An alert reader who relies on Nutri Grain cereal bars as a safe peanut and nut free snack (as do I) recently alerted me to the fact that Nutri Grain now has a product that is not peanut or nut safe. They’re Nutri Grain Soft Bakes, and they contain peanuts and almond flour. A child was eating one in her son’s classroom, and thankfully she caught the problem before he opened it.
I inquired of Kellogg’s as follows: ”I recently noticed Nutri Grain Soft Bakes on the shelves here in Ontario, Canada, and I see that they contain peanuts and almond flour. Are they made in the same facility as the Cereal Bars? My son has a life-threatening allergy to both of those ingredients, so if there’s any risk of cross-contamination, that could be fatal. Would you please let me know?”
The first response I received from Kellogg’s Canadian customer service line was not adequate. I was told to trust them, since they label “may contain traces of peanut or nuts” when it’s appropriate. The customer service rep could not tell me under what circumstances Kellogg’s puts on that warning. I needed to know if they make the declaration when there’s a shared facility, when they’re made on different lines in the same area, or only when products are made on the same line. She had to follow up with her team leader and call me back.
When she did call back, I was told that Kellogg’s puts on a “may contain” warning when a product is made on a shared line that uses peanut or tree nuts. I was also advised that the Soft Bakes and cereal bars are made in different facilities: The soft bakes are made in London, Kentucky, and the cereal bars are made in Muncy, Pennsylvania.
Our choice is to continue to buy the cereal bars. Since products are labelled if they’re made on the same line, I’m happy with Kellogg’s allergen disclosure, and I will continue to rely on them as a brand I can trust.