Landgarten is an Austrian brand of sweet / chocolate snack foods that I came across at the Natural and Organic Products Europe show last month. At first glance, it doesn’t look as if it might be particularly promising from a free from perspective, but the range is gluten-free – and peanut free.
Peanut free (and tree nut free) snacks are notoriously difficult to find – and what I found curious about this brand was that there is no indication on the products (at least on those I looked at) that they are safe for those who only have a peanut allergy and not an allergy to the tree nuts (eg pistachio, walnut, hazelnut etc).
The Ginger in Dark Chocolate, for instance, carries a “may contain traces of nuts and milk” warning. Anyone with a peanut allergy would almost certainly replace the product on the shelf at once – and with good reason. The Food Standards Agency’s Food Allergen Labelling Technical Guidance document says, in Clause 71:
“The use of the generic term ‘may contain nuts’ to cover both nuts and peanuts is permitted if the risk of contamination is from both foods. There is no need to provide details of specific nuts under this type of voluntary labelling”
Yet, contrary to what you might infer from the precautionary allergen labelling, the Landgarten site confirms the brand to be peanut free, and their representative at their NOPE show stand told me it was because their factory is peanut free and no peanuts are used in any of their products.
Those long-used to shopping for nut and peanut allergies – either for themselves or for their children – may well be familiar with the routine of calling up food companies for further information about their ingredients, cross-contamination protocols and factory workings – but those newer to the game may not be, and may not think it worth digging deeper to find out more – yet this case may serve as a lesson that, sometimes, it can be.
A selection of Landgarten products are available at Whole Foods Market (UK), and via Amazon (UK) and Amazon (US).
For other brands free from peanuts (and tree nuts, and all or most other allergens), click here.
For other ‘free from’ finds from NOPE, click here.