And Speaking of Sugar

Last night I ate a small piece of candy, an Easter egg with a cream filling. I had an immediate and scary reaction: my throat felt weird, it started to hurt and I began coughing and didn’t stop for the next three hours.

The ingredients don’t seem to have anything that should make me wary. The label lists milk chocolate made with sugar, whole milk, cocoa butter and soy lecithin; vanillan (artificial flavor), sugar, corn syrup, egg albumen, salt, vanilla, invertase (an enzyme), and sodium hydroxide. Made on machines used with peanuts, tree nuts and wheat.

As far as I know, I’m not allergic to any of that stuff. But I have to tell you, the experience scared the crap out of me.

15 thoughts on “And Speaking of Sugar

  1. I get the same reaction, and it usually happens about an hour after eating whatever set it off. It comes from some processed food, (frozen fish sticks; frozen mini quiche?) and feels like the onset of the flu. I’ve stopped buying that crap, even from whole paycheck. Buy your chocolate locally!

  2. Maybe the sodium hydroxide. If they didn’t quite get the pH right, or just added too much (say, at the end of a ‘run’), it would have a similar effect. Right away weird tingly feeling, then edema, irritation etc. Was the taste pretty bitter?

  3. Who knows what was in that. If you happen to have enough of the wrapper to call the manufacturer & identify th elot number, maybe you can report it. For all we know a whole bunch of candy needs to be recalled.

    I wonder what a good first aid would be. Any kind of anti-histamine that you happen to have on hand would probably help if it happens again.

  4. Mrs. Phydeaux has a severe shellfish allergy. Carries an epi pen with her everywhere. Just the smell of shrimp and crabs can trigger a reaction. Bought a bag of veggie chips at Whole Food$ once, took them home for munching. After a few, her throat began to swell and she began coughing as hives formed. Read the bag’s small print where we found a caution that the chips were processed in a factory that also processes shellfish. Scary. We read everything now.

  5. Bisulfites do that to me. (And oh, did I get a lot of specially cooked foods in the hospital when I told them about that allergy. Plus a visit from the dietitian.)
    Keep a bottle of Benedryl at hand. You never know.

  6. Please publish the brand, the maker of the poisen. I had a young friend, with asthma who took a chance that since she lived ‘close’ to a hospital, she could make it in time to save her life, but, she died because of it. Please don’t touch the poisen again. I really like your writing whether here or elsewhere.

  7. Please don’t accept any ‘small plane’ rides with anyone at all! I think Cheney’s death squad has a ‘hit order’ out on you, yes, I’m paranoid, but only if I’m wrong.

  8. Sounds like my reaction to hazelnuts. My throat closes up so I can’t catch a breath. I’m very, very wary of European chocolate and always read labels before buying.

  9. Saw one of those little “niggling” details over on an eco blog. Seems that there are over 100,000 chemicals used in the world. Vast majority are totally artificial. In the US, the FDA has jurisdiction, sort of. Seems like during the reign of George the Genius, the FDA developed a new set of unreported rules which allowed 20,000 man made chemicals to be used that do not have to be reported because it might give away “trade secrets.”

    I think you have stumbled on to one of those “trade secrets.”

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