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    Stop & Shop Helps Prevent Allergic Reactions to Food

    "Take Action to Prevent an Allergic Reaction" is the slogan for the program.

    In observation of National Food Safety Education Month this September, Stop & Shop has been stepping up its efforts to prevent allergic reactions to food among its shoppers.

    This year's theme, "Take Action to Prevent an Allergic Reaction," focuses on the importance of reducing the incidence of food allergy reactions.

    "We are working diligently to help our customers with allergies," noted consumer advisor Andrea Astrachan. "For example, due to high incidence of peanut allergies among children, we removed the bulk bins for tree nuts and peanuts and now sell them pre-packaged. We did this in response to parents of children with nut allergies and others who wrote to us with safety concerns, as severe allergic reactions can occur from peanut and tree nut dust."

    The Ahold USA banner is also helping customers who are unable to digest gluten, by offering a larger selection of such products. "New great-tasting gluten-free pastas, baking mixes, and snacks can help people with celiac disease eat a more varied diet, so we are expanding our selection of these convenient products," said Astrachan. "And we want to make it easy for customers to find them in our stores, so many of our stores have been refitted with separate gluten-free sections within the natural and organic department. Gluten-free signs also assist customers in finding the products they need to maintain their diet and live gluten-free."

    As an additional resource, consumers can visit http://www.stopandshop.com and click on Healthy Ideas to find more information about celiac disease and a list of gluten-free Stop & Shop brand foods.

    Additionally, Stop & Shop has joined forces with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) and sponsored its Boston Gluten-Free Cooking Spree, part of a nationwide series of cook-offs with Boston chefs and doctors at the Back Bay Events Center. In partnership with the NFCA, Stop & Shop pharmacy is hosting a Gluten in Medications event for hospital, community, and its own pharmacists to educate pharmacists about celiac disease, the issues of gluten in medication, and how celiac disease may affect normal absorption of both prescription and nonprescription medications.

    Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop employs over 59,000 associates and operates stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and New Jersey.

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