I have my first order involving a peanut allergy. I'm assuming as long as I'm not using peanut items in the process or near it, all will be ok right? I start from Duncan Hines mix and add in to it. I've never dealt with a peanut allergy, so if there's anything I need to know - feel free to share. Thanks!
It's really not that simple. Some allergic people can't even tolerate the dust or a spec of the oil.
If peanuts, or other similar nuts, have been in contact with your utensils, pans, etc., then you risk cross contamination.
Many common ingredients are made in facilities that also process nuts. You need to read every box/bag/can carefully to see if there's a disclaimer about this and if so, then find new ingredients that don't say they're made in a facility or on a line with nuts.
I'm not allergic myself, but I take allergies very seriously. I would never want to be responsible for someone's reaction.
I will not do NOT do a cake with ANY special dietary needs requirements. There are nuts present in my house and many of my ingredients say that they're processed in a facility that processes nuts. I tell people asking for such cakes that they should call a local allergy clinic or pediatrician's office and ask if they're aware of a local bakery that specializes in such items.
I also take my personal liability very seriously and I just don't want any reason to worry about getting "that call".
I have delt with this before. It is one of the worst allergies a person can have. Biggest thing is make sure EVERYTHING that you plan on using (work space, tools, ect.) has been throughly bleached. You can't be too clean or safe. Talk to the customer in detail about how they normally handle cooking. You should also use new bags of flour, sugar, ect. to insure that nothing has contaminated them from previous orders.
Duncan Hines cake mixes are not nut safe. We have a niece with nut allergies and can use only Pillsbury or Betty Crocker...but, you must read every package individually.
Nut allergies need to be taken very seriously-some can truly be life or death circumstances.
Yes, bleach every surface, and only use stainless steel or glass utensils that have been sanitized. If the label says processed with peanuts, obviously don't use it. Most flour,sugar and baking powder is safe. I am making a peanut free cake for my daughters birthday party and I won't allow anything peanut related whatsoever in the house.
You need to carefully check ingredient labels, and if the manufacturer makes any other products that contain peanuts you should contact them to make sure you are comfortable with their processes for preventing cross-contamination.
When storing the finished peanut-free product and any ingredients used in the peanut-free product make sure you don't store them below any peanut contaminated ingredients. If you have used any ingredients in the past and are not sure if you were careful to avoid contaminating them, consider them contaminated and use a brand new package.
If you use non-porous supplies and surfaces you should be OK as long as you clean them very carefully, but anything porous (like wood) should be considered permanently contaminated if it has touched anything with peanuts.
There's no need to completely get rid of everything with peanuts in the house as long as you're careful, I have very severe peanut allergies and my wife still has peanut butter, thai food, etc. without any problems.
This is not a cut and dry situation. I assume you have spoken to the person placing the order about your facility and baking equipment along with ingredients you use. If you have used nuts in your kitchen then I'd say everything is cross contaminated and presents a big liability on your part. It's not just a matter of ingredients. My daughter has several allergies including peanuts and I would never put that responsibility on someone else. What I have learned over the years is that every parent with a child with a food allergy has a different level of what they are ok with when it comes to "may contain, processed in a plant" etc. because every child can have a different reaction or tolerance to an allergen.
After explaining to the client that you cannot guarantee that your cake is nut free, it is their choice whether or not to place the order. I'd say even get some kind of waiver from them. This is a huge responsibility on your part.
Wouldn't touch a peanut allergen order with a ten foot pole. I wouldn't want to wonder "what if...." Nope. Not worth it.