Apr
11
2016

New Allergy Warnings from McDonald's

People With Dairy, Tree nut and Peanut Allergies Need to Be Aware of Menu Changes

New Allergy Warnings from McDonald's

Peanuts, tree nuts and dairy warnings for McDonald's menu items.

Attention McDonald's customers with dairy, tree nut and peanut allergies: there are a number of changes to their menu that you need to know about. 

The news includes changes to cooking processes as well as the above mentioned milk, peanuts, and tree nuts. The information has been communicated via several channels and McDonalds welcomes inquiries and questions at their Guest Contact Centre at 1 888 424 4622. Because these changes are in effect now, regular customers to McDonalds with allergies should be aware of their changes in order to appropriately plan their menu choices and meal items. 

Per Food Allergy Canada on Facebook:



 RELATED: Books About Severe Food Allergies For Children of All Ages

Apr
06
2016

Miscarriage May Soon Qualify for Disability Leave

Ontario Human Rights Tribunal Could Change How Pregnancy Loss Treated

Miscarriage May Soon Qualify for Disability Leave

Miscarriage may soon qualify as disability leave | YummyMummyClub.ca

I suffered a miscarriage at 19.5 weeks gestation.  I remember the nurses hustling around me discussing my "fetus," and the ultrasound technician talking about the "fetus." It seems absurd to classify my baby as a fetus, to not be able to "technically" say I had a stillbirth despite labouring and delivering my baby.  At 19.5 weeks, a baby is around 14cm (almost 6") long. Look at your hand. My baby would have stretched from my wrist nearly to the tip of my middle finger. But I wouldn't know, really, because I never held my baby. I never looked at my baby. After the horrific experience, I left the hospital emptier than I'd ever felt, and more alone than I knew was possible. 

Under current Ontario provincial law, women who lose a pregnancy more than 17 weeks before the due date are not eligible for pregnancy leave. I can tell you that had I been in the mainstream workforce at the time of my miscarriage, I would not have been fit for returning to work the next day. Or even the next week. My miscarriage threw me for a loop physically and emotionally, and the scars are long-lasting and deep. I would have been expected to return to work the following day, or take leave without pay. But all this could change thanks to a precedent-setting decision made by the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal in favour of Winnie Mou of Markham, Ontario.

Within a short period of time, Mou suffered a miscarriage and the loss of her mother-in-law, triggering severe depression and her absence from work resulted in being fired. Mou's lawyer Morgan Rowe is quoted as saying, "...a disbability should not be defined by the biomedical issue but rather how that medical issue affects one's participation in society." And that's just it — there's so little discussion around grief and trauma suffered by those who have miscarriages that we also sweep the after-effects under the rug. Expecting someone to return to work immediately isn't a one-size-fits-all decision. Some people may feel comfort in returning to routine, whereas others may need more time to process the events and begin to heal.

In the final decision, adjudicator Jennifer Scott stated, "I also find the applicant's miscarriage is a disability. I acknowledge that a miscarriage . . .  is not a common ailment, and it is certainly not transitory. It is clear . . . that she continues to experience significant emotional distress from the miscarriage even today", making this the first time a woman has been able to claim disability leave for a pregnancy lost before 23 weeks gestation.

I know there are many people who would argue that this time off isn't required, or that even they wouldn't  need it, and that's fine. It's ok to be able to move forward immediately from a miscarriage. But it's also ok to be sideswiped by a miscarriage and devastated. It's ok to need to grieve and heal physically and emotionally from the loss, and it's ok to not be able to pick oneself up and join society right away.

These decisions matter, and they're positive, because if it gives one more woman the strength to speak up and get the help she needs to properly heal from a miscarriage, they're worthwhile. For too long, we've expected women to keep miscarriages to themselves, to not discuss them, or to brush them off as no big deal, when clearly that's not a universal experience at all.

If you or someone you love has suffered a miscarriage, please reach out for support. You can speak to your family doctor, midwife, or OB/GYN, or contact one of the organizations below.

Sunnybrook
Bereaved Families of Ontario
Halton Infertility and Pregnancy Support Services
Pregnancy and Infant Loss (PAIL) Network
Infertility Network

 RELATED: Going on Disability Leave When I Miscarried Wouldn't Have Been Right For Me 

Apr
04
2016

Kellogg's to Add Peanut Flour to Keebler and Austin Crackers

Products No Longer Safe for People with Peanut Allergies

Kellogg's to Add Peanut Flour to Keebler and Austin Crackers

ALLERGY ALERT: Peanut flour being added to these popular kids' snack items

Kellogg's has apparently decided to add peanut flour to both the Keebler and Austin lines of snack crackers. 

Oh, Kellogg's, what are you thinking? You're taking products that are super popular with young kids, (and were one of the few things that are safe for those with peanut allergies), and you're adding a potentially deadly ingredient like peanut flour to them? Why? 

The problem isn't just that Kellogg's is adding peanut flour to the crackers, it's that these aren't products people would even think contained nuts, making it even more difficult to explain to those without allergies how to ingredient screen and read labels. I just can't get past, "WHY?".

It's not even just the peanut butter varieties they're messing with. Why the addition of an ingredient that is dangerous to so many people in a product that is so popular? It makes little sense to me, and the allergy world is in an uproar. There is a petition asking Kellogg's to rethink the ingredient addition, and more information on the FARE site.

In this announcement from FARE,  they note that products will be affected starting this month (April, 2016). The crackers look like these things, in the little snack packs that kids eat, ohhhh, pretty much everywhere:



From FARE, I'm sharing these product packages, too:



I can't seem to find an official press release from Kellogg's and am not sure if these products are in Canada, but I want you all to be safe and aware, so am sharing this widely to be on the safe side. 

Always read labels, even if it's a product you've purchased in the past. Even the most diligent label-readers can make mistakes, so read and re-read carefully! 

If you'd like to reach out to Kellogg's you can contact them via:

Kellogg's Canada Customer Service
Keebler Facebook Page
Kellogg's Canada Facebook Page
Austin Crackers Facebook Page

Stay safe, everyone.

 RELATED: Will Peanut Patch Offer Hope to Allergy Sufferers?