Personally, I love the flavor of peanut butter and I am blessed not to have peanut allergies in my family.  But, I do have a young friend in Cloquet named Sydney, who has food allergies, so I immediately passed this info, about Multi-grain Peanut Butter Flavored Cheerios,  to her mom, Jennifer.

The fear is cross-contact while processing.  General Mills say they have confidence in no cross-contamination.  Still, if you have anyone close to you, or you yourself suffer with food allergies, this is important for you to know.Amy Graff from the San Fransisco Chronicles reports:

Most people probably agree that everything tastes better with peanut butter—well, except parents of children who have peanut allergies.

For these parents peanut butter, actually anything peanut, is the enemy. They’re faced with protecting their children in a world where everything from cookies to cold cuts can contain peanuts. And while those of us whose children can safely eat everything like to scoff at allergies, the reality is that the tiniest speck of peanut dust can send some kids into life-threatening anaphylaxis shock.

So it’s no surprise that some parents are concerned about General Mills new Multi Grain Peanut Butter Cheerios.

“People are very upset about it,” said Gina Clowes, founder of Allergy Moms, a national support group, told the Washington Post. “I know some allergy families that currently buy Cheerios are vowing not to buy them at all for fear of cross contact while processing and to avoid confusion in their own homes.”

Clowes explained that the new Cheerios are indistinguishable from the regular flavor so it’s easy for preschoolers, who are notorious for walking around with little baggies of cereal, to mix up their snacks with friends.

The Post points out that a Virginia girl died of a suspected peanut allergy last week on the school playground, mostly likely because she was sharing a friend’s snack. First-grader Ammaria Johnson had broken out in hives and was suffering from shortness of breath when the school called the paramedics.

Deaths like this are rare but these days allergies are common. An estimated 8 percent of all kids have some type of allergy, according to a study in Pediatrics.

General Mills explained what it’s doing in a statement responding to parents’ concerns:

Multi Grain Cheerios Peanut Butter contains PEANUTS. Cheerios has a commitment to allergen management. We can say with complete confidence that MultiGrain Peanut Butter Cheerios will not cross-contaminate other Cheerios varieties.

Currently, Honey Nut Cheerios, Banana Nut Cheerios, and Oat Cluster Cheerios Crunch contain ALMOND. Only Multi Grain Cheerios Peanut Butter contains PEANUTS.

As always, If you’re concerned about allergies, we highly recommend that you always consult the allergen listing and the ingredient label on any product you may consume.

Info via: San Fransisco Chronicle\Amy Graff