Is it just me or has the Costco shopping excursion become a staple of the weekend family ritual? From this parent's perspective, the love of Costco centers first aroiund savings, secondly around the amazing free food cart samples inticing you at every aisle and lastly knowing that the Costco "return policy" is on part with Norstrom's. All of these things combined insure that we come back over and over again….the lure of $1.50 hot dogs, inexpensive movie tickets, 20 pound bags of tortilla chips and filling up on the lowest gas in the city.
However, on the dark side of any store that serves free food samples, especially from the perspective of a parent of kids with food allergies….Costco can be a very challenging experience. Most of the time, the "sample" food carts are seldom serving "safe" foods…so attempting to keep Child 1 and Child 2 content while shopping can be a challenge. Can I have that? Can I eat that? Every corner is filled with no's and more no's. For a while I have known about the "safety" of the Costco Fruit Smoothie…which I typically can easily feed 2 to 3 kids and provide a safe food treat while I shop through paradise. As with any food item, I check the ingredients on every visit…but ultimately, it does help get me through the store easier than having to say "no" every 22 feet.
Today while at my local Costco, I was able to get a copy of the "Costco Food Court" Nutrional and Allergen Data (Dated 3/16/2011). This sheet contained a detailed list of the food allergens found in food items at Costco; namely, Wheat, Milk, Egg, Anchovy, Tree Nut, Almonds and Soy. The contents has been summarized in to the table below.
As always with all things relating to food allergies, it is always advised that you should ALWAYS request for the current food ingredients for the items that you are ordering. Food recipes can change at any time and a food that may have been safe in the past…may not be safe now. In other words, please do not ASSUME that the information above is correct or accurate.
The allergen information in the table above is to merely help "guide" you to discover new "options" on food items offererd at Costco that may give you new options when shopping with your children on your next visit.