Imagine reaching into your grocery store’s freezer to treat yourself to Haagen-Dazs Chocolate Chip ice cream, but when you opened up the container at home, you were only to find out it was really chocolate peanut butter ice cream? Some would be happy or maybe some even annoyed, but others could be put at risk for serious or life-threatening peanut allergy reactions, which is what happened last month and caused a 10,000-package recall of the mislabeled flavors on Friday, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
"People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to peanuts may run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consumer this product," Nestlé USA said of its ice cream brand mix up.
Inside the 14-ounce chocolate chip ice cream containers is actually peanut butter ice cream, and for those unsuspecting treat seekers with peanut allergies, there could be dangerous and life-threatening repercussions. The chocolate chip ice cream labels neither contain peanuts nor do they warn consumers of the possibility of peanut cross contamination.
Peanut allergies are one of the most common food allergies and have the potential to cause severe and fatal reactions known as anaphylaxis. Peanut allergies are on the rise. The number of children in the United States with peanut allergies more than triples between 1997 and 2008, according to the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) nonprofit organization.
The organization warns that the strict avoidance of peanut and peanut products is essential to avoid a reaction and to “always read ingredient labels to identify peanut ingredients.” However, the mislabeled Haagen-Dazs cartons don’t warn of the ice cream peanut butter flavor, which means many who are looking for the warning won’t get it before it’s too late.
Symptoms can start within minutes to several hours after eating the food and can happen from merely touching the allergen-inducing product. If a consumer simply opens the wrongfully labeled container they could break out in hives, itchiness, eczema, or if eaten, they could have a drop in blood pressure, swelling of tongue, lips, and/or throat, turn blue, loss of consciousness, and chest pain.
The Nestlé USA company produced the mismatched packages on May 13, 2014 and distributed them throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, and West Virginia. Only the 10,000 cartons with the wrong labels are being recalled from shelves, which have a manufacturing code of 24-52 4133580418D on the bottom of each carton. Nestlé advised consumers with peanut allergies to not buy the wrongful flavor and not to consume it if already purchased.