

I clean the mixer really well, and just re-wash the bowls. The stainless steel bowl isn't going to be a problem, but there could be junk in the mixer, so just make sure it's clean clean clean! (Which you really should be doing anyway, not to give you a lecture but I've seen some nasty mixers, and it's easier to clean them after each time you use the instead of trying to chip off hardened who-knows-what weeks later icon_wink.gif ) The separate utensils that I have are the rubber spatulas, anything with wooden handles, plastic measruing cups etc.

Reimagining_Confections Posted 10 Mar 2010 , 12:26pm
post #14 of 23

Actually, this is a big deal. I have several friends that are contact allergic to nuts and or tree nuts. Peanut and nut oils can cling to things you don't even think about(even after a wash). Up in your KA in places you didn't think to look, silpat mats are a real hazard. Flour that is not specifically made in a nut free, peanut free facility, chocolate(Toll House and Hersheys has cross contamination), sugar, ps, etc ALL needs to be peanut/nut free.

I would recommend to any one willing to do this to consult a specialist, health dept., lawyer(liability issue). I would keep seperate everything in a space where their is no cross contamination(mixer, bowls, spoons, measuring cups, decorating tools, etc). I have not considered this due to the high costs and I do not want to get this wrong. The milk and egg is not as bad, but the peanut/nut one is terrifying.

Good luck!

costumeczar Posted 10 Mar 2010 , 12:29pm
post #15 of 23

I agree, I always tell people that they have to assume the risk, that I can be as careful as I can be, but since I do have nuts that are used in my kitchen it's not a nut-free environment. They have to decide whether they think it's okay based on the level of their reaction to allergens, and the peanut reactions can be really bad.

Personally, if I had a nut allergy I wouldn't eat anything that I didn't make myself!

Loucinda Posted 10 Mar 2010 , 1:18pm
post #16 of 23

That is why I say NO. I won't risk it, it isn't worth it to me. My kitchen is spotless, but when it comes to (possibly) someone dying because of an allergic reaction from traces of an allergen, it isn't coming from my buisness. (this is one of the reasons why I have insurance too, but I would rather not have to use it!)

CakeMommyTX Posted 10 Mar 2010 , 5:37pm
post #17 of 23

I just don't do them, I can do a cake for someone who doesn't *like* nuts and avoid using them but I cannot guarantee that the cake and/or work area is 100% completely and totally nut free.
I rent kitchen space from another business so where as I might be able to know if my equipment and workspace is nut free I can't guarantee that theirs is, the risk is just to high for me.
Plus I've checked my flour and chocolate before and both are produced in plants that also handle nut products so that's a no go as well.
I also don't do gluten free, sugar free or anything other then sugar loaded, decadent, thunder thigh inducing cakes.
Don't get me started on going to the grocery store for Oreos and all I can find are fat-free cookies...grrrr I'm pretty sure that should be an oxymoron.

costumeczar Posted 10 Mar 2010 , 6:01pm
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMommyTX

.
Don't get me started on going to the grocery store for Oreos and all I can find are fat-free cookies...grrrr I'm pretty sure that should be an oxymoron.




Fat-free Oreos are just wrong.

CakeMommyTX Posted 10 Mar 2010 , 6:10pm
post #19 of 23

...And fat free ice cream and coffee creamer.
I'm addicted to flavored creamer in my coffee (I know I'm weak) but I threw a fit in the store the other day when all they had was sugar free creamer, Splenda is evil and I will not support it's campaign for global dominance.

costumeczar Posted 10 Mar 2010 , 7:14pm
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMommyTX

...And fat free ice cream and coffee creamer.
I'm addicted to flavored creamer in my coffee (I know I'm weak) but I threw a fit in the store the other day when all they had was sugar free creamer, Splenda is evil and I will not support it's campaign for global dominance.




I don't mind splenda in my hot tea, but any baking purpose for it is wrong. And I agree that full-fat, all-sugar, no calories reduced baking is the only way to go icon_smile.gif

-Tubbs Posted 11 Mar 2010 , 12:59am
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CookiesbyMomME

Actually, this is a big deal. I have several friends that are contact allergic to nuts and or tree nuts. Peanut and nut oils can cling to things you don't even think about(even after a wash). Up in your KA in places you didn't think to look, silpat mats are a real hazard. Flour that is not specifically made in a nut free, peanut free facility, chocolate(Toll House and Hersheys has cross contamination), sugar, ps, etc ALL needs to be peanut/nut free.

I would recommend to any one willing to do this to consult a specialist, health dept., lawyer(liability issue). I would keep seperate everything in a space where their is no cross contamination(mixer, bowls, spoons, measuring cups, decorating tools, etc). I have not considered this due to the high costs and I do not want to get this wrong. The milk and egg is not as bad, but the peanut/nut one is terrifying.

Good luck!



Agree 100%. Nothing in my cake kitchen has had nuts anywhere near it. I wash my hands as soon as I get in the door. I would never claim to be able to produce anything 'nut-free' under any other circumstances.

1234me Posted 11 Mar 2010 , 9:48pm
post #22 of 23

I used to accomodate nut-free orders but just felt like I was taking too much of a risk with it in case something happened. It wasn't worth it to take the chance!

sweetlayers Posted 16 Mar 2010 , 2:58am
post #23 of 23

I make sure to tell people that my company does not and has never offered any allergy guarantees. I also warn all the sugar loving diabetics to eat with caution!

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