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Mar 18, 2011 10:36 PM

Nut Free Ice Cream Parlors or Trucks in the Boston area (not Rita's)

Hello, I have a dear friend whose daughter is allergic to all tree nuts and peanuts. She has been going to Rita's in Salem as they have been nut free and a very happy summer haven for the family to go. Unfortunately Rita's is now carrying ice cream with peanuts and Resee's products. Such a sad day for my friend! Does anyone know of a nut free ice cream parlor or an ice cream truck that is nut free? With all the nut allergies, I'm surprised this is so hard to find! TIA!

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  1. So she can't be in the same building with nuts? How difficult this will be for her. I know of no such place in the Boston area.

    3 Replies
    1. re: smtucker

      It's not being in the building with nuts, it's the possibility of cross contamination, which is significant in an ice cream shop. Although my peanut/tree nut allergic son has safely eaten nut-free pastries in many bakeries that also sell products with nuts, he stays away from ice cream shops.

      Why? Because all day long, they are taking scoops that have had nutty ice creams on them, perhaps rinsing them thoroughly, perhaps not, and dipping them into nut free ice creams. For most people, this is not a problem. But along comes someone with a nut allergy, who orders the plain vanilla (or whatever) and that plain ice cream is contaminated with nut reside from previous scoopings. For some people, all it takes is a microscopic amount to cause a reaction.

      And this is why ice cream parlors are among the most dangerous places for people with nut allergies.

      1. re: Isolda

        Thank you for the explanation. I didn't understand the extra concern, but I see what you mean exactly. I had no idea.

        1. re: Isolda

          I would think soft-serv would be a good choice then. No scoops going into it. Im not a big softserve fan myself but if it was between that and none, or an allergic reaction..... A place like Dairy Joy in Weston. Sure they carry some crushed nuts that they use as sundae toppings if you ask but the icecreams are all softserv and only come in about 8 flavors, none of which have nuts.

      2. She might be best served by buying an ice cream maker and doing it herself. Easy, cheap, and the environment is controlled to suit her needs.

        1 Reply
        1. re: tartandfit

          Yes I actually had an ice cream maker that I wasn't using but to her point, it is not the same as going to an ice cream parlor and ordering ice cream "at a real store". I feel her frustration and I have seen a few nut free bakeries but with more and more people suffering, I think it would be great to have a nut free ice cream parlor option! Maybe someone out there will read this and open one for all my peanut/tree nut allergy friends. :)

        2. i saw your post in the main chowhound board and wanted to reply even though i offer no help. this is big issue right now in one of the food allergy message boards and everyone is pretty upset with Ritas. i've never been to Rita's nor do they have any near me so i suppose i can't miss what i don't know.

          as far as a safe ice cream parlor there isn't much out there. some people say dairy queen may be ok. my son is allergic to nuts and peanuts and b/c he's so young we haven't gone out for ice cream yet. the only ice cream we buy is breyers vanilla. i would try a soft serve place as someone else recommended and ask may questions on their equipment (how often it's cleaned, if they have anything else other than vanilla/chocolate etc...) good luck!