This news really takes the Kake. Flowers Foods, Inc., is voluntarily recalling some of their Tastykake Chocolate Kandy Kakes. The reason is nuts. Or rather peanuts, which technically are legumes instead of nuts. Certain packages of Tastykake Chocolate Kandy Kakes actually included Tastykake Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). And as you can imagine, peanut butter tends to include peanuts, because that’s how names work. The trouble is the ingredient labels on the packages did not mention peanuts being in the product. So someone with allergies to peanuts could say, “Hmm, I think I will have a Tastykake Chocolate Kandy Kake that most certainly doesn’t have peanuts,” and, in suffer an allergic reaction—a potentially life-threatening reaction
The packages affected by the recall have a universal product code (UPC) of “0 25600 00225 4” and an “Enjoy By” date of June 5, 2023. If you see these on your package—meaning your Chocolate Kandy Kakes package—you may not want to enjoy it by June 5 if you are in any way allergic to peanuts. In other words, don’t have your Kake and eat it too. Instead, return it for a refund.
This recall should affect products that were distributed on May 11, 2023 to retailers in six different states: Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, and West Virginia. Of course, just because you aren’t in one of these six states doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t check your package. You never know where your package may have been.
Now, peanut allergies are among the most common food allergies out there. They are one of the FDA’s nine major food allergens, along with milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, soybeans, and sesame. If you have a peanut allergy, you may suffer symptoms even after a ingesting a very small amount of peanuts. Potential symptoms include gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting, stomach cramps, indigestion, and diarrhea, respiratory issues such as a cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing, throat issues such as swelling, tightness, and hoarseness, skin issues such as hives and loss of color, and other symptoms such as dizziness and confusion. The biggest concern is anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening whole-body allergic response. This requires immediate treatment with epinephrine (adrenaline).
If you suspect that you may have a peanut allergy, don’t just start pounding peanut brittle and see what happens. See an allergist, who may then order a skin test or blood test or try an oral food challenge. Such a challenge will entail giving you very small amounts of peanut or peanut-based products while under close medical supervision.
Typically, the way to manage your peanut allergies is to avoid peanuts. That may sound simple. But peanuts can be like politics, appearing seemingly everywhere and in places where you may least expect. That’s why you’ve got to read ingredient labels carefully. And that assumes that food products are being properly labelled.
If you are in the four to 17-year age category, you do now have another option. The FDA recently approved Palforzia as the only oral immunotherapy product for treating peanut allergies. The treatment essentially gradually exposes your immune system to peanuts. This way your immune system may not react as strongly the next time it sees peanuts. Palforzia only works while you are taking it every day. Once you stop taking Palforzia, all bets are off. In addition, there’s a chance that you may actually get an allergic reaction from Palforzia itself.
Keep in mind, though, that Palforzia is not a cure for peanut allergies. If you do have severe peanut allergies, you will still have to avoid peanuts and carry around a couple epinephrine auto-injectors at all times. You will still have to be very vigilant and read labels carefully. There is still no peanut allergy treatment out there that will allow you to eat whatever tasty thing you’d like to eat. So, if you are having a Tastykake by the ocean—or anywhere else, for that matter—check your package to make sure that whatever you may be putting into your mouth isn’t part of the recall.