Hibiscus: Potential Peanut Allergen


with Matt Osier
Savory Spice Team
August 31, 2016
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Hibiscus: Potential Peanut Allergen

Hibiscus: Potential Peanut Allergen

It has come to our attention that hibiscus is commonly intercropped with peanuts and can potentially be dangerous for those with severe peanut allergies. We'd like to share some information with you about how we're addressing this and why these two crops are linked.

As a company, although we have hundreds of years of collective spice experience, we strive to continue to learn and to share this education with our customers. We recently became aware of the fact that, in many regions where it is cultivated as a crop, hibiscus is intercropped with peanuts. For our customers with severe peanut allergies, you can rest assured that we do not currently and have not previously used hibiscus in any of our seasonings or spice blends.

On hibiscus packages, we will be applying a pink circular label with thefollowing educational statement on the packaging:

"Hibiscus is often intercropped with peanuts and may produce a response in those with severe peanut allergies."

In our Denver production facility, we process hibiscus and other potential nut allergens using completely separate equipment from the rest of our products. This is the same manner in which we isolate the equipment used in the processing of products that contain dairy.

At each Savory Spice Shop employees will handle hibiscus with disposable gloves, ensuring that there is no cross contamination with other products.

Regarding the practice of intercropping Hibiscus with peanuts, here is what we learned:

· Intercropping is the practice of growing two or more crops in close proximity to each other, usually in the space between rows. The goal of intercropping is typically to produce a greater yield than could be realized by growing a single crop. From www.agriculturesnetwork.org, we learned that researchers discovered that crop yields of hibiscus were greatest when intercropped with legumes, such as peanuts. While hibiscus is somewhat of aculinary novelty in the United States, it is a very valuable resource (stalks and fibers are used for thatching, making fences, and weaving fishing nets) as well as a medicinal and food source in some African countries. Hibiscus, when intercropped, require very little in the way of additional attention or resources. In resource poor regions, intercropping is a crucial practice formany farmers.

Please rest assured that we will continue to do all we can to ensure that we stay current, and in turn keep you current, on any issues regarding our products.

Thank you,

Janet & Mike Johnston and the Savory Spice Shop family

Comments on this Article

(guest), on March 02, 2021

Thank you for sharing this crucial information, and for the efforts you go through to bring awareness. We deal with people with food intolerances. We muscle test. It is 95% accurate when done by with integrity. Peanuts are generally one of biggest intolerances. Today we tested someone on Hibiscus tea. And now I know one of the reasons it did not test well. Thank you for posting the information. Grace and peace, Lisa

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