I like a bit of chocolate, but my peanut allergy means I have to read the labels very carefully. One major annoyance is when I find the text "may contain nuts" or similar. The dilemma I face is that peanuts are not technically nuts - they are a legume, more like actual peas than nuts. Honest, it's true. So, when I read "may contain nuts" does the manufacturer appreciate this distinction (in which case I am safe) or are they including peanuts as nuts, as the common man on the street would most likely expect (in which case I am not safe)?
I asked Cadbury what their position on this is. Here's what I sent them:
As anyone in your industry likely knows, peanuts are not technically nuts - they are a legume. Can you clarify whether Cadbury labelling (e.g. on Cadbury Clusters) that says "May contain nuts" includes peanuts in its remit or not? On a technicality I would think not and that I (as a peanut allergy sufferer) could eat the product with impunity. However it might be that you interpret "nuts" to include peanuts. Some companies specifically say "tree nuts" to be clear when they means nuts but not peanuts. I'm keen to understand Cadbury's position here so I know what's safe to eat and what's not. Thanks in advance. Either way, it would be helpful to all nut and peanut allergy sufferers if the labelling could be made unambiguous and I'd appreciate a comment on that more generally.
The response from Cadbury (over a month later, after me chasing them):
Thanks for your email
Our Technical area advise Cadbury labels Nuts when referring to Tree nuts. We would label Peanuts separately as they are not a Tree nut as correctly pointed out.
So, there's your answer, for Cadbury at least. It's a shame they didn't see fit to comment on perhaps using "tree nuts" in their labelling in order to be unambiguous.