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The Scoop on Ice Cream and Food Allergies


Navigating the world of frozen desserts can sometimes feel tricky. As someone who battles both dairy and peanut allergies, I understand the challenge all too well.


One of the most significant challenges when indulging in frozen desserts is the concern for cross-contamination. Many frozen dessert shops offer both dairy and non-dairy options, and while this variety is fantastic for allergy sufferers, it also raises the risk of accidental exposure to allergens. To mitigate this risk, it is important to ensure the shop is using rigorous cleaning procedures.


I now ask my server to use a new scooper before letting them know my selection. I learned this the hard way. After eating a strawberry sorbet at the local ice cream shop, I noticed my lips started itching (the start of an allergic reaction for me). I realized there must have been some cross-contamination due to the server using a previously used scooper that was only dipped in a water well.


This experience taught me that simply rinsing a previously used scooper in water is not enough. Here is a link to an article that points to a 2004 article that revealed that dish soap does not remove peanut allergen. Further, 2017 pilot study researcher recommended that shops avoid using scoopers from the dipper well to serve food allergy customers.


I also avoid any selections (including toppings) located too close to options with peanuts or bananas. I err on the side of caution in case of any inadvertent cross-contamination.


With vigilance, food allergy warriors can enjoy a delicious and safe frozen dessert. After all, life's too short to skip dessert!






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