If you are allergic to peanuts, think twice before buying a box of M&Ms at the movie theater concession stand. Certain one ounce milk chocolate Theater Box M&Ms are being recalled because they may contain peanut butter in them, and they are not labelled to include peanut butter.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) some theater boxes labeled as “milk chocolate” actually contain “peanut butter” M&Ms. Because peanut butter is not listed as an allergen on the outside box for regular milk chocolate M&Ms, there is no warning to individuals with allergies. This could endanger individuals who are allergic to peanuts.
The boxes included in the recall were shipped to 30 states, including Texas, between May 8th and July 1st of this year. Mars Chocolate, distributor of M&Ms, says that it is working with retail customers to ensure that the recalled product is not on store shelves.
About 4% of adults and 4% of children have food allergies, and about 0.6 – 1.0 % of people have a peanut allergy. Peanut allergies can vary from mild to severe. Though these numbers seem small, adverse reactions to a peanut allergy can be deadly. A severe reaction to peanuts can amount to anaphylaxis, which can entail hives, flushing of skin, severe asthma, vomiting, and even swelling of the throat and mouth.
The FDA’s release on this matter says that as of September 19th, 2014, no adverse reactions have been reported. To avoid potential allergic reactions, consumers with peanut allergies are advised to compare lot numbers on the boxes to ones identified as having potentially mismarked M&Ms.