Frequently asked questions

Click on a question to view the answer.

Will FreeYumm be introducing new foods in the future?

Yes! We hope to add to our line of deliciousness a couple of times a year. So stay tuned, and let us know if you have any requests that would make you jump up and say “Yeahhh!”

How do you make sure that the food you produce does not have any priority allergens?

We break our process down in three ways.Inputs: We review all of our ingredients to make sure that the manufacturer documentation is sound, so that each ingredient we bring into the facility has not been cross contaminated with an allergen before reaching us. We also test all new ingredients to ensure that manufacturer claims are accurate.

Facility Management: We don’t let allergens into our facility and we train our staff to ensure that this rule is respected above all else. Our new facility has new equipment so there has never been exposure to cross contamination, and we work very hard to ensure that it never happens.

Final testing: We maintain a test schedule for final products as a final check on quality and this gives us some final peace of mind that our processes continue to be sound.

Why is a dedicated facility so important?

Most food manufacturers either share their facility in order to reduce costs, or they simply hire another facility to make the food for them. We built our own facility, so we know it is clean as a whistle – and we keep it that way. We aren’t “hoping” that things will be ok and our co-packer cleans the equipment properly. We built it clean and we keep it clean. Because, in the end, there is no point leaving peanuts out of the ingredients list, if in the end, the product “May Contain Peanuts”. A dedicated facility means this: no allergens in = no allergens out.

What are Pure Oats?

Pure Oats are oats that are grown in dedicated fields and processed in a dedicated facility, free from contamination with gluten grains. Oats must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten to be considered Pure. The FDA in the U.S. uses the term “Gluten-Free Oats” when referring to oats with less than 20ppm gluten. The CFIA in Canada requires the use of the term “Pure Oats”, instead of Gluten-Free Oats. Whether they are called Gluten Free Oats or Pure Oats, they are the same product with different names. They are Celiac Friendly, grown and produced without contamination with gluten, and tested to ensure it contains less than 20ppm of gluten (an internationally accepted level for those with Celiac Disease).

Are FreeYumm products Gluten Free?

The standard for Gluten Free certification internationally is less than 20 parts per million of gluten. FreeYumm maintains undetectable levels of gluten in all of our products. We don’t label our products as Gluten Free because, as noted above, products that contain Oats (even pure oats) cannot be labelled as Gluten Free in  Canada.

What are priority allergens?

In Canada, there are 10 priority allergens, and combined they account for more than 90% of food allergens. The US has also identified a list of 8 priority allergens. Most countries share the same core allergens (often referred to as the big 8) and then add to this list according to local concerns.Canada’s Priority Allergens

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Mustard
  • Peanuts
  • Seafood (Fish, Crustaceans and Shellfish)
  • Sesame
  • Soy
  • Sulphites
  • Tree Nuts
  • Wheat

The United States’ Priority Allergens

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Peanuts
  • Fish
  • Crustacean shellfish
  • Soy
  • Tree Nuts
  • Wheat

What is the difference between Food Sensitivity, Food Intolerance and Food Allergy?

Food Sensitivity – A food sensitivity is an adverse reaction to a food that other people can safely eat, and includes food allergies, food intolerances, and chemical sensitivities.Food Allergy – A food allergy is an immune system response. It occurs when the body mistakes an ingredient in food, usually a protein, as harmful and creates a defense system (antibodies) to fight it. Food allergy symptoms develop when the antibodies are battling the “invading” food. The most common food allergies are peanuts, tree nuts (such as walnuts, pecans and almonds), fish, and shellfish, milk, eggs, soy products, and wheat.

Food Intolerance – A food intolerance is a digestive system response rather than an immune system response. It occurs when something in a food irritates a person’s digestive system or when a person is unable to properly digest or breakdown the food. Intolerance to lactose, which is found in milk and other dairy products, is the most common food intolerance. Celiac disease is a food intolerance to gluten. Eczema, stomach and intestinal troubles, headaches and even behavioural issues are just a few of the symptoms people demonstrate when suffering from a food intolerance. People with food intolerances can also find that they are always catching the latest cold and it never goes away. If your child has eczema and can never seem to shake that cold, chances are s/he has a food intolerance.

Are the ingredients that FreeYumm uses Non GMO and Organic?

Where possible, FreeYumm chooses Non GMO and Organic ingredients, however this is not always possible as the most important aspect of FreeYumm ingredients sourcing is the assurance that they are free of the priority allergens. Being allergen free will trump all other items on our wish list when sourcing ingredients.It is important to note that by eliminating the priority allergens, we have automatically eliminated the most genetically modified food sources currently produced.

Why does FreeYumm not use processed Cane Sugar?

It’s a good question. Using processed cane sugar (white table sugar) would make life a lot easier for us. Most food producers use processed cane sugar because it costs significantly less than natural sweeteners (such as Maple Syrop and Honey), and this allows for the production of cheap food.At FreeYumm we set a challenge for ourselves to not use processed cane sugar (eliminating the priority allergens wasn’t challenge enough!) We did this because processed cane sugar has a high glycemic index and as a result dramatically fluctuates our blood sugar levels, creating manic spikes and crashes in energy levels. Processed cane sugar has also been found to retard our immune system for up to 5 hours after ingestion. In short, processed cane sugar is not a gift we want to give to the people we care about.

And let’s not forget all of the great vitamins and minerals found in natural sweeteners!

Why are we seeing such a dramatic rise in food allergies?

There is no clear answer. Essentially it comes down to two factors: genetics and environment. However, given that the rate of allergies is doubling every 10-15 years, the problem cannot be blamed on genetics. Most scientists attribute it to the overuse of certain foods, the high use of chemicals in modern food production, and a significantly altered food supply (genetically modified foods).What do we mean by overuse? Well, go into 10 restaurants and ask what the kids menu is. You can be guaranteed that it will read something like this: Grilled Cheese (dairy and wheat); Pizza (dairy and wheat); Macaroni and Cheese (dairy and wheat)… Try to find a granola bar that is nut free. Try to find a baked good that is egg free. Day in and day out we are pounding ourselves with a very small list of ingredients and our bodies are probably saying: STOP!

Is gluten an allergen?

No, gluten is not an allergen. People with the inability to digest gluten have what is called Celiac Disease, which is a food intolerance and can be mild or extremely sever, depending on the person.

So what? I don’t have any food allergies!

We are happy to hear that you don’t have to manage this issue in your life. And we have three simple points to make:A healthy diet is full of variety. If you don’t have allergies, there is a good chance you are relying on the old standbys. Dairy, Egg, Wheat, Nuts… the list of priority allergens is also a list of the most overused foods in our society. Give your body a break by giving it some variety, so that it doesn’t become oversensitive. Remember that many people, as they hit 40ish, are finding that their bodies are beginning to rebel after “overdosing” over the years. They never had issues in the past but are now gaining new sensitivities to these top allergen foods.

15% of the population suffers from some kind of food sensitivity. Given that at least 15% of the population is now suffering from some kind of food sensitivity, there is a good chance that you know a number of people who can’t eat certain foods. Why not be inclusive in your choices and ensure you serve food that everyone can enjoy? There is nothing better than being the one who brings yummy treats that everyone can eat.

Have you tried the Yumm!?! Allergen free or not, it is delicious and you will enjoy it!

How can I get FreeYumm introduced at my local store?

We would love to be in your local store! Download and print out our product request form, and take the form to your local store manager – it has all the information they need! And if you send us an email telling us who you sent the sheet to, we will be able to follow up and make it happen. Thanks in advance!

Is Mustard a priority allergen?

In Canada, Mustard was recently added to the list of priority allergens. It is a rare but sometimes severe allergy. The main reason mustard has been added to the list of priority allergens is that it has always been grouped under the labeling term “seasoning”, which makes it extremely difficult for people to determine if they can consume certain products. Requiring food to be labelled when mustard is present helps those managing this allergy.

Are FreeYumm products mustard free?

You would think this would be a straightforward answer! The short answer is that we don’t use any mustard in our products or in our facility. The long answer, which is important for people with severe mustard allergies to read, follows:Mustard has a 90% genetic similarity to Canola, and as a result it is believed that people with severe reactions to mustard may also react to Canola. Here’s our concern: Canola is one of the most widely produced crops in Canada. As a result, cross contamination between Canola and other crops inevitably happens in the fields. We tested our products for mustard and the tests came back negative (there was no mustard in our products). However, we do have trace amounts of Canola protein in our products (approximately 5 parts per million) due to cross contamination at the field level. While the amount is low, we do not feel comfortable stating that the product is mustard free when, possibly, the Canola could cause a reaction for some people. So now you know the situation and you can make your own decision. Hopefully this helps! As always, please contact us if you have any further questions.

What is coconut palm sugar?

Coconut palm sugar is an unrefined brown sugar with a rich, caramel flavour. It is produced by tapping the nectar from the coconut palm blossom. The sweet nectar is dried and forms into whole brown sugar crystals, creating one of mother nature’s most incredible sweeteners.

Does FreeYumm contain coconut?

Our products do not contain coconut. We use coconut palm sugar in our bars and cookies. However, coconut palm sugar is derived from the flower of the coconut palm and not the coconut itself. And just to be sure that our bars and cookies are indeed free of coconut we regularly test for the presence of the coconut protein.

Why does FreeYumm use multiple types of sweeteners?

On our mission to making yummy, sharable snacks, we have found that using a blend of different sweeteners simply tastes best. Maple Syrup, Coconut Palm Sugar and Honey offer a depth of unique flavour and aroma in our baking. Each sweetener has been carefully selected for our bar and cookie recipes. Yumm!

What does “school friendly” mean?

Nut-free food is a requirement at many schools these days. All FreeYumm bars and cookies are made in a peanut-free and tree nut-free facility, so they are safe for kids to take with them to school. In addition to peanuts, our goodies are free of the other major food allergens (milk, eggs, wheat/gluten, soy, tree nuts, sesame, seafood and sulphites) so many more people can enjoy them too!

Are all FreeYumm foods vegan?

Our cookies are vegan, but our bars currently contain organic honey.