Sweets and chocolates can be particularly difficult with a nut allergy. Labelling in the UK has improved markedly since EU legislation was brought in, this requires companies to declare if any amount of a list of allergens is present.
It is important to bear in mind that this only applies to intended ingredients, so cross-contamination can still result in nuts or peanuts finding their way into the final product. This could occur from a production line which had been previously used for a different, nut-containing, product, from accidental contamination during packaging, or from contamination by a factory employee.
Companies use ‘may contains’ labels to warn of this possibility but these declarations are voluntary. If you obey these labels then the risk decreases, particularly with large manufacturers, but the only way to guarantee a product will be entirely nut free is to purchase items made in a nut free factory. There are a variety of manufacturers who use a nut free factory, for example: Kinnerton’s, Fabulous Baking Boys, It’s Nut Free. You can eat these products to your heart’s content, and the only thing you need to worry about is your waistline!
Other manufacturers maintain lists of products which are safe for nut allergy sufferers, but again these are subject to the risk of cross-contamination as above, although the risk is smaller the larger and more responsible the manufacturer.
There are links to these nut allergy lists below. Since these lists can change the details have not been reproduced here. Manufacturing methods can change without notice, for example, a move to a different factory. Because of this it is important to get into the habit of always checking the label for chocolates and sweets, and not to become complacent.