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ConAgra cookie production goes nut-free

By Jenni Spinner+

16-Jul-2014

Lofthouse Cookies, a ConAgra Foods brand, is transitioning one of its plants to nut-free production.
Lofthouse Cookies, a ConAgra Foods brand, is transitioning one of its plants to nut-free production.

Lofthouse Cookies, a ConAgra Foods brand, has transitioned its main bakery to nut-free production to accommodate demand for allergen-free products.

ConAgra Foods’ Lofthouse Cookies brand has completed the transition of its primary bakery facility in Utah to nut-free production.

Allergen-free food

William Miller, senior brand manager for Lofthouse Cookies, told FoodProductionDaily the conversion is good news for consumers suffering from nut sensitivity.

Nut allergies are a constant concern for millions of Americans,” he said. “We’re glad this move will allow them to choose Lofthouse Cookies with confidence.”

Nut allergies are among the most common food sensitivities consumers must deal with. According to awareness/activist organization Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), nut allergies affect nearly 2% of Americans.

Additionally, the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) reports more than 17m Europeans have a food allergy, with the number of children requiring hospital care admissions for severe reactions up 700% seven-fold over the past decade.

Production shift

Lofthouse Cookies reports the vast majority of its current product offerings (approximately 90%) are without nuts. However, the extra step of producing in a nut-free facility eliminates the chances of cross-contamination, important for consumers with serious nut allergies.

The transition also will see the brand’s nut-based cookies (such as peanut butter cookies and white chocolate macadamia nut cookies) move from the Utah plant to an Illinois facility. Lofthouse Cookies reports none of the brand’s current recipes will change.

The cookies’ nut-free recipe will be reflected in on-pack messaging, with containers bearing the statement “Manufactured in a Nut Free Facility.”

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