Allergen Signage

Over the weekend I was at two places where I saw these allergen signs, the Dunkin’ Donuts in Dormont, and the Giant Eagle in Parkway Center.  Generally when I see these signs it makes me happy that the place who’s taking my money is at the very least aware that there are products that they have on the premises that may cause certain people some discomfort or possibly even death.

Dunkin' Donuts | Allergen Warning Signage
Dunkin’ Donuts | Allergen Warning Signage

In viewing the allergen information online as the sign suggests, I’m glad that a glazed donut doesn’t contain any crustaceans, but I may now have to scour the rest of the site to see if anything does.   Ha ha ha.

Giant Eagle | Allergen Warning Signage
Giant Eagle | Allergen Warning Signage

I gambled yesterday, hoping that the chocolate chunk cookies  I purchased didn’t come into contact with any shellfish in the bakery.  If I died from eating them, according to this sign, it’s my fault.  I was warned, and should have discussed the risks of cross-contamination with my doctor.

You’ll hopefully be glad to know that I’m not dead, and I had a few cookies last night.  Wow, I had poor eating habits this weekend.  Ha ha ha.  Donuts & Cookies.

At any rate, the fact that they simply acknowledge that allergies exist is a great start.  It’s sad, but so many other food-service companies go with the “it’s not our problem” mantra.  I always thought that Five Guys Burgers  & Fries to be very pro-active with their peanut allergy warnings, and I have commented on the Market District in Robinson’s allergen warnings before.

If you suffer from allergies, do these signs make you feel safer, or are they a blanket statement like “No Lifeguard on Duty” or “Park at Your Own Risk”, trying to absolve the poster of any wrongdoing should a mishap occur?

The blanket statement from Giant Eagle seems a little forced, or an afterthought… as I’m sure there aren’t many lobster cookies in the bakery, but then again there just might be.  How am I to know?  Do I just take this sign as a warning to not eat any food that they prepare?  The sign itself is a great thing, but if it were tailored just a little more to the actual product, it might be more comforting.

I know I’m always afraid of the stuff in the deli counter that’s next to the crab cakes or a seafood salad…  I don’t want a pasta salad with death-fish in it.  Yes, that one little glob of death-juice can kill me.  I don’t see any allergen warning signs there where they’d also be appropriate.  But, I don’t want to get down on Giant Eagle.  They are taking steps in the right direction.  Perhaps I’ll even send them a quick email to let them know that as someone who suffers from a severe food allergy, I appreciate the signage.

If you suffer from allergies, have someone in the family that does, or have a friend that blathers incessantly about them (like me), I’d like to hear your thoughts on the signs.  Are they a good thing, or a bad thing?  Are they proactive or defensive?

What if you suffer from one that’s not a “big 8” allergen but also quite prevalent like corn, peppers, or chocolate?

6 thoughts on “Allergen Signage

  1. Lots of comments via Twitter:

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    1. Elizabeth Goldenberg Onespot_Allergy

    @AiXeLsyD13 It’s not so much for people like us, who realize the seriousness of food allergy & the other Q’s that need to follow. about 2 hours ago via web in reply to AiXeLsyD13
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    2. Elizabeth Goldenberg Onespot_Allergy

    @AiXeLsyD13 Read your post. I’m happy 2 see signage like that, since it alerts people who wouldn’t even ask a question b4 ordering…. about 2 hours ago via web in reply to AiXeLsyD13
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    3. Thanita Glancey VickysIckies

    @AiXeLsyD13 The sign is good but ask me abt label laws & u’d get different answer. It’s not enough but a good start. about 2 hours ago via web in reply to AiXeLsyD13
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    4. erinkpgh erinkpgh

    @AiXeLsyD13 But I don’t have food allergies. I think perception of signs probably depends on how empowered you feel. about 2 hours ago via web in reply to AiXeLsyD13
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    5. erinkpgh erinkpgh

    @AiXeLsyD13 I always assume “potential cross-contamination” signs are a “cover your ass” measure; they rarely communicate real info. about 2 hours ago via web in reply to AiXeLsyD13
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    6. Lynda Mitchell kfatweets

    @AiXeLsyD13 and (see #4) #foodallergy about 3 hours ago via TweetDeck in reply to AiXeLsyD13
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    7. Lynda Mitchell kfatweets

    @AiXeLsyD13 So any store-prepared foods are in the “high risk” type of category due to contamination & no FALCPA labeling. #foodallergy about 3 hours ago via TweetDeck in reply to AiXeLsyD13
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    8. Lynda Mitchell kfatweets

    @AiXeLsyD13 One thing to keep in mind is that store-prepared foods do not have to comply with FALCPA. #foodallergy about 3 hours ago via TweetDeck in reply to AiXeLsyD13


  2. First of all I would like to say yes, I am glad to hear you are still alive! The signs to me seem like they are just trying to “cover their asses” and taking the easy way out. I would prefer they be a little more specific as to which allergen may be in what product. It is a start though.


    • Well, at least they are doing more than they apparently have to… I sent off some emails thanking both companies for displaying the signs, I’ll be interested to see what I get back.


  3. I don’t have much to add, after reading others’ comments, but I agree with those who see it as a “CYA” measure. Disappointing that I can’t buy ANY prepared food from my local grocery stores if I want to be able to include my child with severe peanut allergy, but at least I like to cook & bake. Just a pain at certain crunch times when super busy.


  4. Pingback: Giant Eagle on Allergy Signage… [Incident #: 12702111] | World (and Lunar) Domination

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