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M & P Food Productions, LTD. of Brooklyn, NY is recalling several varieties of Vareniki/Dumplings because it was discovered that the products contain undeclared Milk and Wheat, therefore posing a potential health hazard. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to these allergens run the risk of illness or serious or potentially fatal allergic reaction if they consume these products.

The ingredients statement of the products did not declare the presence of milk or wheat. As a result, we are recalling all of the products listed below with "BEST BEFORE SEP 19 2011" through "BEST BEFORE MAR 19 2012" from the market:
  •     Bapehuku Dupling brand Vareniki cabbage, NET WT. 14 oz., UPC 7 07163 02619 8;
  •     Bapehuku Dupling brand Vareniki potato & onion, NET WT. 14 oz., UPC 7 0 7163 02616 7;
  •     Bapehuku Dupling brand Vareniki potato & mushroom, NET WT. 14 oz., UPC 7 07163 02617 4;
  •     Bapehuku Dupling brand Vareniki farmer cheese, NET WT. 14 oz., UPC 7 0716 302618 1;
  •     Bapehuku Dupling brand Vareniki sour cherry, NET WT. 14 oz., UPC 7 07163 02615 0.
The products were distributed to retail stores in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, New Jersey, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

All products are packed by weight (14 oz.) and are distributed frozen in sealed plastic bags. Labeling is printed directly onto the individual bags. Vareniki Cabbage packages have a yellow and green background with green and black lettering. Vareniki Potato & Onion packages have a yellow and brown background with brown and black lettering. Vareniki Potato & Mushroom packages have a yellow and blue background with blue and black lettering. Vareniki Farmer Cheese packages have a yellow and purple background with purple and black lettering. Vareniki Sour Cherry packages have a yellow and red background with red and black lettering.

No illnesses related to the recalled products have been reported to date.

The recall was initiated as a result of a labeling problem discovered during a USDA inspection which was confirmed by the FDA during a follow-up visit to the manufacturer.

Consumers who have purchased any of the above listed products are urged to return it (them) to the place of purchase for a refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at (718) 438-6421 Monday - Friday 9 am - 4 pm ET.

Source:
http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm273294.htm

How it all started

Overwhelmed. ..anxious. ..excited…and a gamut of other emotions are what I felt that day.  Did I hear this new doctor right?  He left the exam room stating “wait here, I think I have something that might help you.”

I was out-of-town for a week when I started with sinus problems on the second day there.  I was in a familiar town, had a former doctor there, but chose to visit a walk-in clinic hoping to be in and out of there quickly.  I knew that going to my former doctor meant possibly waiting days to get in for a visit or waiting a long time in a waiting room, then an exam room.  That may have been the best decision I’ve made.  I had waited 3 days since the congestion began and my ears were still clogged.  I knew I had a sinus infection and prayed that I could get put on an antibiotic, as based on past experience, if I didn’t, it was going to get unbearable and require a stronger antibiotic than I wanted to take.

I went to a walk-in clinic shortly after they opened for the day.  There was only one other patient there.  So far, so good.  When the doctor walked into the exam room, he was an older man.  Yes, my prayers were being answered…short wait (important because I had a 10 month old with me) and from past experience, younger doctors tend to not want to prescribe antibiotics, but I knew what I needed.  After reviewing my medical history with me...fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, IBS, migraines, depression, abdominal pain (blamed on ovarian cysts)…he examined me and determined I did have a sinus infection.  That’s when he said, “I’ll be right back.  I might have something to help you.”  Of course, I’m imagining he’s gone to get me a neti pot and my stomach turns.

He comes back with copies of something from the internet.  My curiosity is piqued.  He explains that he has started giving information to patients that come to him with a history similar to mine.  It’s information about celiac disease.  I listen to what he has to say while I remind myself that I was tested for that about six years prior and it was negative.  Hence, the diagnosis of IBS. He asks me to contact him in about 3 weeks to see how I’ve done with it (note to self, contact doctor!).  Wow, a doctor that knows I live out of state and he wants to know how I’m doing after I try this?  I leave with a prescription for an antibiotic, a recommendation of an OTC sinus and cold medicine, and wondering if this doctor might have the answer for my other symptoms.

Loving to read, I buy the book he recommends (The Gluten Connection) and wait anxiously for it arrive.  I started googling gluten-free and celiac disease.  I realize that I needed to immediately change what I eat.  The information is shouting out at me:  you have these symptoms, nothing else has worked, it can’t hurt to try it.  Okay, it can hurt the food budget, but if I can function better and feel better, it will be worth it.

My next blog will describe what I’ve experienced in the past month since starting to eat gluten-free.

This just in from Frances Kelley, Austin Chair, GIG of Central and South Texas, via the Celiac Listserv:
Many of the members of GIG of Central and South Texas have talked about the Jenny’s Bakehouse products.  Some of you have mentioned how much you enjoyed them.  Others have talked about getting sick after consuming the product.  Because of the number of people who claimed to have gotten ill after eating the products we sent samples of the Kaiser Buns and Dinner Rolls to GIG’s national office for testing.

GIG tested the products in house and sent the products to an outside lab for further testing.  Both products tested positive for gluten using r-5 and G12 Elisa testing methods in the test performed by GIG and the test performed by the lab.  The lab test showed that both products tested as having gluten in excess of 10,000 ppm (parts per million).  Keep in mind that the FDA proposed definition for labeling a product gluten free is that the product tests to less than 20 ppm. 

Based on this information, GIG of Central and South Texas strongly recommends that you do NOT consume these products.

For questions, please contact GIG at 253-833-6655 ext 104.

Celiac Awareness Day

Today is September 13th, 2011. Celiac awareness day!  Why is it so important to have such a day? Because without awareness we have no voice, we will never have a cure, we will constantly suffer from mislabeled foods, accidental gluten intake, and cross contamination.

I have compiled some great links for everyone to read over, that are chock full of statistics. The saddest one is that 1 in every 22 people have this disease if someone in their family has it, and 1 in 133 people without a family history have Celiac, and yet no one knows about it? How is this possible?

Here are the links I have found:

http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddisease/pubs/celiac

www.celiaccentral.org/Celiac-Disease/facts-figures/35/

www.celiac.com/articles/1164/1/Celiac-disease-Statistics/page1.html

http://celiac-disease.emedtv.com/celiac-disease/celiac-disease-statistics.html

Please spread the word today, blog, facebook, twitter, hang a billboard, hire an sky writer, put it on a hot air ballon, put a sign on your dog, write it in the sand, squirt on your plate with mustard, whatever it takes. Let's not run screaming through crowds naked with it painted on our bodies, that would be extravagantly silly, but tell someone who may not know about it.
BUI Natural Tofu, Portland, Oregon is voluntarily recalling their Shrimp Salad Roll and Vegetarian Salad Roll because they contain undeclared soy and wheat. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to soy and wheat run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product.

The salad rolls contain undeclared allergens as follows:
  • Shrimp Salad Roll with the UPC 8 95467 00203 8 contains but ingredient statement did not declare Soy and Wheat.
  •  Vegetarian Salad Roll with the UPC 8 95467 00204 5 contains but ingredient statement did not declare Soy and Wheat.
Shrimp Salad Roll and Vegetarian Salad Roll were distributed to retail stores in Portland Metropolitan area in Oregon. Products are sold under BUI fresh from the bean brand.

The products are packaged in a tray with clear plastic wrapper, and are coded with a white sticker containing expiration date from 9/2 through 9/13. The products are refrigerated and have the shelf life about three days.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

The recall was initiated after it was discovered by Oregon Department of Agriculture that the Soy and Wheat containing products were being sold in packaging that did not declare the presence of Soy and Wheat.

This recall is being made with the knowledge of the Food and Drug Administration.

Consumers who have bought these products are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company directly at 503-803-3059 between the hours of 8:00-5:00 PST.
Source:

Absolutely unjust!

I just found out that THIS will be coming to stores soon! AAARG! Usually I keep a cool head about things (BWAH!) But this is just unfair! Who among us hasn't laughed hysterically at that skit? It is the best! A true classic! And we don't get any. We all know about my love of Ice cream. I adore ice cream, I would marry ice cream, I devour ice cream, and lately all I can tolerate is stupid dumb vanilla soy ice cream. Pffft, that's not ice cream! And this one has malted milk balls? Awww, even the word malt lets you know we can't have any.

And I don't even want to hear the so and so's say "Hmm quite, I think it tastes just as good as regular blah blah hurrumph hurrumph". No! NO! It does NOT taste just as good! I cry foul!

I'm sad. I may be forced to run out and grab Jimmy Fallon's late night snack instead. I can eat that one. The dairy doesn't love me anymore, but it doesn't hate me as much as the gluten. yet.

Stay strong my fellow Glutenators. You never know when temptation will arrive in all it's delicious glory!

Every month I bring Celiac.com information to a podcast format that will keep you up to date with the world of celiac disease and gluten-free living.

My goal is to keep the show lively, the topics significant, and the technical info easy on the ears.

So, subscribe and stay tuned for regular updates!  I hope you like how the show is going. 

Need me to crank the music up?  Down?  Got a topic to suggest or a question to ask? 

Be sure to write me for show requests and feedback! 

If you're in the Forum, my "handle" is Glutenoid.

See you there!
Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., (NASDAQ: WINN) is voluntarily recalling “Winn-Dixie Choco Charm Chocolate Drink” from its in-store dairy departments because the product may be mislabeled and may contain the undeclared allergen of wheat. Individuals sensitive to wheat protein can suffer a moderate-acute allergic reaction.

Sold in the dairy department of Winn-Dixie and SaveRite stores, the “Winn-Dixie Choco Charm Chocolate Drink” features a 128 oz. (one gallon) clear plastic bottle with a yellow bottle cap and is marked with the UPC code 21140-29830.

The product affected by this recall was sold in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. The recall was initiated out of an abundance of caution for consumer safety, though the Company has received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of this product. “We encourage guests with any concerns to return the product for a full refund, no questions asked,” said Mary Kellmanson, Winn-Dixie’s group vice president of marketing.

Winn-Dixie is working in cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network.

Consumers with questions or any doubt are encouraged to return the product to their neighborhood Winn-Dixie or SaveRite store for a full refund or exchange. Consumers with questions about the recalled product may also contact Winn-Dixie Guest Services toll free at 1-866-WINN-DIXIE.
Source:

So Unfair

Our lives revolve around food. The selection of ingredients, the preparation, the clean up, these activities take up a large portion of our everyday lives. Our very survival depends on our food intake. For those of us with food allergies, thoughts of food become almost compulsive.

We can't eat this, can't eat that, can't eat there! See this, want that, can't have it. So we obsess and plan and hoard our gluten free products with rabid looks in our eyes.

Luckily, we live in a world where, for most of us food is plentiful. Imagine what it was like before restaurants, before ovens, before microwaves, refrigerators, even ice! Imagine what it is still like for those who don't have money for food, or a home to eat it in. When put in that context, our challenges become easier to swallow, pun intended.

We don't have to dress warmly in order to endure the bitter cold, as we try to hunt and gather to feed our families, unless you count the subzero temperatures of the grocery store, which sometimes I do! It's cold in there!

In looking for inspiration for this blog, I stumbled across a fabulous site that has a food timeline, telling us when certain food items came into the world. Here it is ----> www.foodtimeline.org. On that site I happened to see fried coca cola. Yes, fried coke! How I ask you? I know we live in a day of decadence, we really do. I have heard of fried twinkies, oreos, pickles, etc. None of which we glutenators can have, which can only be a blessing as we may as well stuff it in an artery as to eat it!

But, fried coke? How do they do this? And why do I want it so bad? It must be gross, it HAS to be, and yet, I want it! I will call it my precious, and my precious it shall be!  How would they do this? Inject the cola into a fried dough ball perhaps? I had to look, and because of my insatiable curiousity, I felt the need to share what I found with you. Here ---> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/fried_coke

I am convinced this delicacy must be scrumptious. It was sent to temp me into insensibility until I succumb to it's wiles! I will stand firm!  I will remind myself of the poor cavemen and so forth I mentioned above. Hunter and gatherers, yep, that's what I will think of instead of the wonders of fried, doughy, devil sent tantalizations.

Why do we as a nation feel the need to fry everything? I have never been a  fanatic of the fricasee, but I do love fried zucchini, and those green beans they fry up and serve with wasabi sauce? OH the unfairness! I tried to make fried zucchini at home using rice flour, and it smelled like baby formula. Not appetizing at all. I WILL figure it out though, and when I do I will share it with you.

Be strong fellow glutenators, we CAN do this! We WILL do this, and we will do it well! We are tough!


Positivity

Being positive in a negative situation is difficult. It's hard to find the glass half full, the silver lining, or the clown that isn't scary! However, it is necessary when dealing with gluten allergies.

We all have those days where we feel down and wonder "why me?", but we can't let those days beat us down.  In order to be healthy all we have to do is not eat foods with gluten. Too simple? Maybe, because it IS hard to do. Especially when we are accidently glutened.

We can however pull ourselves out of the why me funk, and realize that it could be worse. Here are some examples how:
  1. We could have horrific chainsaw accidents that leave us with no arms, and we wouldn't be able to feed ourselves at all! (Gee Kelly, you're so graphic!) But, it's true! that would be awful.
  2. Badgers could sneak in and steal ALL of our food! (Badgers? really? YES badgers!, sneaky little buggers.)
  3. Paris Hilton could come to your work tomorrow and sing to you all day! (How much would that hurt? That would be painful! Imagine if when she finally left the song she was singing got stuck in your head all night! {shudder})
  4. You start to believe your family pets are plotting your demise. (Ok, this isn't a good one because I really do think my cat is trying to kill me, but that's another story)
  5. Your best friend could start a new hobby where she/he sits in front of you slowly eating cupcakes and giggling maniacally. (she/he wouldn't be your best friend for long I tell you that!)
The moral of the story is to just be happy. Life is too short for negativity, and if those around you are negative set them straight or move along. None of us need negative influences in our lives, our lives are hard enough. Find the funny in everyday life. Seek out happiness. Enjoy the sunshine, sniff the flowers, they at least are gluten free! Yes, I know you are allergic to flowers too! Well suck it up little glutenators! Take a Zyrtec, and keep on keepin' on!

Vacation Bliss

Nestled in the rolling hills and mountains of Vermont lies literally the sweetest little factory imaginable. It is the Ben & Jerry's Factory, and my family and I were lucky enough to be able to go there this weekend.

Never one to pass up an opportunity to eat ice cream, especially Ben & Jerry's, I was ecstatic. After a short tour of the facility, and an education on how their delicacies are made, patrons are then given a sample of their glorious ice cream. The best part? There was a listing on the counter of the ingredients in the sample for those of us with food allergies.

How fabulous is that? To be able to effectively monitor what you are ingesting while on a tour, I thought was an amazing thing. Instead of crossing your fingers while standing on one leg, hoping in our little allergic souls that we don't get sick from the wonders we are about to partake of, someone has taken care of the worrying for you.

As all of us know, being on vacation can cause havoc in our systems, so this moment of mine was a scoop of heaven and was very much enjoyed and appreciated. Enjoy your summers fellow glutenators!
The Christie Cookie Company issues allergy alert on undeclared eggs, Soy Lecithin, wheat and milk on the labels of the following gift tins:

Item # 1035 DoubleTree 6 (13.5 oz) Cookie Gift Tin.
Item # 10352 DoubleTree Anniversary Special containing two 6 Cookie Gift Tins (27 oz.).
Item # 1037 DoubleTree 12 (27 oz.) Cookie Gift Tin.
Item # 1038 DoubleTree 15 (33.75 oz.) Cookie Gift Tin.
Item # 1039 DoubleTree 24 (54 oz.) Cookie Gift Tin.

The Christie Cookie Company of Nashville, TN is recalling the cookie gift tins listed above, because they contain eggs, soy lecithin, wheat and milk which are not declared on the label.

People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to eggs, soy lecithin, wheat or milk run the risk of serious or lifethreatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

“The Cookie by DoubleTree” gift tins were distributed throughout the United States via direct mail and sold directly to consumers at DoubleTree hotels.

The cookie gift tins were in a variety of metal containers containing 6-24 cookies under the product name ”The Cookie by DoubleTree.”

No illnesses have been reported to date.

The recall was initiated after it was discovered that product containing eggs, soy lecithin, wheat and milk was distributed in packaging that did not reveal the presence of eggs, soy lecithin, wheat or milk on the outside of the cookie gift tin.

If you are allergic or think you might be allergic to eggs, milk wheat or soy, do not eat this product. For more information about this recall, please contact Bob Turner at (615) 242-3817 between the hours of 7:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. central time.

Source:

Gluten Addictive?

Did you know that Gluten can affect the receptors in the brain the same way Opium does? I didn't. It makes sense however, who of us hasn't sat down to a fabulously crafted pizza, or a bowl of pasta and felt that lethargy come on? It also explains why gluten / wheat products can be addictive in their own right, making it difficult for those of us who absolutely know, we KNOW we can't eat them, and yet we just can't help ourselves sometimes.

After the last time I made the mistake of thinking one sandwich won't hurt me, I hope to never fall down that slippery slope again.

On a recent trip to New Hampshire, we went to Weir's beach and they have fried dough there. Think of those words... fried...dough. I am proud and happy to tell you I did not succumb to the deliciousness. It was a glorious piece of work much like funnel cake, but larger and covered in powdered sugar. It would have exploded in my mouth with "fabulousness," and in my gut like dynamite.

My skin would have "rashed out," I would have gotten puffy, and "headachy," nauseous, on and on the symptoms would have hit, and yet I wanted one! So bad! Now, as we are planning a return trip to New Hampshire, I know I will be faced yet again with those fried dough plates of gorgeousness and pain.

But I hope to resist them again, and wish all of you the luck to do the same my fellow glutenators, when faced with your gluten filled temptations.
Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., (NASDAQ: WINN) is voluntarily recalling “Winn-Dixie Choco Charm Chocolate Drink” from its in-store dairy departments because the product may be mislabeled and may contain the undeclared allergen of wheat. Individuals sensitive to wheat protein can suffer a moderate-acute allergic reaction.

Sold in the dairy department of Winn-Dixie and SaveRite stores, the “Winn-Dixie Choco Charm Chocolate Drink” features a 128 oz. (one gallon) clear plastic bottle with a yellow bottle cap and is marked with the UPC code 21140-29830.

The product affected by this recall was sold in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. The recall was initiated out of an abundance of caution for consumer safety, though the Company has received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of this product. “We encourage guests with any concerns to return the product for a full refund, no questions asked,” said Mary Kellmanson, Winn-Dixie’s group vice president of marketing.

Winn-Dixie is working in cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network.

Consumers with questions or any doubt are encouraged to return the product to their neighborhood Winn-Dixie or SaveRite store for a full refund or exchange. Consumers with questions about the recalled product may also contact Winn-Dixie Guest Services toll free at 1-866-WINN-DIXIE.

Source:
I see a lot of stories about Gluten allergies, but none tell the real story. What it's really like on a daily basis to have a gluten allergy. Most people think, Oh well, if you don't eat it you must feel fine.

Not so! We may feel better, but it's a constant battle. We have to be ever vigilant against the threat of cross contamination, of wheat being in our cosmetics, (cosmetics! How insane is that?) of slipping up and having "just a little", of bloating, diarrhea, constipation, or nausea, of skin rashes, puffiness, headaches, joint aches, memory loss.

It's a daily mission to find clothes that somehow hide our bloated bellies, without making it look worse, or without making us look pregnant when we certainly aren't!

The guy at the kabob place that looks at you weird when you tell him not to put the bread in there, that feels great! Not to mention your poor long suffering friends and family!

My grandma had celiac sprue, she was sicker that a cat with a 5 pound hairball! But, it never seemed as if it was a bad thing, she made delicious food, grew her own herbs, made her own dressing. It all seemed delicious and fresh and fabulous! Oh How I wish I had paid more attention then!

She made it all seem so effortless, now I know better. But, you never think you are going to have it too. So, how do you prepare? Now it's all about finding a happy balance, and taking care of yourself. So here are some tips! Yay!! Tips!

1. Always know where bathrooms are. Seriously, as soon as you walk in somewhere, be it someone's home, a restaurant, the grocery store, ask where the restroom is. You will be glad you did! I don't mean barge in someone's home and blurt our "Where's the John? I may need to drop a bomb on it!" But, being proactive is the name of the Gluten free game!

2. Do not cheat. DON'T! It's not worth it. That little slice of birthday cake, or delicious, delicious pizza hates you. It wants to make you sick. Hate it right back. If people look at you funny for glaring at food tell them you are a spy, and you think there's a microphone in there! People love spies.

3. Even though it's tempting to hoard your glorious gluten free snacks like a happy little miser, screaming "My Precious" over and over, be nice! It's no one's fault that the snacks cost so much, or are hard to find, and are one of the few things you enjoy. ...On second thought, hoard away little glutenators! That's your nom nom, and they should back off of it!

4. Don't be a Debbie Downer. No one wants to hear about how one time you ate at this restaurant before and got violently ill, and had to spend three days at home curled up by the toilet. Especially if the persons(s) you are talking to happens to enjoy dining at that restaurant. Don't say things like.."I wish I could have fried ice cream", while ravenously watching them as they enjoy their dessert. No one will be your friend anymore.

5. Don't be bitter. Even though finding the words 20ppm or less on the side of the box means that the product you have been stuffing down your gullet, while dancing around your living room  singing "I'm eating crackers!", may or may not have trace amounts of wheat in it, and you may or may not be curled up in a ball later, doesn't mean that you get to be bitter! You get to be proud that you didn't hop in the car, and race over to the FDA demanding restitution and throwing things dramatically. Good Job!

Be Careful!

I am astounded by the amount of foods and products that either have gluten, or wheat flour added to them. Even the delicious salads from restaurants, you know the ones, with the adorable little bags of nuts they give you to sprinkle on top gleefully? Those nuts are coated in wheat flour. Why? What could they possibly add to make nuts better?  The answer is that they sweeten the nuts with a nasty little mixture of honey, and sugar and other chemicals designed to "enhance the flavor' and the flour binds it all to the nuts. 

Anyone with a gluten sensitivity, allergy, or full blown celiac knows that salads are our friends. What would we do without salad? But make sure to carefully read any of the ingredients that are listed on any packet that comes with these salads, including the dressing. 

Careful is now my middle name. I check everything. Especially after getting sick twice after eating at my favorite sushi restaurant, I found out that not only is wheat in the soy sauce but also in the artificial crab meat! Who knew? This girl does now, and will happily check every label, google every item, and research, research, research!

Good Luck my fellow Glutenators!
   

Whole Foods Market announces that it is recalling two beer-flavored marinades sold in Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Princeton and Marlton, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. because of undeclared wheat and soy allergens on the label. The recalled marinades are Whole Foods Market Stout Beer Marinade, UPC code 000000305716, and Whole Foods Market Lager Beer Marinade UPC code 000000305723, both made in Landover, Maryland. The products come in 15-ounce, plastic bottles and were sold between July 3 and August 3, 2011.

No allergic reactions have been reported. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to soy or wheat run the risk of serious or life threatening allergic reactions if they consume these products.  Signage is posted in Whole Foods Market stores to notify customers of this recall.

Consumers who have purchased Whole Foods Market Stout Beer Marinade and Whole Foods Market Lager Beer Marinade may return the product to the store for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact Whole Foods Market at 301-683-0060 weekdays between 8:00am and 5:00pm eastern standard time.

Source:
http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm267934.htm
Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., is voluntarily recalling from its in-store bakeries the following items because the products may be mislabeled:
  •     “Winn-Dixie Lemon Bar” cakes
  •     “Winn-Dixie Chocolate Cherry Bar” cakes
  •     “Winn-Dixie Bakery Iced Cinnamon Rolls - 6 Pack”
The mislabeled products may contain undeclared egg and/or wheat. Individuals with an allergy or severe sensitivity to eggs run the risk of a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction. Individuals sensitive to wheat protein can suffer a moderate-acute allergic reaction. Gluten intolerance in adults can manifest as malabsorption, diarrhea, weight loss, anemia, or osteomalacia.

Sold in the bakery department of Winn-Dixie stores, both cakes feature a Winn-Dixie bakery label affixed to a clam-shell package. “Winn-Dixie Lemon Bar” cake package labels identify the product as “Bar Cake Lemon” and are marked with a UPC code that begins with 209983. “Winn-Dixie Chocolate Cherry Bar” cake package labels identify the product as “Bar Cake Choc Cherry” and are marked with a UPC code that begins with 209831. “Winn-Dixie Bakery Iced Cinnamon Rolls - 6 Pack” are marked with a UPC code that begins with 209806. Products affected by this recall were sold in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

“Given this serious issue, we decided to pull the products from our stores and encourage customers with any concerns to return the product for a full refund, no questions asked,” said Mary Kellmanson, Winn-Dixie’s group vice president of marketing. “We are now conducting a thorough investigation to determine how the breakdown occurred so that we can prevent it from happening in the future. Protecting the health of our guests is our top priority.”

Winn-Dixie is working in cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network. The recall was initiated as a result of an internal investigation after receipt of a customer complaint.

Consumers with questions or any doubt are encouraged to return the cakes to their neighborhood Winn-Dixie store for a full refund or exchange. Consumers with questions about the recalled cakes may also contact Winn-Dixie Guest Services toll free at 1-866-WINN-DIXIE.

About Winn-Dixie
Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., is one of the nation’s largest food retailers. Founded in 1925, the Company is headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. The Company currently operates 484 retail grocery locations, including 379 in-store pharmacies, in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi. For more information, please visit www.winn-dixie.com.

Source:
Expected Four Years Ago, the Standards for Gluten-Free Labeling on Foods have Still Not Been Released

Washington, D.C. – After more than four years of inaction by the Food and Drug Administration on their statutory requirement to finalize standards for gluten-free labeling on foods, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) have sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg seeking answers for the extreme delay and an update on when the FDA will propose a final rule.

Included as part of the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004, the FDA was tasked with proposing rules for gluten labeling within two years of enactment and finalizing rules within four. In January of 2007, the FDA issued its proposed rule but no final rule has been promulgated or issued since then. In the letter, Wyden and Leahy raised concern that the lack of federal standards for what could be counted as “gluten-free” has caused confusion for consumers and agricultural producers leaving outside groups free to create their own standards.

“The regulatory uncertainty surrounding FDA’s inaction has led to a proliferation of ‘gluten free’ standards and labels provided by 3rd party groups,” the senators wrote. “This creates confusion for consumers, and hesitancy amongst producers on what their requirements will be. We ask that you provide us with an update on when FDA will promulgate a final rule, why FDA has taken so long to issue this rule, and if there are any legal or regulatory hurdles that have prevented the timely implementation of this legislation.”

For many, gluten-free products are a dietary alternative to bread-based products but for sufferers of Celiac disease – a painful disorder stemming from the inability to properly digest the gluten found in breads – having accurate and standard labeling for these products is essential.

Click here to read the letter.

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Learning which ingredients are gluten-free and which are not,  takes some time and patience. Within the first few months you learn a lot of what you need to know to live gluten-free.  But there are a few lingering ingredients that it took me a while to digest, remember and even accept they are gluten-free.

Here is a quick list of items that really are gluten-free even though there might be something out there that makes you think they aren’t.

Vinegar

Two times since Emma as been diagnosed, a gluten-related dietary restriction has changed for us. This was the first.

Emma was diagnosed in June of 2000.  At that time I was trying to figure out what to feed Emma that didn’t have vinegar.   By the end of that year, the American Dietetic Association officially determined distilled vinegar is safe for people on the gluten-free diet. Boy did that make life easier.  The only vinegar that’s not safe is malt vinegar.

You may still find outdated information online about vinegar.  The best  info I have seen on this comes from Gluten Free Living Magazine’s article “The Last Word on Vinegar:  It’s Safe”. Please refer to this article for additional information.

Oats

Oats was the second gluten-related dietary restriction that changed for us.  Celiac.com wrote about this in March of 2003. That’s the approximate time the American Dietetic Association again made a change.  It said uncontaminated oats are safe for celiacs.   However additional articles in the last 8 years by celiac.com followed up on some celiacs who still cannot tolerate oats,  and additional studies saying they are for the most part still safe.

Bottom line, if you’re going to try to incorporate oats into your diet, DON’T buy Quaker or your local generic brand.  You must look for guaranteed gluten-free oats, like  the ones made from Bob’s Red Mill.

Glutinous Rice Flour

Yeah, don’t let the name confuse you.  Glutinous Rice Flour and Sweet Rice Flour are the same thing.

“Sweet rice flour is ground from short-grain glutinous rice, aka ‘sticky rice.’ Don’t worry, though; the fact that it’s called glutinous rice does not mean that it contains gluten. Rather, this rice has a much higher starch content than other kinds of rice, making it an extremely efficient thickening agent for sauces or binder for things like mochi and noodles.” TheKitchn.com

I use sweet rice flour in my Holiday cookies.  I buy it at Asian Food Markets, although some larger grocery stores might be carrying it.

Whey

At first glance it may look like wheat, or a derivative of it.  But in actuality, according to dictionary.com, Whey is “a milk serum, separating as liquid from the curd after coagulation, as in cheese making.”  So if you’re dairy free, you should worry about whey, but not if you’re gluten-free.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

Again, because of the word glutamate, which sort of sounds like gluten, people think it has gluten in it.   It is on celiac.com’s safe ingredient list. Tricia Thompson, the Gluten Free Dietitian, says “There may be other reasons to avoid MSG but gluten is not one of them.”  Her article on MSG and gluten free explains how MSG is made from “sugar cane, beet sugar, corn starch and tapioca starch”.   Some people do have an issue with MSG, but it is celiac safe.

Buckwheat

Despite the name that could freak out any gluten sensitive person, buckwheat is safe to eat — as long as you’re buying pure buckwheat.

According to Clan Thompson’s Celiac Site, “Buckwheat: Gluten free: Yes. Vegetarian: Yes. Comments: Despite its name, this is a member of the asparagus family, NOT the wheat family. It is gluten free, but should be checked since it’s often sold as a blend of buckwheat and wheat.”

Artificial Flavorings

I shied away from this one for a long time.  Clan Thompson’s Celiac Site was again, very helpful in answering this question:

“Artificial Flavor: Gluten free: Yes. Vegetarian: Yes. Comment: The FDA states that artificial flavorings may not be derived from meat – fish – poultry – eggs – dairy products -fermentation products – fruits – vegetables – edible yeasts – herbs or plant material”

In summary, it is possible there are certain ingredients on this list that don’t agree with you personally.  But from the research listed here, for gluten-free individuals, these are safe ingredients.

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