Spices- What’s a Mom to do?

We do not have peanut allergies. But the whole cumin recall disaster has made me question our spices. Are the ones I’ve been using considered safe? Truly safe? I set out to find out.

We use mostly Tone’s spices and Hy-Vee brand spices. I called Hy-Vee and was told Hy-Vee spices are made by Tone’s. I was impressed that the lady on the phone from Hy-Vee was able to tell me this: “The facility has wheat, oats, rye, dairy, eggs & coconut.”

So next I called Tone’s. Tone’s confirmed the statement above, but clarified that the coconut is in the warehouse, but not packaged there. Coconut is not an issue for us, but I wanted to include that part for those of you who avoid coconut. The lady from Tones told me they have “strict clean outs” and they DO NOT label for “may contains” and there “could be shared lines” with dairy and eggs.

I jumped in on McCormick’s Facebook thread about the cumin recall and how their cumin isn’t included. That’s great news! However, I asked about dairy and egg in the facility and shared lines and this was the response.

McCormick's response to me.  I didn't get a response to my shared lines question.

McCormick’s response to me. I didn’t get a response to my shared lines question.

What’s a mom to do?!?!

Go to her trusty “Milk Allergy Mommies” and ask questions, that’s what!!!

Someone suggested Morton & Bassett spices. The mom had called and asked and was told it was a dairy and egg free facility. I called, too, to confirm. I need peace of mind.

IT’S SAFE, PEOPLE! There are no dairy or eggs in the Morton and Bassett facility, according to the woman I spoke to on the phone.

I gathered up all of my Tone’s and Hy-Vee spices and kicked them to the curb.

Isn’t that dramatic, you might think? They used those spices for years.

The thing is, sometimes after meals SG would have a mystery hive. I hate mystery hives. Maybe it was a trace amount from a spice? I really don’t know.

But now that I know, I’M NOT TAKING ANY CHANCES!

I rushed off to the store and spent a small fortune on safe Morton and Bassett spices.

My poor Huzz… I was all in a tizzy the moment he walked in from a hard days work blathering on about spices and how much these new spices cost.

So, I’ll just blather on with you about spices. That’s okay, right? The Huzz will appreciate you listening to me.

Yesterday, I found another spice brand, JR Watkins, and called them. It took at least 10 minutes of me being on hold and going back and forth with the lady (nicely, of course) and SG dancing all over the aisles while I stood there… Yeah- fun! The end result- shared facilities. Not safe for us.

I will stick with my new and safe brand- Morton and Bassett.

I have to add- this recall is very scary for food allergy moms. I cook all of our meals. I rely on spices to make our food delicious. I also rely on the companies whose products I purchase. For food allergy parents, the results of these massive recalls can be catastrophic and life ending.

Here’s what I will continue to do.  I will continue to make my small voice heard by calling companies and asking questions about allergens, shared lines and shared facilities.  It’s important to speak up and be heard.  Let us let companies know allergens are big deals and we want clearer labeling!  I’m dreaming of more legislation about clear labeling for shared lines and shared facilities.

What are your thoughts on the cumin recall?  Do you have a brand of spices you use?  Have you called them and asked about shared lines and shared facilities?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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5 thoughts on “Spices- What’s a Mom to do?

    • I spoke to 2 people today at M&B. There are no peanuts in the facility. There is an almond extract but that is on separate lines from the dried spices. The vanilla extract is most likely shared lines with the almond extract, although the person I spoke to wasn’t sure. But he was positive that the liquid extracts are separate lines from the dried spices. I hope that helps, Jamie!

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