Toufayan Bakery is voluntarily recalling Publix GreenWise Animal Crackers with a UPC of 0-41415-12009-9 (located on the back of the pouch) and with an expiration date of Feb 05, 2023. The company admits that the animal crackers contain an undeclared tree nut allergen — coconut.
People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to coconut or tree nuts run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product. The product was distributed to Publix Supermarkets in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee.
According to the company, an investigation indicated the problem was caused by a temporary breakdown in the production and packaging processes.
Technically speaking, a nut is defined as a one-seeded fruit. Under that loose definition, a coconut can also be classified as a nut. However, coconuts lack many of the proteins to which people with tree nut allergies react negatively, so oftentimes consumers with tree nut allergies can safely eat coconut without having an allergic reaction.
You can return the recalled animal crackers to Publix for a full refund
Basically, coconut allergies are rare; but they are serious for those who are truly allergic. Thus, the recall needed to go as planned. But even if someone in your family with a nut allergy accidentally consumed the GreenWise Animal Crackers, they would likely digest the food without incident.
Nevertheless, customers who have purchased Publix GreenWise Animal Crackers are urged to return it to their local store for a full refund. You can also contact the manufacturer Toufayan at 1-813-754-5565 with further questions.
Interestingly (and importantly), while the FDA treats coconut as a tree nut for labeling purposes, restaurants often do not treat coconuts as tree nuts. If you’re worried you have a coconut allergy, it’s highly recommended to call out that ingredient to the server specifically when dining out. Then, take the same precautionary measures you would with any other food allergy.