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Since I have been part of the food allergy world, I have seen the question about coconut get posted often. The main question is usually, "Is this a tree nut and should we avoid?" Post this question on Facebook and you will get a ton of comments regarding this subject.
Coconut is classified by the FDA as a tree nut and therefore all foods containing coconut by law must be listed as containing coconut or containing a tree nut. Coconut is really not a tree nut, but the FDA decided to call it one and confuse everyone. Some allergist say to avoid and some say not to. There are true coconut allergies, but you shouldn't just assume you can't consume coconut if you are allergic to tree nuts. Get tested and discuss this further with your board certified allergist.
This brings me to the reason why I decided to write this post. It seems that there have been some cases where manufacturing companies have labeled themselves as being tree nut free and then not disclosing that the item actually contains coconut. Most of us know that coconut is not a tree nut and most tree nut allergic are perfectly fine consuming it, but since it is considered a tree nut by the FDA and a tree nut is one of the top eight allergens then it must be labeled on the package. My family doesn't avoid coconut, but we do have some members within our No Nuts Moms Group that are very allergic and this can lead to a very serious reaction. So whether or not you believe a coconut to be a tree nut or not, it still needs to be labeled on a food item containing coconut. PERIOD! It is the law. If you have a coconut allergy, please be sure to investigate items a little further even if they are labeled tree nut free. If you find out a company is not labeling then let them know and also consider reporting them to the FDA.
Question: Is Coconut a Tree Nut?
Is Coconut Safe For People With Tree Nut Allergies?
Tree Nut Allergies
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