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Chapstick And Lunch Meat - Beware!

Posted by Jema, 06 February 2009 · 302 views

After my hospitalization over the Utz potato chip fiasco, I refuse to eat or use anything processed without calling about it first. My first call was about Chapstick. They told me that they are currently trying to obtain some sort of certification from every one of their suppliers to validate that their product is gluten free, but as yet, they cannot confirm that there is no gluten in their products.

My second call was about lunch meat. I'm very adept at reading ingredient lists, but obviously that is just not enough. Cross-contamination is a real danger and I called Sara Lee about their Hillshire Farms products. The representative assured me that they do not hide any allergens in words like "natural ingredients". Those words may present on the ingredients list, but no allergens are included in the proprietary blend without full disclosure. They cannot certify that "caramel coloring" doesn't contain gluten, but it is their policy that if one of their products contains any sort of allergen at all it is run on a different day than the gluten free products and after the run, the machines are taken apart and washed extremely carefully.

Sara Lee does label their products if there is any danger of cross-contamination. Interestingly, and as I'd already guessed because of the "Utz fiasco", there is no governmental mandate about a cross-contamination product warning.

I'll keep updating as I call on different products.

Best,

Jema

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Thank you! I appreciate your awareness in this area!
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Jema,

When you say that "there is no governmental mandate about a cross-contamination product warning", are you keeping in mind how many products will say "made in a factory that also processes wheat, soy, and dairy products"? Do you ever follow that as a guidelines? If not, I'm sure that would help you to avoid those products.

Good luck :)
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