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The USDA is promting the recall of 131,000 pounds of frozen Pizza Al Pollo Asado pizzas that fail to mention that they contain wheat on their ingredient labels, which is in direct violation of the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004. An official USDA product recall should be issued shortly.

Source:
CBS News
Old World Meats, a Duluth, Minn., establishment is recalling approximately 83 pounds of individually packaged hot and teriyaki-flavored red meat jerky products because they contain soy, wheat and milk that are not noted on the label. Soy, wheat and milk are known allergens.

The products subject to recall include: [View Labels]
  • 1.5-lb. cases of "Old World Meats ORIGINAL FLAVOR BEEF STICKS HOT" with each box containing 24 individual 1 oz. packages.
  • 1.5-lb. cases of "Old World Meats ORIGINAL FLAVOR BEEF STICKS TERIYAKI SNACK STICKS" with each box containing 24 individual 1 oz. packages
Individual packages bear the establishment number "EST. 3448" inside the USDA mark of inspection. The hot-flavored product label would also contain the code number 3022011 printed on the lower portion. The teriyaki-flavored product label would contain one of the following code numbers: 2172011, 3032011 or 3092011 printed on the lower portion. The products were produced on one of the following dates: Feb. 16, March 2, March 3 or March 8, 2011, and shipped to two distributors in the greater Duluth area.

The problem was discovered by an FSIS inspector during a label review at the establishment and may have occurred because of a change in ingredients at the establishment. FSIS and the company have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.

Source:
Monogram Meat Snacks, LLC, a Chandler, Minn., establishment is recalling approximately 5,125 pounds of Hannah's Honey Cured Turkey Sticks because they contain an undeclared allergen, wheat, which is not declared on the label. Wheat is a known allergen.

The products subject to recall include: [View Label]
  • 100 count cases containing 1-oz. packages of "HANNAH'S HONEY CURED TURKEY STICK." These products have an identifying case code of "706179" and the following package codes (use by/sell by dates): 09/09/11 and 10/01/11.
  • 560 count cases containing 1-oz. packages of "HANNAH'S HONEY CURED TURKEY STICK." These products have an identifying case code of "330074" and the package code (use by/sell by date) of 10/01/11.
Each package bears the establishment number "P-15727" inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The products were packaged on Dec. 13, 2010 through March 4, 2011, and shipped, including via internet sales, to institutions (prisons and one homeless shelter) in Calif., Colo., Ill., Mo., and Ohio.

The problem was discovered by the plant, and occurred because of a change in ingredients at the establishment. FSIS and the company have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.

Source:

Faribault Foods, Inc. announced today a voluntary recall of Field Day Organic Garbanzo Beans because some cans with this label may contain Minestrone soup. Faribault Foods received two reports that cans of the Organic Garbanzo Beans contain Minestrone soup (a vegetable and pasta soup). No other lot codes of Field Day Organic Garbanzo Beans or Field Day products are affected.

The Minestrone soup contains wheat, milk, soy, and egg allergens.

People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to wheat, milk, soy, or egg allergens run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume the Minestrone soup product.

The products involved were sold in grocery and other retail outlets nationwide.

The following product, with the specific code date listed, is affected by the recall:
  • Field Day Organic Garbanzo Beans    Size: 15 oz    UPC: 42563 60003    Code: 813 C1 014 10
The code is printed on the bottom of the can.

No illnesses have been associated with these products. Retailers are removing the product from the store shelves.

Source:
Oakland, CA – Natural Choice Distribution Company Inc. is recalling certain ready-to-eat sandwiches and wraps because the products’ labels fail to declare food allergens:
  • Products that have “cheese” listed as an ingredients do not declare the allergen MILK
  • Products that have “whole grain bread” listed as an ingredient do not declare the allergens WHEAT and SOY
  • Products that have “expeller pressed canola mayonnaise” listed as an ingredient do not declare the allergen EGG
No illnesses have been reported.  People who have allergies to MILK, WHEAT, SOY, OR EGGS run the risk of a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

Fare and Square Sandwiches, Superfresh Sandwiches, and Real Wraps Burritos ready to eat sandwiches and wraps are distributed throughout California.  The products affected are listed below.

Only products with the following USE BY dates are included:

              All Real Wraps burritos
              With USE BY dates: 2/20, 2/21, 2/22, 2/23, 2/25, 2/26, 2/27 and 2/28
              UPC codes: 614294201038, 614294201052, 61429201090, 614294201076, 614294201120

             Superfresh Foods Avocado, Jack and Tomato sandwich and Vegetarian Smoked Turkey sandwich
             With USE BY dates: 2/21, 2/22, 2/23 and 2/24
             UPC codes: 614294030157, 614294035992

             All Fare and Square sandwiches
             With USE BY dates: 2/21, 2/22, 2/23 and 2/24
             UPC codes: 011059107800, 011059108005, 011059108814, 011059108104, 011059108203

Natural Choice Distribution Company is taking this action to protect consumers who may be unaware that the ingredients contain the aforementioned allergens.  The Company is currently putting additional allergen labels on all of the affected products but there is a possibility of some products with undeclared allergen labels still out at retail stores or in consumers’ homes.

Consumers who have purchased these Fare and Square Sandwiches, Superfresh Sandwiches, and Real Wraps Burritos and are sensitive to these allergens are urged to return them to the place of purchase for full refund.  Consumers with questions may contact Natural Choice Distribution Company Inc. at 1-510-653-8212 Monday through Friday between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm Pacific Standard Time.
To help raise awareness about celiac disease, Senator Bob Huff, (R) 29th District  introduced SCR 7, designating May, 2011 as Celiac Disease Awareness Month in California.

Celiac disease is the #1 genetic autoimmune disease in the United States as well as the most common in the world. It is estimated that 3 million Americans are affected by celiac disease, yet 97% of them don't even know it....yet. The average delay in diagnosis is 9 years.

If left undiagnosed, related autoimmune diseases include Type 1 Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Thyroid Disease and certain types of cancers.
  • There is no cure. Celiac disease is the only disease completely controlled by diet. The "cure" requires a life-time commitment to a strict Gluten-Free diet. Ingestion of even a crumb of wheat, rye and/or barley can cause a severe reaction.
  • Symptoms may include: diarrhea, weight loss/gain, migraine headaches, anemia and infertility.
  • Research shows that the numbers of affected Americans doubles every 20 years.
Shining a light on "the #1 disease that you've never heard of" will certainly result in earlier and more accurate diagnosis, ultimately saving lives and, of course, saving money on health care.

May is already recognized as National Celiac Awareness Month, and New York, Oregon, North Carolina and Ohio have recently come on board at the state level with their own resolutions.  Declaring May as Celiac Awareness Month in California will help bring attention to the disease and facilitate the goal of increasing awareness.  Elaine Monarch, founder and executive director of the Celiac Disease Foundation, expressed the importance of such a designation:  "CDF is grateful to Senator Bob Huff for being at the forefront of this Resolution, which will help us shine a light on the importance of the early diagnosis of celiac disease"

Celiac Disease Foundation
13251 Ventura Blvd. Suite 1
Studio City, CA 91604
818-990-2354 phone
www.celiac.org
Prime Choice Foods announced that it is taking the precautionary measure of recalling certain lots of Garden of Eatin’® Multi Grain Sea Salt Tortilla Chips (9 oz bags), Garden of Eatin’® Multi Grain Everything Tortilla Chips (9 oz bags) and Garden of Eatin’® Multi Grain Blues Sea Salt Tortilla Chips (9 oz bags) due to the presence of undeclared wheat and soy.

Consumers who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to wheat or soy run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

No illnesses or allergic reactions have been reported to date.  No other Garden of Eatin’® products are involved in this recall.
The recalled products were distributed to food stores nationwide. The recall only affects the following lot codes:
  
  •     Garden of Eatin’® Multi Grain Sea Salt Tortilla Chips (9 oz). Unit UPC code # 15839-00795. Lot codes: 07MAY11, 08MAY11, 19MAY11, 24MAY11, 02JUN11 and 22JUN11
  •     Garden of Eatin’® Multi Grain Everything Tortilla Chips (9 oz)
  •     Unit UPC code # 15839-00797.  Lot codes: 08MAY11, 24MAY11, 25MAY11, 01JUN11 and 22JUN11.
  •     Garden of Eatin’® Multi Grain Blues Sea Salt Tortilla Chips (9 oz)
  •     Unit UPC code # 15839-00940.  Lot codes: 08MAY11, 25MAY11, 26MAY11, 22JUN11 and 23JUN11.
 The lot code can be located on the right side of the upper front panel of the individual bag.

The recall was initiated after it was discovered that product was packaged in the wrong bag, and the ingredient statement did not list wheat and soy.

Consumers who have purchased any products covered by this recall are urged to return them to the store of purchase for a full refund.  Consumers with questions or concerns please call 1-800-434-4246, during extended hours from Monday to Friday 9:00 am – 9:00 pm EST and on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

This voluntary recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Source: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm243520.htm
This just in from Taco Time:

Local Quick Service Restaurant is First to Offer Gluten-Free Menu Items in
the Puget Sound


RENTON, Wash. - (February 7, 2011) Today, Taco Timme Northwest, a
northwest-based family-owned Mexican quick service restaurant featuring
fresh ingredients, launches its new Fit-Hits menu. The new menu provides
customers with low calorie entree options to make great choices for good
health and is the first Puget Sound-area quick service restaurant to
feature gluten-free items on its menu.
Each Fit-Hits menu item is distinguished by simple icons and includes
information about calories, fat and sodium content. The Fit-Hits menu
features eight items with 400 calories or less and four gluten-free items
including white chicken chili, a Baja taco, a Southwest chop salad and a
light chicken taco salad.

"At Taco Time Northwest, we're proud to use the freshest
ingredients in all of our menu items," said Robby Tonnkin, president
of Taco Time Northwest. "By identifying the healthiesest options,
we're giving our customers the tools they need to to make informed
purchases to satisfy their tastes and meet their dietary goals."

To kick-off the Fit-Hits menu, Taco Time Northwest introduces Taco Time
Health Coach Deborah Enos, who specializes in bringing nutrition
information to busy people. A certified nutritionist, accomplished author
and motivational speaker, Enos serves on the board of the American Heart
Association and has been featured in Self Magazine, Better Homes and
Gardens and Good Housekeeping. Enos will be available through the Taco Time
Northwest Facebook and Twitter pages to answer customer questions and
provide nutrition tips that can be easily applied to daily life.
In addition to the Fit-Hits menu, Taco Time Northwest's website
offers a Build A Meal tool that allows customers to view nutrition
information for each item on the Taco Time menu and to calculate the
complete nutritional information for the entire meal.

Fit-Hits menu items range in price from $1.59 to $5.59. For more
information about the Fit-Hits menu, visit www.TacoTimeNW.com or call (425)
226-6656.
American Spoon Foods is voluntarily recalling Apple Chipotle Salsa, Maple BBQ Grilling Sauce, and Pumpkin Chipotle Roasting Sauce. These three products may have various lot codes. The lot codes are the first 4 numbers of the 12 digit code printed directly on the glass on the back of the jar below the “Best Flavor By” date. Affected products have the following codes:

• Apple Chipotle Salsa, 13.5 oz jar, UPC code 019363016047
     • All codes from 9301 – 9363
     • All codes from 0002 – 0365
     • All codes from 1002 – 1034
• Maple BBQ Grilling Sauce, 15 oz jar, UPC Code 019363014371
     • All codes from 9301 – 9363
     • All codes from 0002 – 0365
     • All codes from 1002 – 1034
• Pumpkin Chipotle Roasting Sauce, 14 oz jar, UPC Code 019363014173
     • All codes from 9301 – 9363
     • All codes from 0002 – 0365
     • All codes from 1002 – 1034
• If you have trouble reading the code, err on the side of caution and discard the product.
These products may contain undeclared wheat which may cause reactions in those with wheat or gluten sensitivities.

Source:

Some 492 8-ounce boxes of Ian's Natural Foods wheat free, gluten free mac and no cheese and wheat free, gluten free French bread pizza because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Listeria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. The mac-no-cheese has a use by date of 26 Aug 2011 and UPC 7-49512-43670-8. The pizza has a use-by date of 28Aug2011and UPC 7-49512-91572-2. The company says no other packages are effected.

Source:
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/01/24/business/AP-US-Recalls.html?src=busln

This just in from Jennifer Iscol of the North Bay Celiacs:

Hello to all in the national celiac and gluten-free community, I eat gluten-free and I VOTE!

The Food and Drug Administration is over two years late publishing the gluten-free labeling rules mandated by Congress in the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection of 2004 (FALCPA). The rules were due by August 2008. Congress needs to press the FDA to act, and the FDA needs to get the job done.

We are tired of wondering if the food we buy is safe and tired of waiting quietly for the FDA to get around to doing its job. The FDA has had over SIX YEARS to study this issue. Enough!

The American Celiac Disease Alliance is urging everyone to act now. It takes just a couple of minutes to use their website to automatically send emails to the Food and Drug Administration and Health and Human Services (both run by women!), and your Senators and Representative in Congress.

Beth Hillson, President of the American Celiac Disease Alliance, writes, "Let's show our strength by shouting out how important this is to us.  Tell the FDA to finish the GF Labeling regulations. Tell them that people with celiac disease require safe, gluten-free foods.  Tell them to finish the FALCPA Labeling Rules NOW."

Go to http://www.capwiz.com/celiac/home/ to send emails or letters today. You can use their letters or write your own.

Forward and post this link on every celiac and gluten-free blog, list and group. FDA, GET THE JOB DONE!

I would like to thank the American Celiac Disease Alliance (http://americanceliac.org/) for organizing this effort and providing this service for free, and encourage everyone to support ACDA with a donation.
The Gluten Free Certification Organization is Proud to Announce the Certification of the Raymond-Hadley Corporation, a Large-scale, Niche Producer.

Raymond-Hadley Corporation is now certified to provide gluten free ingredients and production and packaging services for clients requiring gluten free products.

Food companies and food production plants face a multitude of challenges in not only acquiring gluten-free ingredients but in the process of gluten-free food production itself, which is why the recent certification of the Raymond-Hadley Corporation is exciting and welcome news for the industry.

The services Raymond-Hadley has to offer the gluten-free food producer are many. Their gluten free ingredient stock is extensive and includes both commodity, such as beans and flours, and more unusual ingredients, such as ethnic spices. The company also provides gluten free certified production services including formulation and blending of dry mixes and packaging procedures.

Currently the Raymond-Hadley customer client base includes United States and Central and South American companies. Certification by the Gluten Intolerance Group®, the reigning force behind the national standard for safe gluten levels in food products, has provided the company a valuable niche in the food manufacturing industry.

To learn more about the Raymond-Hadley Corporation
Website: http://www.raymondhadley.com
GenCare, a retirement living community, has expanded upon their award winning Whole Life Living Culinary Program by becoming gluten free food service accredited. In an effort to support their vision of pairing health and wellness promotion with illness management, the facility now can offer gluten-free options to community members.

GenCare Lifestyle is on a mission: to inspire senior residents to make healthier choices so they can simply enjoy living. Expanding upon its award winning Whole Life Living Culinary Program GenCare recognized that nearly 25 million people follow a gluten-free diet and over 60% of persons with celiac disease fear dining out. The Whole Food, Whole Life initiative is one element of the Seattle-based organization's Whole Life Living wellness program. The program promotes health and wellness by providing healthy lifestyle choices rather than solely managing illness. Leon Grundstein, founder and CEO, shares that you can't live forever but you can live well, by making simple changes in your lifestyle.

It is a "staggering" challenge for retirement and assisted-living communities to feed large numbers of residents something delicious every day and keep them both healthy and satisfied, Grundstein observes. Yet "food is the foundation," he says. "It fuels the engines of your heart and mind." GenCare's professionally trained chefs prepare "tasty, nourishing meals for residents made from fresh, whole and organic natural foods," according to Grundstein. With this focus on whole life dining, the culinary initiative "supports older adults who want to be well and eat well," he explains.

Until now, mature adults living gluten-free had no options for retirement facilities where they felt the facility could provide safe meals. Many times mature adults have been turned away because retirement communities didn't know how to meet their nutritional needs. GenCare's devotion to providing gluten-free as part of the Whole Life initiative is wonderful news to those wishing to live healthy with age, according to Cynthia Kupper, RD; Executive Director Gluten Intolerance Group of North America (GIG).
Subway Restaurants is testing a gluten-free roll and gluten-free brownie in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Tyler/Longview, TX markets starting the week of January 10th. The gluten-free roll and brownie will give Americans with gluten sensitivities, gluten intolerances, and Celiac Disease another alternative to their diet.

All Subway gluten-free rolls and brownies being used during the test come prepackaged and individually wrapped. Sandwich Artists are instructed through a tutorial video to cut the roll with a pre-wrapped knife and only use once. The same sandwich artist will prepare the order from beginning to end, so only one set of hands will touch the sandwich, eliminating cross contamination. The process is very thorough to ensure a 100% gluten-free product. Extra measures are taken to ensure gluten does not contaminate other foodstuff such as meat, cheese, and vegetables.

We look forward to seeing Dallas-Fort Worth and East Texas residents take advantage of this new menu item during this testing period. Our hope is to offer gluten-free products nationwide.

For more information about the Subway chain, visit www.subway.com.
Post Foods, LLC, the makers of Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles, announced plans to improve its most popular kids’ cereals in its ongoing effort to address the rise in nutritional concerns among American consumers.

Beginning in January, Post Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles cereals will have a lower sugar content of 9 grams per serving. In addition to lowered sugar levels, all Pebbles varieties are also Cholesterol Free, an Excellent Source of Vitamin D, Low Fat and provide 10 Essential Vitamins and Minerals.

Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles, rice-based cereals, will also be certified as Gluten Free, a relatively unique distinction in the cereal category. In response to increased concerns over celiac disease and products containing wheat gluten, the brand went through a rigorous process to achieve Gluten Free status on both Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles products.

“Post Foods is dedicated to providing both nutritious and delicious cereals for people of all ages, and we’re pleased to announce improvements to the Pebbles brand that will assist in our ongoing efforts to improve kids’ nutrition,” said Bart Adlam, President of Post Foods. “By lowering our sugar content and providing Gluten Free certification, we hope moms feel confident serving a cereal that combines the fun and heritage of Bedrock with great taste that kids love. “

Additionally, Post Foods is working as part of the Children’s Food & Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), a program launched by the Council of Better Business Bureaus to help tackle the issue of childhood obesity by changing the mix of advertising messages directed to children under 12 to include healthier choices. A report released Dec. 15th by the CFBAI shows Post Foods is demonstrating compliance with our pledge to advertise healthier foods to kids under 12.

“This is a wonderful holiday present for consumers - iconic cereals with the same great taste but lower sugar content,” said Elaine Kolish, Vice President and Director of the CFBAI. “We commend Post Foods for its commitment to making and advertising healthier choices for kids. This is one more great example of how the commitment to self regulation and responding to consumer needs is making a difference in children’s advertising.”

Source:
L&R Fine Fashions, Inc., a Garden Grove, Calif., establishment, is recalling approximately 2,182 pounds of raw pork paste and ready-to-eat fried pork loaf products because they contain an undeclared allergen, wheat, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. Wheat is a known allergen, which is not declared on the label.

The products subject to recall include:
  • 11-ounce packages of "KIM LOAN GIÃ’ SÔNG PORK PASTE FISH SAUCE ADDED," bearing a lot number between"10-022" and "10-3351."
  • 14-ounce chubs of "KIM LOAN CHà CHIÊN FRIED PORK LOAF FISH SAUCE ADDED," bearing a lot number between "10-270" and "10-335."
Each product bears the establishment number EST. 40074 inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products subject to recall were produced between Jan. 22, 2010 and Dec. 6, 2010. These products were distributed to retail establishments in Southern California.
The problem was discovered by FSIS during a labeling review at the establishment. FSIS and the company have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an allergic reaction should contact a physician.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.

Consumer and media with questions about the recall should contact the company's treasurer, R. Miller at (714) 971-5626.



I just saw that Elisabeth Hasselbeck has won her lawsuit that was filed against her by Susan Hassett. The U.S. District Court in Massachusetts could find no evidence that Hasselbeck had plagiarized Living With Celiac Disease by author Susan Hassett when writing her book The G-Free Diet.

I predicted this outcome some time ago, and am happy that Elisabeth won. Some people believe that any publicity for celiac disease is good publicity, but in this case I disagree.

Hopefully Elisabeth still has the desire to continue publicizing her book and celiac disease to the public, as there is really nobody else that I can think of who can command the kind of media attention as she can.
Update from Sarah Ann Harwick 12/03/2010:

"Because we seemed to be getting different answers from the MARS company, I decided to call back and speak with a manager about the recent "may contain wheat" warming I found on the Mint M&M's.

Only the Mint and Speckled (both holiday specials) are produced on the same lines as the pretzel M&M's, and although they do clean the lines between production, there is the possibility of cross contamination, which is why they now have the wheat warning on them.

She said all of the other M&M's are still gluten free."


Original Blog Post:

I just got this bit of bad news today. Unfortunately I've received some warnings from celiacs who have found that M&M's may no longer be gluten-free. A call to their customer service line still indicates that all M&M's are gluten-free (except for the new Pretzel M&M's), however, when you actually speak to a real person they will indicate that all M&M's are made on shared lines and may be cross-contaminated due to the fact that the pretzel M&M's are made on those lines.

I certainly hope that this is not the case, but early indications lead me to believe that this may be so.

I urge everyone to share your disappointment with this by calling them directly at: 800-627-7852.
For the past two years I've been busy writing something called, "The Better Bladder Book - A Holistic Approach to Healing Interstitial Cystitis & Chronic Pelvic Pain". IT is now OUT, AVAILABLE, and thankfully, getting GREAT Reviews! This makes me very happy, not because I'll make a bundle (I won't), but because people who need help can now find it. IC is a terrible disease affecting up to 8 million people in the US alone, but millions more suffer from chronic prostatitis, over-active-bladder, pelvic floor dysfunction, and chronic pelvic pain. Finally, the connection between between gluten intolerance and chronic inflammation in the body, which often leads to these kinds of problems, has been docoumented in two separate studies. My book tells you WHY, HOW, and what you can do about it. You can find more information on the book at the following website: www.thebetterbladderbookinfo.com. The best in health, Wendy Cohan, RN
I am very encouraged to see that the Huffington Post has written a new article on gluten sensitivity and its impact on the brain. The new article is correct in pointing out that gluten can have a severe impact on certain individuals who are sensitive to it. Hopefully this article will be covered by other papers around the country, as it is very important to convey this message to as many people as possible.

I've been writing about the gluten-brain connection for many years on this site, and you can find more information on this topic in this category:
Dr. Rodney Ford has also written extensively about this, most notably in his book The Gluten Syndrome - Is Wheat Causing You Harm?

Last, I include much about this topic in a book that I co-authored with Dr. Ron Hoggan called Cereal Killers:

I am very glad to see that these ideas are finally becoming more mainstream!
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