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Anyone heard of Pumpkin Allergy?


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imperfect

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 07:20 PM

Random topic, I had a customer send in a complaint over the weekend that after making a pumpkin pie with one of our sugar pumpkins, upon consuming, the pie burned her lips (like a chemical burn) and caused a sore throat and vomiting (and this was immediate).  

 

Anyone ever hear of this? She wants me to have it tested (I have no idea what to test for) and we do not have any on hand.  



QA-Tech

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 07:52 PM

I would simply respond by asking if she has seen a doctor, and if not, recommend that she does.

 

We (food manufacturers/producers) are in no position to offer medical advice and if this happened after she ate pie that was made at home, there could be any number of ingredients/reasons that she experienced this reaction. Just as you said, what would you test for? Without knowing anything more than the symptoms she described after eating your product- mixed and baked with a list of other products- there is not much you can do.

 

I would record all the information she has given you and recommend that she see a medical professional. 



imperfect

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 07:53 PM

My thoughts exactly, but she is being insistent.  And no, she has not seen a medical professional. 



MsMars

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 09:42 PM

My thoughts exactly, but she is being insistent.  And no, she has not seen a medical professional. 

 

I always hate not trying to give customers the benefit of the doubt... but sometimes you can't.  What RennieSka said above is the best advice I could give as well.  Do you have a customer service department/associate? Have them delicately suggest the above to the customer, as there is no way of knowing if your product is the culprit. Also - if she had such a concern that she wanted your company to perform testing, did she not think to retain the pie for possible testing? 



FSQA

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 09:56 PM

Random topic, I had a customer send in a complaint over the weekend that after making a pumpkin pie with one of our sugar pumpkins, upon consuming, the pie burned her lips (like a chemical burn) and caused a sore throat and vomiting (and this was immediate).  

 

Anyone ever hear of this? She wants me to have it tested (I have no idea what to test for) and we do not have any on hand.  

 

Test what? Amount of Pumpkin (as an Allergen) in a pumpkin pie?  Or is she allergic to any other known allergen.

 

Pumpkin is not considered a known allergenic food that the law specifies.It does not fall under FALPCA.

 

However, it might be a good idea as shared above.

 

Here are some good reads, that i got after a search on the internet (sharing it as I just learned today that people can be allergic to Pumpkins too):

https://www.livestro...rgy-to-pumpkin/

https://www.annaller...0051-9/fulltext



imperfect

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 09:58 PM

thanks all, I read the same articles.  she does have the pie, I'll be passing this off, as we had no other instances with the other 5000# we shipped



Non_entitie

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 10:31 PM

Sounds more like a reaction to a poison than an allergen... I'm just thinking about how close my laundry bleach is to my laundry vinegar, and if I were out of the vinegar that I keep in the kitchen coupled with how busy thanksgiving cooking can be if I could potentially grab the very similarly shaped bottle.  Further wondering if I'd notice the half a tablespoon of the wrong liquid if I were an anosmiac or had a head cold either before or after getting it in the mix.  I could conceive of a very specific set of criteria where it would be plausible.

 

I think I'm going to separate those bottles by a room or two despite the convenience of keeping them by the washer.



Scampi

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 02:35 PM

Since she hasn't seen her doctor, did she provide you with photos of the affected areas?

 

You're customer does sound like she's on a fishing expedition. I wouldn't comment further to her without having the pie analysed. You'll probably want to test for caustic materials as that is what her reaction sounds like to me (short of an actual allergic reaction)

 

You must insist she see her family physician in the meantime, if it's determined it's an allergic reaction, you are completely absolved of any wrong doing

 

You're absolutely certain the pie wasn't adulterated or intentionally contaminated at your facility?  I'm throwing out all possibilities here

 

Allergic Reactions:

Mild to moderate symptoms may include one or more of the following
  • Hives (reddish, swollen, itchy areas on the skin)
  • Eczema flare (a persistent dry, itchy rash)
  • Redness of the skin, particularly around the mouth or eyes
  • Itchy mouth or ear canal
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Nasal congestion or a runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Slight, dry cough
  • Odd taste in mouth

Severe symptoms may include one or more of the following

Swelling of the lips, tongue, and/or throat that blocks breathing

  • Trouble swallowing
  • Shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Turning blue
  • Drop in blood pressure (feeling faint, confused, weak, passing out)
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Chest pain
  • A weak or “thready” pulse
  • Sense of “impending doom”

https://www.foodalle...eaction-to-food


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SQFconsultant

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 03:23 PM

I have seen allspice as being a culprit in this type of situation.  


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CMHeywood

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 08:56 PM

It is impossible to address every possible allergic reaction that people may have.

 

Pumpkin is a member of the squash family.  The customer needs to see a doctor to determine if she is allergic to products that come from pumpkins or squash.  This is in her best interest.

 

I assume there were other ingredients (allspice?) in the pie that might be causing the customer's allergic reaction.

 

Her allergic reaction to certain foods is what needs to be tested, not the ingredients in the pie.  This is for her own health.  If she had a true allergic reaction, she needs to know what triggered it and how to avoid foods in the future that triggered the reaction.

 

If she is allergic to pumpkin, she needs to go to a doctor to confirm this.

 

Otherwise tell her that your product is 100% pumpkin and some people may be allergic to pumpkins.  I assume your product is adequately identified that a person who knows what allergies they have can determine if they need to avoid the product.

 

If she used flour to make the pie crust, then there could be a possibility of an allergic response, or she may have celiac disease which is not an allergic reaction.



sqflady

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 01:57 PM

As a registered dietitian, I will share a little additional info on allergens.  People can be allergic to any type of food.  The allergic response is to the proteins found in the food which causes the release of histamine.  Histamine then causes the symptoms of an allergic reaction.  Food allergies can develop at any point in time during the life span but are most common in children.  This woman should be referred to an allergist for allergen testing.  I will also note that people may have an allergic type response without actually being allergic to the food; this is known as a food intolerance.  Good luck!  I suspect your pumpkin contains pumpkin and the problem does not lie with you.



imperfect

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 05:23 PM

As follow up, turns out, this is what happened

 

https://www.wellandg...ir-loss-nausea/

 

 



Scampi

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 07:15 PM

Thanks for posting a follow up!!!!

 

Wow.......who knew???

 

 

So how was it resolved with the customer and are they recovering ok?


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imperfect

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 07:16 PM

Yes, customer is fine and we have had a few other cases of this pop up.  Our farmers are aware and is being addressed at farm level.



Scampi

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 07:28 PM

that's good to hear

 

Best of luck, the file alluded to the fact that it is almost impossible to tell due to the hybrid seeds


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CMHeywood

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 08:20 PM

https://www.wellandg...ir-loss-nausea/

 

What this article is talking about is a reaction to a toxic substance and not an allergic reaction.



imperfect

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 08:26 PM

I am aware, I posted it just to share the findings of what caused the adverse reaction with our customer



MsMars

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 09:16 PM

As follow up, turns out, this is what happened

 

https://www.wellandg...ir-loss-nausea/

 

Wow - how was the customer able to get a diagnosis? Hope their reaction was limited to the immediate symptoms and not long-term!



imperfect

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 09:52 PM

customer did not, haven't heard from them since



MrHillman

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 10:29 PM

Interesting that a customer feels compelled to reach out to a food packer but not seek medical care.



Charles.C

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 10:14 AM

Fascinating Case.

 

Without more info (eg request for refund++)  difficult to guess if the customer was intending a copycat stunt or a genuine case of cucurbitacin poisoning.

 

Subsequent loss of hair might be a clincher although this feature seems to be very rare. Or perhaps a toxicological analysis.

 

From other refs, the poison is apparently, unluckily, resistant to heat.

 

A few more related links  -

 

http://www.thesurviv...acin-poisoning/
https://unlcms.unl.e...pdate/zucchini1
http://www.taipeitim...1/04/2003636402
https://en.wikipedia...ki/Cucurbitacin


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C





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