Should Candy Bar Fundraiser Sales be Peanut-Free?
Peanut allergies have tripled and are now the most common food allergyin children. Should schools focus more on peanut free candy bar fundraiser products?
Why schools should sell peanut free candy bars
Selling candy is a huge money maker for schools. The fundraising industry sells over $3 billion in products each year and a large part goes to companies like World’s Finest Chocolate. 94% of schools rely on fundraisers to supplement district, state, and federal shortcomings. This is according to the National Association of Elementary School Principals. The financial need is there.
For years, the concern about students selling candy bars has been nutritional. But with so many candy bars sold throughout the country, are we asking the right questions? Allergies are also a concern but don’t seem to get the same press. Many candy bar fundraiser products contain peanuts.
Many candy bar products contain nuts including Reese’s®, M&M® Candies, and Snickers® Bars. Reese’s® Peanut butter Cups happen to be the #1 selling candy brand in the United States.
Chocolate gets a reputation as a popular food allergy. But it’s very rare for adults and children to have an allergic reaction to the cacao bean. Yet, nut allergies affect 1 out of 13 children under the age of 18 in the United States.
According to Food Allergy Research and Education, peanuts are one of the top 8 foods that account for 90 percent of all allergic food reactions. This makes them the most common nut food allergy.
They go on to say that children with known peanut allergies should avoid candies like Peanut M&M®, and Reese’s® Peanut butter Cups. All these nutty candies contain a chocolate covered coating. This makes it difficult to recognize the nut ingredient.
Still another concern is candies that don’t contain nuts are often processed on the same conveyor belt as nut candies. It's important that candy manufacturers disclose this information.
Peanut allergies are at an all-time high and are a health concern for many people. According to foodallergy.org, peanut allergy is one of the most common food allergies. Peanuts can cause a severe, and potentially fatal, allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.
We guarantee our candy bars are 100% peanut free and manufactured in a peanut-free environment.
This part of the plant is open to authorized personnel only. And the workers cannot be in contact with anyone outside their area at any time during their work day.
So why so we need to become more aware and concerned?
Here are some questions about peanut allergies as they relate to a candy bar fundraiser.
What is a peanut allergy?
A peanut allergy is a reaction to ingesting peanuts and is a common cause of severe allergy attacks. A serious reaction may occur even when people ingest small amounts. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that can occur within seconds of exposure.
How many children are affected?
Peanut allergies, the most common food allergy in children, has tripled in the past 2 decades. Today, up to 2.5% of the pediatric population has peanut allergy. Peanut allergies cause significant medical, out-of-pocket, and opportunity costs.
What peanut-free candy bar fundraiser products do you offer?
All of our candy bars are peanut-free with the exception of our Hershey’s Assortment which contains Milk Chocolate with Almonds. What about bars with almonds?
Peanuts are legumes, which are nuts grown underground. This differs from nuts grown above ground like almonds or walnuts. The allergies from tree nuts are different than the peanut allergy. The majority of children who have the peanut allergy are able to eat other types of nuts. But there are some children who are allergic to all nuts.
How serious are peanut allergies?
Peanut allergies can be fatal, so proper education is extremely important. Hospitals admit about 9,500 children each year from some form of food allergy. But death by peanut is rare.
What are schools doing about peanut allergies?
Schools around the country are designating areas as ‘Peanut Free Zones’. Educating teachers, coaches, parents, and anyone working with students is important. Some schools have even become peanut-free and are not allowing peanuts, or food containing peanuts, on campus.
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