Allergies


Recent statistics show that approximately 20% of the US population is affected by a food allergy or food intolerance.  As the prevalence of food allergies and food intolerance continues to increase, consumer education and awareness as well as clear labeling of common allergens has become a priority for Turtle Mountain.  

Turtle Mountain has developed a strict, comprehensive allergen prevention program designed to validate the absence of undeclared food allergens in our products.  We remain committed to providing our consumers with the most accurate information regarding the practices and procedures we follow to ensure the quality and integrity of our products.  With this in mind we updated our packaging with the following allergen statement:

Turtle Mountain applies strict quality control measures in an effort to prevent contamination by undeclared food allergens.  To assure our preventative measures are effective, we sample test our product for the presence of gluten, dairy, peanut and almond allergens using state of the art testing methods.

This packaging change is presently underway and will ultimately affect all packaging with the exception of the Organic Soy Delicious novelties containing organic chocolate coating or organic chocolate chips.

We have also included a table of our product lines and flavors and any present allergens so you can more easily identify which products and flavors are right for you.  At the end of this section we have listed a few resources regarding food allergens we hope you will find helpful too.

ALLERGEN PREVENTION

Approximately 4% of the US population suffers from a food allergy while 15% of the US population is affected by food intolerance.1  What is the difference?  A food allergy is an abnormal response to a food that is triggered by the immune system.  The immune system sees the food or component thereof as harmful to the body and releases chemicals or histamines to protect the body.   These chemicals or histamines can cause a range of symptoms affecting the digestive, skin, respiratory or cardiovascular system and in some instances be fatal.1,3 On the other hand a food intolerance is a metabolic disorder where the body lacks the ability to breakdown a specific substance and causes an adverse reaction such as gas, bloating or abdominal pain.  One of the most familiar food intolerances is lactose intolerance.  In this instance the body doesn’t have enough of the enzyme lactase to break down lactose, a sugar found in milk, causing the symptoms noted above.2,3

ALLERGEN STATEMENT

Turtle Mountain Inc. remains committed to educating our consumers regarding the practices and procedures we use to ensure we provide our consumers with a safe, high quality product. Because our consumers eat our products for a variety of reasons, one being the avoidance of specific food allergens, Turtle Mountain believes it is important to include information regarding allergens on our packaging.  The allergen information was stated on our packaging as follows:

Turtle Mountain adheres to the highest standards of pasteurization, sanitation and kosher certification in the production of this product. This product was produced on equipment that also processes peanuts, tree nuts and dairy products.

While this did raise the awareness of our consumers, it also brought about more questions.    

In reviewing our allergen program we felt our allergen statement didn’t accurately convey the measures we take to prevent undeclared food allergens in our products.  We revised the allergen statement on our package to read as follows:   

Turtle Mountain applies strict quality control measures in an effort to prevent contamination by undeclared food allergens.  To assure our preventative measures are effective, we sample test our product for the presence of gluten, dairy, peanut and almond allergens using state of the art testing methods.

While we are taking every opportunity to convert all packaging over to the new allergen statement it is anticipated that consumers will be seeing both statements for a period of time.  The details of our allergen program as described below are the practices and procedures we follow and apply to our products no matter which statement appears on our package.  However, it should be noted that our Organic Soy Delicious novelties contain trace amounts of dairy which come from the organic chocolate coating or organic chocolate chips.  See the Organic Chocolate Challenges section below for more information.

We have included a table of our product lines and flavors and any present allergens so you can more easily identify which products and flavors are right for you. At the end of this section we have listed a few resources regarding food allergens we hope you will find helpful too. [ top ]

ALLERGEN PROGRAM

Our comprehensive allergen prevention program, designed to prevent any unwanted allergens into the product and to validate the absence of undeclared food allergens is structured as outlined below:

INGREDIENTS

We require all of our ingredient suppliers to provide a letter of guarantee as to the allergen content of the ingredient, whether the ingredient was processed on a line that contains allergens and whether the ingredient was processed in a facility that contains allergens. For those ingredients that are processed on lines that also process allergen containing foods, an allergen test is required, where possible, to verify that the ingredient is free from allergens.  Ingredients are then tested at random upon receipt at our warehouse or processing facilities for further validation.

PRODUCTION

Our products are manufactured in dairy facilities on the same equipment as dairy products.  Due to the inherent risk of contamination we require our manufacturing facilities to follow strict guidelines as outlined below.