PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. -- Anyone with a food allergy or a child with a food allergy knows shopping can be a challenge. Once you find those go to safe foods you treasure them like gold. For Sarah DuBerry, reading ingredients is a way of life. For DuBerry, not thoroughly reading, line by line, could have deadly consequences.
“My oldest son has peanut allergies,” DuBerry said. “He's also got eggs, nuts, milk. He's got multiple food allergies.”
DuBerry’s son Rex is one of an estimated 15 million Americans with food allergies. Which is why she's concerned about Kellogg’s decision to add peanut flour to some flavors of Keebler and Austin cheese crackers starting this month.
“It's absolutely huge,” DuBerry explained. “Not only do we have one less thing to eat, now it's also a lot of people aren't going to notice. They're generally cheese crackers and cheese crackers you don't think they're going to have peanuts in them.”
DuBerry is not the only concerned parent. Kellogg's Marketing Vice President, AnneMarie Suarez-Davis , released this statement addressing the backlash from the ingredient switch.
"On behalf of all of us at Kellogg, I want to thank you for your emails, Facebook messages and phone calls. Many of you who have children with food allergies told us that our sandwich crackers made without peanut products were some of the only products left that your family could purchase with confidence. As a mom myself, ensuring we make safe food for all families is something that is deeply important to me, and I am sorry that we disappointed you…. Today, I want to share with you that we will be making our Austin Grilled Cheese Sandwich Crackers without peanut products. They will be available in stores starting in September. “
The decision to keep the crackers on the shelves is not what DuBerry wanted to hear.
“If a company is making food for children, they're marketing, they're advertising, they're aiming at children, I think it's their responsibility to come out with this properly DuBerry said. “They did it really quietly, not many people knew about this.”
DuBerry has a food allergy blog where she shares stories and recipes. You can follow the blog at pleasedontfeedmykid.com.