I have been writing about my struggle to find bath/body/oral care products that are made in a peanut free facility. This is super important if you have a peanut allergy so that you can be sure that what you are using is truly free of peanuts, and offers no risk of cross contamination, or cross contact, from something with peanuts manufactured in the same facility. I have been reaching out to every brand that I found in my own bathroom cabinet and have emailed or called each brand and asked the same question to find out if any of their products processed in a facility with peanuts? Here is the email that I send to companies:
Hi, This might be a odd question, I am wondering if any of your products are processed/made in a facility with peanuts? Is there any potential for cross contamination of peanuts? I love many of your face products but, I have a peanut allergy and I cannot use any products where peanuts are present in the facility. I am only asking about peanuts, I am not allergic to any other nuts. I did not see any peanuts listed anywhere on your products, but I thought it best to check. I just read that a face lotion they my sister uses is made in a facility with peanuts & therefore not safe for me to use; it would’ve never occurred to me to check face/body type products until I saw that. Please let me know. I hope I can continue to use your products. Thank you very much! Elizabeth Noble
Here is the response I received when I emailed Burt's Bees:
Nehemie (11/06/2019 05:03 AM)
Thank you for reaching out to us at Burt's Bees.
We cannot provide a list of products that are safe for use with your allergy because our products may have been manufactured on a shared line with products containing nuts, or raw materials used in our products may have been processed in a facility that also processes nut-based ingredients.
Therefore, we are unable to state that any Burt's Bees products are nut-free. Several of our products are known to contain ingredients derived from nuts, such as nut butters (cocoa, kokum, shea, etc). Again, because of manufacturing these products adjacent to one another, we cannot recommend these products. Food allergies are a very complex: they can be very limited (single nut) or broad (range of tree nuts) depending on the individual; and they differ by topical application vs ingestion.
Please make sure that you carefully review the ingredient list of any product prior to use, particularly because the listed ingredients for a product may change. If you have a known allergy to nuts, you should always consult with your physician if you have questions regarding whether it is safe for you to use a particular product. Thank you for your inquiry.
Burt's Bees Consumer Services
I was so very upset to read such a rude, condescending and extremely unhelpful response. But, I kept stupidly thinking, 'maybe they didn't understand my question?' So I decided to send a follow up email and request again that they answer my question, I wanted them to let me know if peanuts were present in either their products or their facility, not nuts in general. I also was not sure how consulting my doctor would help ascertain if Burt's Bees products are produced in a facility with peanuts? I was very upset when I wrote my request for further clarification and here is what I wrote back to Nehemie:
I’m confused by your answer. I was only inquiring about peanuts in your products and facility, not about tree nuts or any other allergen!!
Does Burt’s Bees use PEANUTS or have PEANUTS in the processing facility? I understand why the products are not nut free; I use your products and can read the ingredients.
My question is only about PEANUTS.
I will throw out all my products as a precautionary measure if I don’t hear back from you, but this seems like a question you should be able to answer.
The following day I received this response:
Nehemie (11/07/2019 05:07 AM)
Thank you for your response.
As we stated before, we cannot provide a list of products that are safe for use with your allergy because our products may have been manufactured on a shared line with products containing nuts, or raw materials used in our products may have been processed in a facility that also processes nut-based ingredients. Therefore, we are unable to state that any Burt's Bees products are nut-free.
If you have a known allergy to (any) nuts, you should always consult with your physician if you have questions regarding whether it is safe for you to use a particular product. Thank you for your inquiry.
Burt's Bees Consumer Services
I have not written Burt's Bees back to thank Nehemie for her unhelpful and rude answer to my request for further clarification. Burt's Bees still did not answer if there are peanuts in their processing facility and they have made me feel like I should have never asked the question in the first place. After all I have a 'known allergy and I have consulted my physician'! I will never again purchase their products and I am on a journey to urge everyone I can to do the same. This is not how you treat a customer.
I have reached out to countless other bath/body/oral care brands and many have, like Burt's Bees, have basically declined to answer my question, or spoke to me about nuts in general instead of looking into whether peanuts specifically are in their facility. But, none of those brands, through emails, or phone conversations, even come close to how rude and condescending Burt's Bees has been to me, and none have made me feel as hurt by their words and inability to answer a simple yes/no question as Burt's Bees has.
To view my list of brands that offer transparency with their ingredients and their processing facility visit my lists on the No Peanut Foods website.