Where to Find Peanut-Free Products

Peanut allergy
Peanut allergy. Getty Images/Chris Fertnig/E+

The Importance of a Safety Net

When you or someone in your family is first diagnosed with a peanut allergy, or when a child with a peanut allergy starts school or childcare, knowing where to find ready-to-eat peanut-free foods can feel like a lifesaver.

This is especially true for snacks, cereals, pastries, candy, and other items that are likely to have had some cross-contamination in the manufacturing process.

Here's a quick guide to finding peanut-free products.

Finding Peanut-Free Products at the Supermarket

Well-stocked supermarkets -- especially if they have a "health foods" or "natural foods" section -- often carry several of the larger nationwide brands committed to providing peanut-free and nut-free foods to people with allergies.

Some products you may be able to find in your grocery store include Cherrybrook Kitchen baking mixes (as well as gluten-free products like waffle and pancake mixes, cake mixes and frostings),  Enjoy Life cookies, cereals, granola bars and other products, peanut butter substitutes from Peabutter (the company's NoNuts Peabutter can also be used as a replacement ingredient in peanut butter recipes for cookies, squares, energy bars and sauces) and Sunbutter (sunflower spread that is not only peanut-free but tree nut-free and now also comes in single-serve on-the-go cups).

Health food stores may offer a wider selection in some areas.

Finding Peanut-Free Products on the Internet

If you're looking for a particular product you can't find easily at your local supermarket, chances are good you can order online. Strongly consider online shopping if you're in a remote area, if you're looking for a large quantity of food (thereby making shipping cost-effective), or in search of special-occasion foods you can't find easily in your town.

The Gluten & Allergy Free Shop is a useful source for peanut-free products, and Divvies and Vermont Nut-Free are good sources for snacks and candies.

Tips to Remember When Buying Peanut-Free Products

The products mentioned in this article are by companies that specialize in peanut-free and allergy-safe foods. Many other foods in your local supermarket are peanut-free, but you should be aware that ingredient lists alone don't tell the whole story when it comes to allergies.

Always avoid products that indicate they've been prepared on shared manufacturing lines with peanuts. And be aware that even foods you've bought more than once can change formulations without warning.

For more tips on figuring out which products at your grocery store are truly peanut-free, see Why "May Contain Allergen" Warnings Matter and How to Decipher Ingredient Labels.

Red Flags

Jill Castle, a food allergies expert, says, "Some packaged foods will not include cross-contamination information, or there will be an ambiguous statement like 'we use good manufacturing practices' on the package.

In this instance, your best approach before consuming the product is to call or e-mail customer service for clarification, especially if you have severe allergies."

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