Food Allergy Counseling

Food Allergy Counseling
Sloane Miller, Food Allergy Counselor (Picture © Noel Malcolm 2013)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Auvi-Q: The Severe Allergy & Anaphylaxis Playbook

Auvi-Q has a new free, downloadable for food allergy patients called: "The Severe Allergy & Anaphylaxis Playbook". It includes topics like living with anaphylaxis, heading off to school, traveling and dining out. It also includes a sample of an anaphylaxis action plan. (The Auvi-Q anaphylaxis action plan still needs some tweaking to my eyes as I have written here.)  

The suggestions will be familiar to any of you who have read this blog, my book, Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies (Wiley, 2011) or have had food allergies a long time. The Auvi-Q tips are easily digestible and generally speaking, based on common sense and best practices.

Why I like free downloadables like this one from Auvi-Q (and this one from EpiPen and this one from Allergyhome.org and Anaphylaxis Canada) is because they can do three things: 1) they can start a conversation with your loved ones and medical providers about how to live well whilst managing food allergies; 2) they can to help those around you understand that your food allergic needs are real and serious; and 3) they can help those around you learn how to support you.

As always, consult your board certified medical professional about understanding your medical diagnosis, managing real risk, living in the world and your anaphylaxis action plan.
If you want a guide and more support around these topic, contact me for a food allergy counseling program tailored to your needs to get you on track.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Food Allergy Counseling: Talking to Suburban Essex Nursing Supervisors Association (SENSA)

Allergic Girl talking food allergies
What a pleasure meeting with and talking to the Suburban Essex Nursing Supervisors Association (SENSA) in Verona, NJ last week. That's me in the picture above, beginning my presentation before an audience of public health nurses and school nurses. Together, we talked about the many challenges and triumphs they face as more and more children are diagnosed with life-threatening food allergies and entering the school systems.

Growing up as a child with anaphylactic food allergies and allergic asthma, I knew every school nurse, summer camp nurse and college nurse, and they knew me. These women were on the front lines of what was happening with me health-wise during the hours I was in their care. Nurses are an integral part of a food allergic child's support system and their TEAM YOU. 


What is TEAM YOU? I believe it takes a team -- a supportive network of friends, family and professionals -- to navigate through life successfully and confidently. I call it Team You and I talk about creating one more extensively in my book, Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies (Wiley, 2011) A Team You member helps you in the places where you need help. And for children with medial needs, school nurses are integral part of that team.


Thank you SENSA for a lively conversation and all that you do for all of the children in your districts!




Friday, June 21, 2013

Food Allergy Counseling: It Takes a Village To Raise a Child (With Food Allergy) by Tamara Duker Freuman

Food allergy is a serious problem in our collective village, and we all have to worry about it. So I polled moms of kids with food allergies, asking: What do you wish we parents of kids without food allergies would do to help make your child safer? Here's what they told me.  

Read more of this article on Us News & World Report written by Tamara Duker Freuman, MS, RD, CDN on Us News & World Report about how non-food allergy families can support food allergy ones.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Food Allergy Counseling: Interview with Dr. Michael Pistiner

My colleague Dr. Michael Pistiner’s website AllergyHome.org is now hosting a free, downloadable PDF handbook called: Living Confidently with Food Allergy. It was created in conjunction with Anaphylaxis Canada and co-written with Jennifer LeBovidge, PhD, Pediatric Psychologist.

Here are some previous conversations with Dr. Pistiner posted on Please Don't Pass The Nuts:


I had an opportunity to ask Dr. Pistiner a few questions about him as an allergist, a food allergy dad, an EoE patient and co-author of this exciting free handbook for food allergy parents.

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Allergic Girl: Briefly, tell us about your practice and your specialty?

Dr Mike Pistiner: I’m a pediatric allergist in a large multispecialty medical practice. I see almost exclusively children with a large proportion of my patients having food allergies.  I like the challenge of taking care of families, with kids included in their own care. Kids are key players in their own health.  They are important participants in their own food allergy management at all stages of development. To help reinforce this, I really pride myself on getting the kids to get involved in their visit and try to set that precedent for when they leave and go home with their families. I usually start by introducing myself to the child asking them a ridiculous question to make them comfortable followed by a question getting at why they’re here. The visits quickly transition to the parents but I keep involving the kids for as long as their attention holds. Getting their buy in and perspective is so important. The same goes for physical exam and any procedures. I hope that their direct participation in the visit sets the tone for when they leave my office. Playing developmentally appropriate roles in their own food allergy management can engage kids and empower them to be self confident and active participants in their own health.

AG: What have you learned living with a child with food allergies (and you with eosinophilic esophagitis)?

MP: My family’s experience with food allergy has been both challenging and enlightening. Being a father of child with food allergy and having eosinophilic esophagitis myself has opened my eyes not only to the practical challenges my patients and their families face, but has allowed me to feel first hand the emotional and social side. Having food allergy affects many aspects of life - our personalities and our relationships can help or hinder necessary daily management.


For those who discover that they have allergies as adults, and for parents of newly diagnosed, it can force a shift of already established patterns and routines. If a food allergic individual is soft spoken, not accustomed to making their needs known and used to going with the flow, he or she now needs to advocate, communicate, and educate, which may feel quite overwhelming and out of a comfort zone.  Also, if someone is used to being spontaneous, now needing to plan meals, coordinate child care, and being prepared to appropriately deal with an emergency might feel compromising to a free spirit. For some, these new roles are easily incorporated into their lives and families, and for others it is a significant shift that will take time to get used to. Ultimately learning how to comfortably incorporate food allergy management strategies into our lives is necessary, character building and cannot be compromised or discounted. With time, learning how to make it work while retaining our spirit and flexibility is achievable and an important goal.

AG: You have done alot of work in food allergy education and advocacy.  What has motivated this?

MP: When my son first had his reaction I was already an allergist. Despite having a significant knowledge base and understanding of food allergy and food allergy management there were a surprising number of challenges that I didn’t see coming.  Many of these centered around transitions in care, teaching others, relying on others, and communicating effectively.   I made mistakes along the way. My newfound perspective inspired me to make it easier for other families.  There is no reason why we all must recreate the wheel and start from scratch. Since then I have dedicated great effort to food allergy education and advocacy, one outcome of which was AllergyHome.org.

AG: What is the mission of AllergyHome.org?  

MP: My close friend, John Lee and I are serious about AllergyHome’s mission to keep children with food allergies safe and happy no matter where they are or who they’re with. Also, AllergyHome is determined to play its part in ensuring that there are no longer food allergy related deaths, especially in our schools. The website provides practical tools to train and educate all who may be responsible for caring for a child with food allergy. These resources are designed to make training others a bit more regimented, reproducible, and practical. We account for different learning preferences and by offering a spoken format. To make the content even more relevant and memorable we use engaging pictures and tailor the modules to the specific target groups. We hope that the versatility that we offer will increase the chance that those who need food allergy education will understand and retain the information. Collaboration is a theme that permeates who we are and what we do.  Partnerships are necessary when it comes to food allergy education. Parents must partner with schools, doctors with families, etc.  Same goes for all institutions, organizations, and governmental agencies that share the desire to protect and nurture our children. Pooling resources, and meeting unmet needs makes sense when we must ensure the safety and happiness of millions of children.

AG: For our school communities, what do you suggest can be done to address bullying?

MP: While taking care of bullying when it happens is incredibly important, stopping bullying before it starts is equally important. With the rapid increase in food allergy prevalence, our school communities may not have had time to adapt to new and necessary accommodations to protect the safety and self esteems of students with food allergies. Students pick up on the messages of their teachers, parents, and others in the school community. Also, their own perception of an unexplained difference in a peer with food allergies can foster bullying, teasing and isolation. Replacing negative misperceptions with education and awareness can create an environment of support and understanding. A child’s perceptions of food allergies may come from picking up on the attitudes of teachers and parents, but direct education may be very effective. Children without food allergies also can play an important role in teaching each other, their parents, and play a critical role in establishing a supportive school community. Kids are key players in creating communities of support. Here's Allergyhome.org Kids Awareness Module.

AG: AllergyHome.org is now hosting a new exciting product that was just launched, a free, downloadable PDF handbook called: Living Confidently with Food Allergy. It was created in conjunction with Anaphylaxis Canada and co-written by you and Jennifer LeBovidge, PhD, Pediatric Psychologist. Tell us more!

MP: For over two years, I’ve had the privilege to work with an amazing team to develop a handbook for families and children with food allergies. Our goal has been to create a resource that can help guide parents and caregivers in food allergy management and give them the tools to educate their children and the surrounding community. A major goal of this handbook is to guide families to find the middle ground between risk taking and anxiousness as early as possible. Ultimately most families do find it, but for some it can be a struggle where safety, happiness or both can be at risk. If early on families know where the risks are and where they are not, they can learn to incorporate this into their routines, then they can accommodate without undue social and emotional strain. We wanted to make sure that this handbook was free and available in a variety of formats to help get this to as many families as possible.  Although many in our community, especially those that are reading this have access to a computer and multiple resources, a vast amount of the families dealing with food allergies do not.  We wanted to also offer in chapters in PDF version to allow doctors offices to print out relevant sections for families.  Our hope is that anyone that cares for a child with food allergies will have access to this and all of the information in it. This handbook can be found in webased and PDF versions at both Allergyhome.org/handbook and Allergysupportcentre.ca.

Biography:
Michael Pistiner, MD, MMSc is the content provider for AllergyHome a free, food allergy education website. He works as a pediatric allergist for Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates. He volunteers at Children’s Hospital and is a food allergy educator and advocate. Dr. Pistiner is a fellow in the American Academy of Pediatrics where he is a member of the Council of School Health and Section of Allergy & Immunology, and a member of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology where he is a member of the Adverse Reaction to Food Committee and co-chair of the Food Allergy Awareness in Eating Establishments sub-committee. He serves as a voluntary consultant for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, School Health Services. He is chair of the Medical Advisory Team for Kids with Food Allergies Foundation, serves on the board of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, New England Chapter, and member of FAME's National board. He is the recipient of awards from the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network in 2009 and 2010, as well as the American Medical Association Young Physician Section Community Service Award (2010) for his work on the Food Allergy Awareness in Restaurants Act. Additionally, he is the author of Everyday Cool With Food Allergies, a children’s book designed to teach basic food allergy management skills to preschool and early school age children and co-author of Living Confidently with Food Allergy, a free food allergy handbook.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Food Allergy Counseling: AllergyEats Becomes an OpenTable Affiliate

Another exciting relationship forged between our friends at AllergyEats and Opentable.com an online restaurant reservation service. Opentable.com is a valuable tool to communicate your needs to a restaurant before you step across the threshold. I use it all the time, as well as have talked about it on my blog. It’s one of many tools I suggest utilizing to communicate your needs with dining out with a severe life threatening food allergy. Here is the press release from AllergyEats. Congratulations, Paul!

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New Relationship Streamlines the Process of Finding Allergy-Friendly Restaurants
& Making Reservations 

BOSTON, MA (June 18, 2013) – The food allergy community depends on AllergyEats  the leading guide to allergy-friendly restaurants nationwide, to reduce the guesswork and anxiety surrounding dining out with food allergies.  Now, thanks to a new affiliate relationship with OpenTable, they can also quickly and easily make restaurant reservations directly from the AllergyEats website and smartphone app. 

OpenTable is now available via the AllergyEats core website and smartphone app – allowing people to instantly use their computer, tablet or smartphone to make reservations at any US restaurant on OpenTable. OpenTable  is the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations, seating more than 12 million diners per month via its site and mobile solutions.  More than 450 million diners have depended on OpenTable to find a restaurant, choose a table and book their reservations online.   

AllergyEats, a peer-based ratings and review site, lets people see at-a-glance which restaurants have been more willing and better able to accommodate special dietary requirements, allowing food-allergic diners to make more informed choices about where to dine.  Once they find an accommodating restaurant, they can now instantly make reservations through the AllergyEats site or app, provided the restaurant is part of the large and growing OpenTable network,” said Paul Antico, Founder/CEO of AllergyEats, father of three food-allergic children and passionate food allergy advocate. 

“This relationship streamlines and simplifies the process of finding allergy-friendly restaurants and then making reservations at those accommodating establishments.  AllergyEats has become even more valuable as a one-stop resource for dining out with food allergies,” Antico continued.   

Both AllergyEats and OpenTable are free to use. 

According to the National Restaurant Association (NRA), 130 million people eat at a food establishment daily.  As many as 15 million people nationwide, 9 million of them adults, have food allergies, according to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, and these numbers are expected to rise.  With a reported 4% of the U.S. population living with food allergies, and millions of food-allergic people dining out each day, AllergyEats has become a tremendously popular resource for finding – and rating – allergy-friendly restaurants.  AllergyEats has grown steadily since its early 2010 launch, and is continuing its upwards trajectory with thousands of new users each month. 

About AllergyEats
AllergyEats, a free, peer-based website and smartphone app, is dramatically improving the way food-allergic and gluten intolerant individuals find – and rate – allergy-friendly restaurants.  The easy-to-use ratings and comment system allows food-allergic diners to instantly share their feedback about their restaurant experiences.  This peer-based ratings and review site lets people see at-a-glance which restaurants have been more willing and better able to accommodate special dietary requirements, allowing food-allergic diners to make more informed choices about where to dine. 




Food Allergy Counseling: A Partnership between FARE and MedicAlert Foundation

I've been wearing a MedicAlert Bracelet since my senior year of college and I talked about that in this blog post.

I'm wearing that same MedicAlert Bracelet in my Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies (Wiley, 2011) book trailer:



I'm showing that same MedicAlert bracelet off in the NY1 news spot with Chef Nick Anderer of Maialino in New York City.


And now, Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE ), MedicAlert Foundation have joined to offer a "...10% discount on membership, 20% of the proceeds from your [MedicAlert Foundation] membership will support FARE " in fulfilling its mission to advance food allergy education, advocacy, awareness and research." 

Here's more from a joint press release and from the MedicAlert Foundation website today, June 18, 2013: 

Food Allergy Counseling: A Partnership between FARE and 


Through our valued partnership with Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) , MedicAlert Foundation is pleased to offer the MyVoice program to FARE supporters, which provides special discounts on our memberships. MedicAlert's medical IDs and services will help protect you or your loved one - at home or wherever you may be during an emergency.



In addition to a 10% discount on membership, 20% of the proceeds from your membership will support FARE in fulfilling its mission to advance food allergy education, advocacy, awareness and research. Additionally, FARE supporters who enroll in MedicAlert membership and order a MedicAlert medical ID can enter coupon code: FARE during check out to take $10.00 off the purchase price of their medical ID.*


A food allergy diagnosis is life-changing. Avoiding the allergen is not always easy, and despite constant vigilance, accidental exposures can occur. Sever allergic reactions (known as anaphylaxis) can be life-threatening, so every second counts.



When your child has a food allergy, everyday events like birthday parties, field trips, and eating in the school cafeteria can be hazardous to his or her health. Moreover, those with certain types of allergies (like food allergies) are at risk for a sudden, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction – which is why every second counts in a life-threatening allergic reaction



Whether you have a food allergy yourself or are the parent of a child with food allergies, the MyVoice program is there for you to help communicate your vital medical information in an emergency situation.  MedicAlert Foundation stores your vital medical information (also known as Emergency Medical Information Record - EMIR®), and links it to your personalized medical ID. First responders are trained to recognize MedicAlert medical IDs in emergencies, and know to contact our 24/7 Live Emergency Response Service to obtain your medical information. Our services ensure emergency responders and hospital staff get your up-to-date medical information, the moment they need it, to make informed decisions about your treatment and care. In addition to our 24/7 Emergency Response service, we also offer 24/7 Family Notification and 24/7 Physician Notification service. 



FARE recommends individuals with food allergies use a medical ID, a practice that is also recommended in the food allergy clinicalguidelines developed by an expert panel sponsored by the National Institute ofAllergy and Infectious Diseases.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Food Allergy Counseling: American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders conference, 2013

At the end of the month, I will attend my first American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED) conference to learn more about Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorders and connect with this growing community

I first learned about EoE when I served as a patient representative on a panel to evaluate research for the Department of Defense. As a food allergy counselor, part of my mission is staying up-to-date and abreast of food allergy news, research and developing conditions. Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorders is one of the newer food allergy-related illnesses. I’ve already had several clients in my practice with EoE or EGID, many of whom are coping with the same issues and concerns as the anaphylactic food allergy community: how to understand a medical diagnosis, learning how to communicate medical needs to those around them and living a full, happy and healthy life.

Here is some further information about EoE from APFED and here is more information about the APFED conference in Philadelphia, PA in June 2013.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Strawberry Shortcake: Gluten-free, Nut-Free

Vanilla sponge cake with strawberries. 

My memories of strawberry shortcake are of a traditional buttermilk biscuit, fresh strawberries falling all over themselves and gobs and gobs of sweetened home-made whipped cream. When I read this New York Times article a few weeks back about strawberry shortcake, I thought, “Well, maybe I could make it work with a gluten-free vanilla sponge cake (I’m wheat intolerant) , no cream (I’m lactose-intolerant) and tree nut-free (I’m tree-nut allergic).” Here are the medical differences between an intolerance and an allergy from the American Academy of Asthma Allergy and Immunology.

This first attempt was edible but not delightful, not drool worthy.

What I did for the cake: I used a vanilla cake mix from Betty Crocker Gluten-Free line of mixes to make cupcakes. The mix is also top eight allergen free. Here’s more about the top eight allergens as identified by the US Food and Drug Administration) Following the directions, the cake came out fine, a moist with a fine crumb. But it was bland, not very vanilla-y – I used Nielsen-Massey vanilla, the best out there so it wasn't for lack of adding the right vanilla. The cupcakes reminded me more of light corn muffins than anything else, even though the Betty Crocker Gluten-Free flour base is rice. But without a great vanilla sponge, the base was doomed. Tip: use a better vanilla cake base or a muffin base.

What I did for the strawberries: I used the New York Times recipe, which is allowing cut strawberries to macerate in some sugar and lemon zest. Those came out perfectly. Tip: don’t let them macerate too long or overnight as you are looking for fresh and bright strawberries here..

What I did for the cream: nothing. Here was the major fail. This recipe needs something creamy as a whipped cream, ice cream or frosting would have covered up the vanilla cake’s shortcomings. But as I’m lactose-intolerant, whipped cream from cow diary cream isn't an option. I thought vegan buttercream frosting would be too heavy. This blogger didn't think so and did just that and her version looks terrific. I did make a glaze with lactose-free milk and confectioner’s sugar and ground pepper, as per the suggestion by the New York Times recipe. That was yum but a drizzle of that couldn't save this assemblage. Tip: there are many dairy-free options out there, including ice creams, whips and frostings. This recipe definitely needs a topping of some sort.

So the upshot: this version strawberry shortcake that was gluten-free, tree-nut free was not scrumptious. Dairy-free buttercream frosting would have saved it. Here’s a comedic video and recipe for making that dairy-free buttercream frosting of deliciousness.

Monday, June 10, 2013

King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour Mixes: Label Change

I love the King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour line of mixes, precisely because they are made in a facility free from the top eight allergens as identified by the US Food And Drug Administration.  So, I was surprised to read from an Allergic Girl Facebook page visitor that King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour labels had changed; produced in a top 8 facility was no long there.  Here are the old and new labels side by side.



So what actually changed?  Here’s what a King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour company spokesperson stated:  

“The facility we manufacture our Certified Gluten Free mixes in does not bring any of the top 8 allergens into its facility.  Our mixes are not tested for each specific allergen, only Gluten.  As there is always a risk for cross contamination outside the facility, our Food Safety team, out of true transparency and an overabundance of caution, decided to remove the “allergen free” statement.”

Here’s more information about King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour mixes. And here’s how to contact them directly about your personal needs.

Thank you, King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour for creating a delicious and safe product and for clarifying your labeling to reflect your manufacturing and testing capabilities.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Pascha Allergen-Free Chocolate: 8 Facts About Pascha Chocolate

Pascha chocolate sent me some samples of their top eight allergen-free chocolate to try. Before I do, I had a chance to ask Courtenay Pascha chocolate some questions about this new chocolate and how they ensure it’s free from the top eight allergens.

These foods - milk, eggs, fish (e.g., bass, flounder, cod), Crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, shrimp), tree nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts, pecans), peanuts, wheat, and soybeans - are identified by the FDA as causing ninety percent of all food allergic reactions in the United States. Remember, that anyone can be allergic to anything at any time, so please contact Pascha chocolate directly about your food allergy needs.


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1. What’s the history behind why Pascha chocolate was created?

PASCHA was created to make ultra-pure delicious chocolate that is safe for anyone to eat.  It was not until Simon Lester, one of the founders, realised how life threatening and altering food allergies can be, when one of his daughters had an anaphylactic reaction to food, that the penny dropped that someone really needed to come out with a completely allergen-free great-tasting chocolate.  Simon's background was in the chocolate business in the UK and while most people don't think of chocolate and allergies, the reality is that almost every chocolate plant in the western world uses milk, various tree nuts, peanuts, soy and often wheat, gluten and egg.  Because of the difficulties of cleaning a chocolate manufacturing plant once these ingredients are inside the plant a residual amount is left behind - which is the danger point for people with food allergies.


2. Where and how is PASCHA chocolate made?

PASCHA is made in Latin America, close to the source of the bean.  One of the things we had to do was be very sure of where the ingredients were sourced from and how they had traveled, to avoid risk of cross contamination - eg from storing cocoa beans in warehouses as they journey across the world. By going to where the cocoa beans are grown and making the chocolate there we can gain much more visibility and control over the ingredients going into PASCHA.


3. PASCHA chocolate has very few ingredients. We love that! One of them is chocolate "mass". What is that?

In making chocolate from beans you take the shells off the bean and grind them up (to create nibs).  When you heat these nibs and grind them you get a viscous mass that is unsweetened molten cocoa bean.  We call this cocoa liquor.  Cocoa mass is another word for cocoa liquor, but the liquor can be cooled and forms solid chunks - hence cocoa mass.  We refer to it as cocoa mass but in fact it is in liquid form when it moves into our chocolate making process. 


4. You state that the product is top 8 free but only mention 6 allergens on the labels  (“gluten” is not an allergen)?

The 7th and 8th allergens which PASCHA is free from are fish and shellfish. We did not include fish and shellfish on the website or label due to some feedback from consumers regarding their perception of fish and shellfish in chocolate. I agree it is confusing and we will revise our statement. Thank you for the feedback.



5. What steps are used to ensure the product is free from all top eight allergens?

First of all the entire plant has to be completely allergen-free - so no operation there must ever use one of the top 8 allergens.  Beyond that we have to ensure that the people who work in the plant do not bring anything allergenic to the plant - so they wear uniforms that provided for them and which can be checked for allergens.  Next we have to make sure that the ingredients coming in are also allergen-free.  In our case we make the chocolate from cocoa bean to bar in the same factory, and we know where the beans are coming from and how they have been transported.  That just leaves the sugar and vanilla and any of our added ingredients like goldenberries which again are from specific known local sources and are checked for allergens.  After that we carry out checks for allergens on the finished product to make sure that they system has actually worked as it is supposed to.



6. What are your future plans for the chocolate (flavors, add ins?)

We want to bring out new flavors for sure, but most important is probably to have product in formats that are most usable for what our customers want - so we will look at packaging developments to do single serve formats or formats that are friendlier for children and for sharing.

7. Where can the product be purchased?

We only just introduced PASCHA in March of 2013 and as of today we are available online only but we are in the midst of discussions with several retailers both large and small so we hope to announce the start of our retail roll-out very soon.

8. Whom do we contact for more information or questions about allergen-free status?

Please contact Courtenay Vuchnich (me) either my email courtenay@paschachocolate.com or by telephone 1-855-472-7242 (4-PASCHA) EXT 102.

9. Final thoughts?

The one thing that really surprises everyone about PASCHA is that it tastes so good.  Somehow with a product that is gluten-free and allergen free there is an expectation that it won't taste very good.  Interestingly with chocolate the reality is different - as you make a simple and pure formulation in an ultra pure environment, you actually get a wonderful pure taste, so it actually ends up being better for all chocolate lovers.