Thursday, July 24, 2008

Are Oreos Dairy-Free?



That's right, Oreos are America's favorite cookie.  That's why this is one of our top blog posts day after day.  Those with milk allergies or sensitivities want to know if Oreos are indeed safe for them...because the rumor in milk allergy circles is, "YES, you can have Oreos!".  It's probably some of the most encouraging news milk allergy moms first learn when their kids are diagnosed.  And when non-allergy people hear that Miles can have Oreos, they are often quite shocked.  

But early on in our allergy diagnosis, I didn't want to take people's word for it.  I had to do a little digging and research and phone-calling to feel ok about giving my milk allergy son "America's Number 1 Cookie".  

This post has been updated several times through the years.  And the info isn't necessarily all chronological, but I think it's all relevant to the discussion.  The Oreo ingredient and processing questioning has gone from "whey as an ingredient" to "what is the chocolate" to "UD Kosher label" concerns.  

I hope this info helps you, and be sure to read the helpful comments, too.  Some milk allergic people report not having success with Oreos so use your best judgement, and feel free to do your own research.  We would love to know if you find more info that we can add here!


WHAT DOES THE NEW U D SYMBOL MEAN?

Oreos now have the U D symbol on the front of the package that means they are Kosher but they may....

1.  Contain milk or
2.  Be processed in a plant with milk

You can read more about Kosher labeling at Kids with Food Allergies.


WHAT IS THE "CHOCOLATE" INGREDIENT IN OREOS? 

Here is the official ingredient list:

Ingredients: SUGAR, ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), HIGH OLEIC CANOLA OIL AND/OR PALM OIL AND/OR CANOLA OIL, COCOA (PROCESSED WITH ALKALI), HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, BAKING SODA, CORNSTARCH, SALT, SOY LECITHIN (EMULSIFIER), VANILLIN-AN ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, CHOCOLATE.

That first "cocoa processed with alkali" is a milk-free chocolate. But I do understand the concern on that last mention of "chocolate".  I'm not sure what it is, either.


I remember questioning this from the get-go and calling the company after another milk allergy mom told me Oreos were milk free. I can't remember exactly what the company told me at that time but it must have been assuring enough for us to try them. And we did....with success. Miles really likes his Oreos!

But now that some moms have brought it up, I've been on a renewed mission to get more scoop on this. First, I called Nabisco and they told me in a round-about way that the cookies do not contain milk. I asked about the last ingredient, chocolate, and they said that if it was made from milk, it would contain the word "milk"....such as "chocolate derived from milk" or "milk" put in parentheses. They did say that if I had further concerns, I should call the Food Allergy and Anaplylaxis Network.

So I did call FAAN. And they said I should look on their website at "how to read a label" for milk products. I looked on there but I did not see this information except for a resource card that I could purchase. If anyone else sees this information on the site, let me know. I assume I am looking to see if "chocolate" would be listed as a milk ingredient. In which case, I assume it WOULD be. That is why this issue is so tricky. We all know, that in general, chocolate has milk. But there ARE ways to do chocolate without milk...with the cocoa with alkali or chocolate liquor....and maybe some others. So I still feel like there's not a real answer yet.


MINI OREO RECALL FOR MILK CONTAMINATION 2005

On another interesting note, I found a milk allergy recall on Oreos from 2005. You can read the FDA release here. The recall is for mini oreos. The mini oreos were supposed to be milk free but a certain batch ended up with pieces of Ritz Bitz Cheese Sandwiches in them, thus contaminating the Oreos with milk. They, at the time, were saying there is not supposed to be milk in Mini Oreos. With that said, I will copy and paste the ingredient list for Mini Oreos from the Nabisco website. Notice chocolate is the last ingredient.



Ingredients: ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE {VITAMIN B1}, RIBOFLAVIN {VITAMIN B2}, FOLIC ACID), SUGAR, HIGH OLEIC CANOLA OIL AND/OR PALM OIL AND/OR CANOLA OIL, COCOA (PROCESSED WITH ALKALI), DEXTROSE, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, BAKING SODA, SALT, CORNSTARCH, SOY LECITHIN (EMULSIFIER), VANILLIN - AN ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, CHOCOLATE.

One concern, however, would be if the ingredients have changed from the time of the recall mentioned above and the posting of these current ingredients on the Nabisco website.


OREO 100 CALORIE PACK THIN CRISPS RECALL 
 MILK CONTAMINATION

Keep that in mind, too, with this next recall. This is regarding Oreo 100 Calorie Pack Thin Crisps. They were recalled because they were included in a variety box with Chips Ahoy Crisps. The Chips Ahoy Crisps contained milk. The Oreo Crisps did not. But the box that contained both, did not say milk was contained in the Chips Ahoy Crisps. I can't find the ingredient list for Oreo 100 Calorie Packs online. But I would guess that they too have chocolate as an ingredient.  And if so, this recall is saying they should not contain milk. Unless, of course, the ingredient list was different than it is now.


PETA OMITS ORIGINAL OREOS FROM VEGAN LIST???

Another concern that I have is that PETA's "accidentally vegan" list omits the regular Oreos. I am not a PETA member. I won't tell you what my husband's favorite hobby is. But I do like the accidentally vegan list because it gives me a reference for finding safe snacks. I do remember consulting this list before starting Oreos, and I really thought they were on there as ok. But I could be wrong. Now the list only has "Spring Oreos", "Uh Oh Oreos", and "Chocolate Cream Oreos". So if regular Oreos aren't on there, is it because PETA believes they contain milk?


SOME STAY AWAY FROM ALL ALLERGEN PRODUCTION LINES

There are some allergy parents who do not allow their children to have foods that are processed by companies that process other foods with their allergen. For example, they would not let their children have Oreos, even if they were milk free, because Nabisco makes products like Ritz Cheese Crackers. Some parents like to find out specifically about facilities and production lines before they give their kids certain processed foods. I have never been that diligent as I haven't had to be. But I'm sure if reactions were occuring around here, I WOULD strive harder to ensure Miles's safety. So kudos to the parents who take the time to do these things. The most I do, when it comes to processed food, is call a company and ask about ingredients.


SOME PARENTS DON'T ALLOW PROCESSED FOODS 

And then there are the parents who don't want to feed their kids processed foods anyways. They prefer to bake nutritious snacks at home. A big kudos to those moms too! I've just found a balance that I am happy with. I have some convenient foods around but also like to make nutritious treats from scratch.


OREOS USED TO CONTAIN WHEY?

I got a chance to read some vegan message boards from recent years and learned a little more on this topic. Vegans, like us allergy moms, have been trying to figure out if Oreos contain milk as well. So now I don't feel so "stupid". Obviously there is not an easy answer. They mentioned a few interesting things. One is that apparently Oreos are made in several different places and ingredients can vary by region. Two is that Oreo has changed the ingredients at times. Some were saying they used to contain whey and that was THEIR main topic at hand regarding milk. They weren't even discussing the "chocolate" ingredient as we are today. I have not heard of them containing whey, but apparently that was one of the ingredients taken out some time back.


ALTERNATIVES TO OREOS

I will also add that Famous Amos chocolate cookies are listed on the accidentally vegan list by PETA, the ingredient list looked fine to me at the store yesterday, and these are pretty similar to Oreos. These might be a good option for allergy moms not wanting to risk the Oreos.


OTHER MILK-FREE COOKIES CONTAIN "CHOCOLATE" 

I noticed on chocolate Teddy Grahams and Meijer Brand Chocolate Graham Crackers that both contain the ingredient "chocolate". But both say in the allergy warning that they contain just wheat and soy. So in these two items, the chocolate appears to be dairy free. Oreos do not contain an allergy warning line so I think that causes some of the confusion. Hope this information helps you too.

WE EAT MOST OREOS DESPITE A VERY HIGH MILK ALLERGY

(Just not the ones dipped in chocolate)

So, now that all of that is put before you, I know many milk allergic kids who are eating these with no problem.  My kid is one of them. I can only speak about his experience, which is that he does have a high allergy. It ranks a Class 2 right now but was a Class 4 when he started eating Oreos. He had an anaphalactic reaction to milk contained in baby food after eating about a half of a jar. He tested as Class 4 at that time. At a Class 3 last year, his body broke out in hives all up and down his body, for an hour, after having 1 cc of milk at the allergist's office. He now tests as a Class 2 but our allergist, with his reaction history, opted not to do skin or live tests at Class 2 this year.

However, besides the first anaphylactic reaction to baby food and that 1 cc drop of milk during live testing, Miles has never had milk "baked into something". The allergist said that he could possibly tolerate milk baked in but that she recommends we still continue with strict avoidance. So if Oreos DO have milk, I guess he IS tolerating "baked in" milk. But I'm really leaning toward the thought that Oreos do not have milk based on what Nabisco said, the info in the Oreo recalls, and Miles's history of eating them safely especially when his allergy was at its highest level.

UPDATE 2013:  My son has been eating up to 3 Nilla Wafers with baked-in milk for 2 years.  But 1/4 of a muffin with baked in milk gives him runny nose, coughing, and watery eyes (seen in the allergist's office).  We see none of these symptoms with Oreos.  I still don't believe that Oreos have baked in milk from our experiences.  

TELL US YOUR EXPERIENCE TO HELP OTHERS

Please comment on this post and tell us if your milk allergic child eats Oreos or if he/she has had a reaction to Oreos.  Please include how severe the milk allergy is.  This info will help the hundreds of people who read this post each day.


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44 comments:

Jamie Kaufmann said...

Ok, I'll go first. Miles eats all oreos except the ones dipped in milk chocolate. He carries an epi-pen, has had anaphylactic reaction, and eats oreos with success. :)

amanda said...

Jamie,

Ryan, my 5 yr old, loves oreos. He also had an anaphylactic reaction to dairy when he was 6 months old (we almost lost him) and also carries an epi-pen. I also have questioned the whole "baked in" thing since Ryan has has some exposure to foods with milk (ie., bread), but since we are hoping he will outgrow this allergy, we try for strict avoidance.

Amy said...

Flynn is severely allergic: has contact reactions & has even had some reaction from sitting next to someone eating doritos. She has had anaphylaix & lived thanks to the epi!
She eats oreos on a regular basis - I'll be sad if the ingredients ever change!!

I will say this (to make things even more confusing)... we've been having some problems w/ some chocolates that are supposedly kosher. And a chocolate chip cookie from NOODLES that is marked 'dairy free'. Both gave her an allergic reaction (not severe, but wheezing/sneezing/runny eyes & nose.
Hmmm...

Becky @ BoysRuleMyLife said...

Witt has only eaten Golden Oreos Original. He eats these fairly regularly as it's our main processed food treat now! ;)

He had an anaphylactic reaction to his first bottle of infant formula at 5 months of age. We have epi-pens stashed everywhere (at home, diaper bags, church building, grandmother's house).
He goes for his first annual evaluation this December.

He has been on strict avoidance since his first reaction. We have never tried "baked in" milk, and I really don't intend to.

Thanks for checking into this Jamie!

Anonymous said...

We do strict avoidance with my daughter. She can not tolerate even baked in milk. We carry epi-pens as well. She has not had the oreos. Her allergist urges us not to "try" foods. As he explained it, even if she does not have an obvious reaction, her body can be having a reaction we don't realize and make other reactions worse, make her less likely to grow out of the allergy, and more likely to develop other allergies. I just don't take the risk on foods that I question. I do buy oreo-type cookies from Whole Foods. They taste like dirt to me, but she likes them!!!
Teri

MelissaS said...

I'm so glad you tackled this issue! I have been confused by OREOs and find it easier to just avoid the traditional ones. DS is very allergic to dairy and we don't know if he is tolerant of "baked in" milk products. We strive for strict avoidance and carry an epi-pen although Benadryl usually does clear up any reactions. I had to bring cookies to a day care party one day and the ONLY cookie I found that looked safe (i.e. had no milk or peanut warning on the label) was the Uh-Oh Oreos. He did have them without reaction.
Since they changed the labeling on the regular OREO package in the last year, I don't even bother, like I said. There are many other snacks he enjoys and he really doesn't know what he is missing!

Dawn said...

I'm learning so much by reading your blog. Thanks!

My nursing 7 month old has a milk protein allergy, so I have to watch both his diet & my own. Obviously, he's not eating Oreos yet, but he has no reaction when I eat Oreos. I had Target brand Oreos without reading the label a few weeks ago, and Alex had horrible eczema soon after. I'm guessing that the real Oreos are okay...at least we know they're okay for us!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jaime.

My 8 year old eats Oreos, and the thin crisp 100 packs too, with no problems. She is a Class 3 to milk, but Class 6 to peanuts, nuts and almost everything else we've tested her for. Theres so much crossover sometimes it's hard to know what causes a reaction. I think the "chocolate" is not a milk-based product in Nabisco's ingredient list...I use so many dairy-free chocolates that the word alone doesn't flag me anymore. But I do read ingredient lists every time I buy a product because they change all the time! Vienna Fingers used to be dairy free, (and she LOVED them) but aren't anymore. On the other hand, my cheat-sheet of checking for Kosher foods doesn't work any more....I find so many foods say Kosher Dairy even when there's no dairy. I think they're just protecting themselves, but it's difficult when I'm trying to tell a class mom or one of my relatives that they can buy XYZ because it's OK for Maggie to eat.

Hope you're enjoying your summer with the boys!

Magsmom

Sheila said...

Ariel carries an epi-pen and eats oreos with no problem.

skchesley said...

Newman's Own make a good dairy-free (and wheat-free) cookie "O".
We have only tried the hint o'mint flavor. There are others, including a dairy-free and wheat-free original flavor.

Anonymous said...

My son has a severe allergy to milk protein (anaphylactic) and I never thought to even look at Oreos. I was shocked when I bought them for my other son and the ingredients did not list milk. I believe the company is required to post allergy information. I may let him try them. He eats Vienna Fingers all the time and they do not contain milk.

Dawn said...

Jamie,
Thanks for your thoughts on the Oreos. My 18 month old has food alergies to milk, eggs and peanuts and I'm always trying to find new food ideas. I saw some halloween oreos at the store today and was surprised to find that there was no milk and questioned the chocolate as well.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for doing all that research. My kids have a Class 6 and a Class 5 allergy to milk, so I have been afraid to feed them Oreos because of the word "chocolate" and no allergy line that says "contains wheat, soy, etc." I think I will continue to not give them Oreos while I'm not sure. They have had chocolate Teddy grahams with no problem (at first I was afraid to give it to them, but I guess then they came out with the "contains wheat" line.

Jill said...

I am 21 years old with severe milk allegry, including baked-in. I was so excited when my dad happened to look at the package of oreos he was eating and saw they were dairy-free! i eat them ALL the time, and have never had a problem

maria said...

My daughter has allergies as well, including milk. She also carries an Epi-pen. Today at daycare she got a hold of another child's oreo and had a reaction. She eats the vanilla ones without a reaction. I am struggling to find an answer.

Jamie Kaufmann said...

hi maria
i'm so sorry about your daughter's reaction. i'm glad she is ok. i just talked to a lady at church who's baby is allergic to milk AND cocoa...so she said a lot of the chocolate substitutes won't work either. i wonder if this is the case of your daughter? whatever it is, i hope you find your answers. it is hard when you just don't know. keep us posted if you figure something out.

Anonymous said...

I have a dairy allergy and safely eat oreos.

Krista said...

This information is very interesting. My son has congenital lactose intolerance and isn't allergic to any high allergy foods, or any foods for that matter.

He usually vomits within minutes of consuming milk products, and then is fine after that.

He just had his first oreo, and vomited about 5 minutes after eating it.

They were the double stuffed kind.

He just finished a piece of fish and is keeping it down, and is not running a temp, so I am thinking milk.

He has successfully ate chocolate chip teddy grams on multiple occasions.

Jamie Kaufmann said...

wow krista,
that is very very interesting. poor boy. thanks for sharing the info. we still have great luck with these. what a mystery!

Dina said...

Well I'm not a mom, but I was looking for something about Oreos because the list of ingredients said 'dried whey (from milk)' and that totally confused me!

You mentioned something about whey being removed so I guess it comes down to the region it was produced in. I'll give them a try and see how it goes.

I'm not exactly allergic, I have an intolerance thing to a specific ingredient (and it's not lactose) I was told if I didn't consume milk at all for about a year or two then it would completely go away!

It's getting hard to find food I can consume! If this is true about Oreos I'll be very happy!

Thanks for the great post!

Jamie Kaufmann said...

hi dina!
sounds like the oreos you saw will have milk. don't try them if you are too allergic. i have not seen them with whey around here and if i did...i would not use them. thanks for the heads up. i will be keeping my eye on the ingredients for sure.

steph said...

"In 2007, the Chocolate Manufacturers Association in the United States, whose members include Hershey, Nestlé, and Archer Daniels Midland, lobbied the Food and Drug Administration to change the legal definition of chocolate to let them substitute partially hydrogenated vegetable oils for cocoa butter in addition to using artificial sweeteners and milk substitutes.[38] Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not allow a product to be referred to as "chocolate" if the product contains any of these ingredients."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chocolate (under 'blending')


hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

Our kiddie's used to eat Oreos even when his blood tests were milk allergy=40. I have no idea what the classes are... is latest test just came back at 17 (now he's age 9)... and an 8 for cheddar.
I have no idea what class he's in now and if I should push his allergy a bit?
To qualify for the baked allergy study in Boston, one has to have results under 35. However, I just read a post of a mom who did the study with her kid and it made the blood test results worse so they stopped.
Our allergist will not work with us to do the study in our area and I would have to seriously trust a new MD to let them do the baked food challenge to my kid.
Wondering what to do...

Shld I attempt to follow protocol for the baked allergy study on my own and hang out near an ER? What about psychosomatic reactions?
I think the amount was less than a milliliter of milk in a muffin? I have to look that up.

Thanks for letting me vent. :-)

@BollywoodBlonde

OliviaPig said...

I am reading my oreo cookie package and under the ingredients list it says "Contains: Wheat, Soy."

babiesnboxermama said...

Thank you for your research. My son was just finally diagnosed with a Class 2 milk allergy. I have been trying for a long time trying to get to the bottom of his gastrointestinal problems. He exhibits his allergy this way, not through skin or other ways. But now, because he is 6 and can understand the changes we are making in his diet, he thinks his world is over with regards to "good food." This will help us reassure him... life is still good... he can have Oreos!

Jamie Kaufmann said...

babiesnboxermama....

thanks for visiting. remember, you can bake lots of killer good stuff too, even chocolate chip cookies! :)

Anonymous said...

I think oreos do have milk in them

Anonymous said...

My daughter is severely allergic to milk, and reactions to wheat have only yielded hives so far, with breathing issues and eczema flare-up some days after exposure. Milk exposure for my daughter means an anaphylactic reaction.
Yesterday one of her friends slipped her an oreo she just couldn't refuse and though she had hives, it looked nothing like the immediate big swelling and breathing etc. we see with milk.
Pretty certain the allergic reaction was to wheat.
Of course, we never know when there are so many potential allergens! Hope this helps a bit if anyone is looking for an updated experience.

cjoy said...

I'm finding this Oreo issue confusing as well, but maybe on a different level . . . .
My daughter is 7 years old now and has been allergic to dairy since she was 7 months old (and now peanuts, tree nuts as well as a slew of produce). Typically, we have avoided baked-in dairy, though recently she has had accidental exposure (more than once!) with no reaction and it makes me wonder what is gong on. (I'm switching allergists for multiple reasons, communication at the top of the list. . . )

Oreos have been a safe go-to for us for a long time, but if you notice the front Kosher symbol has a "D" next to it. When researching dairy free, I found the Kosher terms "Pareve" and "Parve" to indicate dairy-free and check that often now. The "D" supposedly indicates processing on milk-related equipment (hence, clear cross-contamination).

Which gives me serious pause.

Anonymous said...

I have a 3 year old who is at the top of the scale for milk and eggs and will react instantly to ingestion or contact, (one drop on her skin and she breaks into hives immediately). She eats oreos regularly without problem.

laura said...

Thank you for doing all this research! We are getting a bag of oreos at the store!!

Jamie Kaufmann said...

Yay! LMK how they work out! :)

Anonymous said...

My concern is the Kosher symbol on the Nabisco products. I don't see anything on the package about the Oreos (and Ritz, etc.) containing dairy, but if they do the company should put a warning on there. The packaging does have the (U)D symbol (O-U D). (U) means Kosher, and the D after it means it may contain or may have come into contact with dairy.

Jamie Kaufmann said...

You are right, the D symbol is now on them. Something to consider! I will update this post.

Nick and Kate's Mom said...

When my son was first discovered to be allergic to milk 15 years ago, he could not have Oreos...I know I read the package at the time and it contained some sort of milk--whey I believe. But about 8 years ago we looked again and were surprised to see that the regular and double stuffed Oreos were milkfree. He has been eating them ever since. Some of the specialty flavors do contain dairy...we still always check. But Oreos are a staple for this milkfree family. And some Duncan Hines brownies and cake mixes...after a brief period of them containing milk 8 years ago. Because of the lesson we learned from Duncan Hines, we still check our usual products to make sure changes haven't been made. And when we discovered the change in Duncan Hines mixes, I called and complained. Within a year, dairy was removed from those mixes.
We also look at the store brand cookies--many of them are dairy free. Right now my son's favorite are the Kroger brand chocolate covered marshmallow cookies similar to Nabisco Pinwheels.

Susanna Curtis Cuarto said...

My son has a level 6 dairy allergy, among multiple other level 5 and 4 allergies, and he eats Oreos!

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'll try to comment on as many of other's comments as I had time to read..

My son is 5 1/2 and has had an anaphylactic milk protein allergy since birth. Rather than outgrowing it, as kids often do, his reactions have only intensified.

As far as Kosher labels.. they can be misleading because Kosher Dairy may not contain milk but may be processed on equipment that processes milk. Something may be labeled Kosher "Pareve (no dairy or meat)" but may still contain or be contaminated by milk proteins.

To settle the Oreo debate.. The cream filling in Oreos contains gelatin, which is made from boiled ligaments, bones, horns, etc of animals, mainly cows and pigs. Gelatin MAY contain milk protein and it CERTAINLY is not vegan. My son has been eating Oreos his whole life, never with a reaction, and he reacts to even the smallest amount of baked-in milk protein.

Also, ingredient labels that say "dairy-free" and "milk-free" may still contain milk proteins. You really do have to read each and every ingredient. I use the labels as a guide to just steer me in the right direction, and then I read every ingredient to be sure.

About the Nilla Wafers vs. Muffin with both "baked in milk," but one causing a problem and one not, perhaps one has baked whey (usually broken down by cooking) and one has baked casein (heat-stable and not broken down by cooking). Furthermore, your little one could be allergic to whey and not casein, casein and not whey, or both. My little guy also seems to tolerate Nilla Wafers. I'm not sure which milk proteins he's allergic to (although because baked protein almost always still bothers him, I can assume he's at least allergic to casein).

~JoEllen

Julia | Pawleys Island Posh said...

So thrilled to see this post and read through the comments, especially the one about Duncan Hines mixes being okay. Can't wait to check that out next time I'm at the store. Both of my kids, 3 and 19mo are allergic to dairy amongst other things. We do have a bag reaction to the chocolate oreos but never the golden. Although I'm convinced its something else in the ingredient list that causes the problem and not a secret dairy product. I'm so thankful for moms like you Jamie for making things easier on my life!

Anonymous said...

My daughter has had several anaphylactic reactions to milk. We are very thankful for epi-pens. She is five years old and has no problems with OREOS. We eat them at least every month.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to have you guys share some simple recipes and list of foods i can buy my little one at the grocery store? he's 1 and is getting sick of just vegies ,fruit and chicken. he's allergic to Milk .. we are not sure how bad since we have not seen a specialist but when he was a newborn he got really bad diarrhea , runny / stuffy nose,cough,rash ect. I am in desperate need of ideas! i feel so terrible eating around him because he can not have 90% of it :/ help!

Holly G said...

Just found your blog today and am SUPER encouraged by it. Adjusting to a milk allergy for my little guy has been nothing short of a challenge. The fact that he CAN have Oreo's is so encouraging! Thank you so very much for all you do!!!

molly said...

My daughter also has been safely eating Oreos for about 2 years and she's had anaphylactic reactions to dairy in the past. We've never tried baked milk so I don't know if she can tolerate that or not.

To anonymous: I have so been there with not knowing how to feed my child after discovering that nearly everything I was used to cooking/serving was no longer safe. This Milk Allergy Mom blog has lots of food/recipe ideas, and is a great resource. Also, Pinterest has been a life-saver for me in finding safe recipes. My favorite cook books are Sophie-Safe Cooking by Emily Hendrix and Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook by Cybele Pascal. My daughter is dairy/soy/nut allergic. Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

Interesting to read through this. Here is my long winded thoughts/experiences/general allergy frustration rant!

I am 30. I am allergic to dairy, well specifically to casein. I am also completely lactase deficient, it is apparently a genetic thing although not a single one of my relatives is affected. Lucky old me!

I was diagnosed at about 1 week old as I was allergic to breastmilk. And every few years the doctors would tell my parents I would grow out of it, and I never did. It did ease in my teens, from a full anaphylaxis reaction as a child, to a "mere" full body skin rash, eczema, vomiting, diarrhoea, itching, wheezing, runny eyes type reaction. But hey, I was a teenager, I knew everything and wanted to be normal! So I ate pizza and chocolate, not lots, but enough to know what I am missing *sigh* more fool me.

Anyway the big reactions started up again when I was about 16 or 17. So I have totally avoided milk or dairy in every form since then, and managed to actually avoid the stuff for over a decade.
I am in the UK, and up until about a year or so ago I could eat the "normal" oreos and the mini ones (we don't have so much oreo choice here, they are relatively new for us!) but a few months back I went to put some in my trolley in the supermarket and checked the label, as I have learned to do every trip with every item (it is so frustrating! What is a "quick shop"??) seeing as companies change recipes so often (are there any phrases more disappointing on a favourite product than "new and improved") and found that they now "contain or may contain traces of milk" and "not suitable for milk allergy sufferers". So no Oreos for me at present.

Mind you, the allergy advice on packaging seems to have swung from one extreme to the other here. Growing up it was hard to find any information, and people just were not clued up on allergies, unless it was nuts. Nowadays people are claiming allergies to anything and everything, saying they have an allergy if something makes them feel "a bit bloaty" etc, argh! (told you I would rant!) and the labels on packaging have gone crazy.
No lie, the other day I was going to buy some iced bread buns and when I picked it up to check the label it stated "contains or may contain the following: nuts wheat gluten milk egg soya cocoa barley cereals celery strawberry shellfish fish sesame other seeds sulphites". Really??? They are just putting a list of anything on everything!

The other thing I would mention, I am sure you are all aware of this already, but always check medicines, for kids or adults with allergies, whether on prescription or bought over the counter as so many contain milk products. Always get the pharmacist to check as often there are alternatives although they may be more expensive (lucky here with the NHS it is less an issue, although doctors can be unwilling to prescribe a more costly version until they realise why) but it is worth knowing. If you cannot digest lactose and your medicine contains lactose, you are not going to absorb the required dose of medicine. Just something to be aware of.

anyway I have ranted and meandered well off topic.

TL:DR - in the UK last time I checked (last year) Oreos stated contained milk on packaging.

Jamie Kaufmann said...

Thank you, Anonymous for your detailed story! I bet countries vary in ingredients, too. Thank you for visiting us from the UK! (do you use e-cloth? hee, hee) I'm sorry about your allergy...good to know it's semi-improved! No anaphylaxis is always a good thing. I will keep my eyes open a little more here in the US because of your story. Thank you for sharing!

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