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Allergy Specialists
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Avoiding peanuts

It is important to read food labels thoroughly, even if you are buying a product you have eaten before. Recipes do sometimes change. Check both the inner and outer wrapping of multi-packs.

Roasting and heat treatment do not reduce the allergenicity of peanuts or tree nuts. In fact, laboratory experiments have suggested that roasting and heating peanuts (but not boiling) may increase their allergenicity. There have been no studies involving human subjects so our advice is to avoid all forms of peanuts.

Avoid foods that contain peanuts or any of these ingredients:

• arachis
• arachis oil
• beer nuts
• candle nuts
• chopped nuts
• cold pressed
• earth nuts
• goobers
• ground nuts
• ground nut oil
• mixed nuts
• monkey nuts
• peanut-blanched, butter, chopped, flour, flavour, meal, paste
• peanut oil - cold pressed, expelled, hydrogenated, expressed, extruded
• peanut sprout
• satay sauce or flavour

Note: Always read labels as peanuts may appear in foods not listed here.

Some examples of where peanut protein may be present:

• African, Asian (eg Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese) and Mexican dishes
• baked goods eg biscuits, cakes, pastries, cereals/mueslis, confectionery chocolate, Florentines
• gravy
• hummus
• marzipan
• meat dishes eg chilli
• muesli bars
• nougat
• pesto
• sauces
• tahini
• flavour

Cross-contamination is a common problem with peanuts – serving spoons, cutters etc may be used in more than one dish. Peanut butter is sticky and can remain on knives, benches, chopping boards, kitchen cloths and barbeques. It can end up in the margarine tub or jam jar from someone else’s knife, or transferred to toys, door handles, taps and school desks from sticky fingers. Serving spoons and loose nuts in bulk bins can also end up in other containers.