Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dangerous Prank

It's pranks like this that scare the hell out of me. What could someone be thinking? While it may have seemed like a funny idea, it's dangerous and could potentially put someone into a life-threatening situation. It's also a reason to carry the epi-pen, no matter where you're going or what you plan on doing, even if you're not planning on eating.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Storyland AMusement Park Response it is: the response from Storyland Amusement Park. This is the type of reply that I really sort of hate.



Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee peanut free foods at the park. While most of our packaging may read that it does not contain peanuts, we like to tell customers that we can't promise a peanut free zone based on our distribution line.

However, we welcome picnic lunches! Your hand stamp allows you to keep your coolers and bags in your vehicle, and you can retrive them at any time.

I hope this helps and we hope to see you this summer.


No...actually that doesn't help. What does 'distribution line' mean? And I didn't ask that they guarantee a peanut-free zone but if one specific restaurant within the park would be considered safe. I get that restaurants like to cover thier ass, but once in a while it would be really nice if they would just answer questions concisely. In my opinion, that's a disappointing answer.

If the Middle of the Hill Grill offers five items, and none of them come in packaging that suggests any peanut or nut contamination, then there shouldn't be a problem. If one of them does (like say for instance, a burger) then say so. As in "one of the items we serve at this location has nuts or may contain them, so we can't guarantee...etc" Calling out a 'distribution line' means absolutely nothing to me.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Storyland Amusement Park

DJ is really ripe for a visit to the Storyland Amusement Park. Since it's just a hop, skip and quick drive from our lake, we're hoping to spend a day there. I've contacted the company to ask about the potential for eating at the Middle of the Hill Grill.

I know it's unlikely we'll be able to take part in any of the desserty items offered in other areas of the park, but with most cooked meats and packaged buns usually safe for consumption, I'm hoping this will be a go.

I'll let you know what I hear back.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Weekend Round-Up

With my husband up at the lake - hoping to get up a bathroom before summer vacation rolls around - I was left to my own devices this weekend.

DJ is loving the company of other little kids, so I made sure to hook up lots of fun activities. Now that he's older, and is getting more social, I can see that the rules of keeping him safe are changing quickly and that we are going to have to be diligent when we're in new situations so that there aren't any problems.

First, we headed up to friend's in Unionville for a swim. After, with both tots hungry and impatient for the BBQ'd chicken burgers to be ready, my friend offered DJ a fruit popsicle. Even though it seems unlikely something ice-based with fruit juice would have nuts, I was immediately concerned because I consider all frozen desserts to most likely be unsafe; I've only found a couple that are okay (like some Chapmans ice-cream). I asked my friend to see the box; sure enough, they came with the 'may contain warning.' I had to tell DJ he couldn't have the popsicle. Admittedly, he was upset, and started crying, but got over it quickly when he was offered a juice box. BTW...I also asked a few questions about the grill, like if they ever bbq anything with a nutty marinade, like satay sauce. In the end, I considered it safe, and let DJ eat food from their bbq. He loved the chicken burger!

I have mentioned to my husband that I think we should get our own small portable bbq for similar situations. Particularly after another recent bbq outing, where chicken satay was served up (yeah...nice). In that situation, I clearly didn't remind my friend blatantly enough about DJ's allergies. I sort of thought they would remember (my mistake). They didn't, and it made for a fun but tense evening on our part, since clearly we were concerned. In the end, I didn't allow him to eat anything that had been on the bbq, and asked that his corn be boiled instead of grilled. It really did drive home that cooking surfaces can be contaminated to start.

Anyways I'm rambling...more to come.

Friday, July 9, 2010

SunButter Poll

I love sun butter; love its roasted yummy goodness. I hate that it's so hard to find. Whole Foods is the only place I've tracked it down. And it's pricey too! At $7.00 for a small jar, I never end stocking up as much as I think I'm going to. Considering how fattening it is, maybe that's a good thing.

Anyways, had some tonight on a crisply toasted whole wheat english muffin; one half with honey, the other with strawberry jam. I think I liked the jam better. Plain is too hard core for me. I've got to cut it with some sort of spread!

What is your favourite way to eat SunButter? Take my poll!

An Epi-Pen Experiment

With the weather in Toronto sizzling over the last week, I've been concerned about the health of DJ's epi-pens. Their temperature range is somewhat limited; that is, they can't get too hot, or too cold.

Normally, they sit on our kitchen counter. I like to keep them both handy and visible, so it's easier to remember them when leaving the house. But with the humidex making it feel like it's hotter than hell (really, hotter than 40), I've been worried that the pens will spoil. Apparently, an 'off' epi-pen will look discolored. I've checked DJ's and they look normal to me, but I'm sort of wondering just how discolored they get.

I'm going to try a little experiment. We have two expired epi-pens that we've been waiting to administer to an orange. DJ's allergist suggested we do so to get a feel for really administering the pen, instead of just using the practice one. Before I do that, I'm going to let them simmer in our car for a couple of days to see if they really do turn colour to indicate spoilage.

I'll post pictures of a car-baked pen beside one that's been sitting on our kitchen counter once the experiment is over. And then, we'll get that orange out.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bad Wolf BBQ

Here's the response from Bad Wolf BBQ:

Thank you for your interest in Bad Wolf BBQ; we hope to see you at the Toronto Ribfest!

There are no peanuts of other nut products used in our ribs, bbq sauce, chicken coleslaw or beans. Our cornbread, however, while not containing nuts itself was nevertheless made in a facility which uses nuts in other products.

I hope this is sufficient information for your requirements.

Thank you.

Based on that response, I would feel fairly comfortable letting DJ try food - except for the cornbread - from the Bad Wolf BBQ stand.

And again - a shout out to any company that actually gets back to me.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

DBV Gets FDA Go-Ahead

DBV Technologies has got the go ahead from the U.S. FDA to start clinical trials on its VIASKIN Peanut product for the desensitization to peanut allergy. Here's the release.

Basically, the company is working to develop a non-invasive method to treat IgE mediated food allergies, like peanut allergy. The product looks like a smokers patch; the principal of its use is to maintain an allergen on the skin of an allergic subject for repeated and prolonged periods in order to achieve clinical desensitization.

There's more information on the trial here with contact info for those looking to delve further.

While the clinical trial process can take time and there are no guarantee of positive results, it's studies like these that give me hope that a cure for this allergy will be found. Wouldn't that be awesome!

Ribfest Feedback - Horn Dawgs

I forgot Horn Dawgs on my list of ribbers that I contacted for the Toronto Ribfest. Here's their response:

Thank you very much for your e-mail. Our sauce does not contain peanut or tree nut nor do we use any nut oil in our cooking however, we do have a manufacturer that prepares our sauce for us thus we cannot guarantee that in the processing it has not come into contact with nut products.

We look forward to seeing you at the Toronto Ribfest!

Based on our general house rules for DJ's nut allergy, we wouldn't have tried these. At the same time, I really appreciate the company getting back to me. Some didn't.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Found it!

I found the missing hummous! It was at the back of the fridge and ate it for lunch.

Ribfest Round-Up

Ribfests and summer go hand in hand in Ontario. For years, my husband and I have taken in at least one a season. Last year, we shied away because of DJ's peanut and nut allergy, simply assuming it would be unsafe. This year, I took a more proactive approach and decided to at least contact a couple of 'ribbers' (as they call themselves) to find out if attending was a possibility. Plus, I really wanted a bloomin' onion.

Even though the Toronto Ribfest in Centennial Park has now passed, with a couple of other coming up before the summer is over, and lots of the same outlets at attending each one, I thought I'd post the list of those I contacted with the responses from those that replied.

I contacted the following outlets:

Crabbys BBQ
Bad Wolf BBQ
Camp 31 BBQ