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When Labels Say "may Contain Gluten"
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Hi everyone!

 

Generally, when reading a food label that says "may contain traces of wheat and/or gluten", I tend to avoid it. I stick to products that specifically say 'gluten free' on the label, or that I can research easily.

 

I just received chocolate/flowers at work from my office, and though there are no actual gluten containing ingredients in the chocolate, it says 'may contain traces of gluten, tree nuts, etc". I've never heard of this brand before, and I've already tried to research it by googling but I've had no luck. The brand name is "Terravita" and it's plain chocolate.

 

Now, obviously I don't need the chocolate - but I was curious what most people do in these kind of situations. I know the 'may contain gluten, etc etc' is usually just a disclaimer to cover their asses, but am I right to assume this is probably not safe to eat? Although having a chocolate bar at my desk is tempting, I am trying to be good.  -_-

 

 

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I just switched chocolate bars with a co-worker. Hers was "Tiramisu" flavored, and there is no mention of gluten anywhere on the label (same brand)

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I never eat these.  They may be fine but, it is the principle of the thing!  I feel like they are too lazy to clean the machines or something.

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That's what I figured! For the longest time I was trying to find cashews, and every time I found a bag/container of plain cashews they ALL said "May contain traces of wheat".So I just didn't eat cashews. I'd much rather be safe than sorry. For the most part, I'm going to stick to trusted brands that actually have "gluten free" printed on the label! 

 

Thanks for your feedback :)

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I would never eat anything labeled "may contain gluten". 

 

IMO, saying "may contain gluten" is actually an honest response. I figure it's better than not saying anything and you find out later. ^_^

 

There are ways to eat cashews without worrying about "traces of wheat" hon. Most nut companies use no wheat on their production lines.

You do not have to give them up for life. 

 

here is just one example

 

http://www.walmart.com/ip/17247683?wmlspartner=wlpa&adid=22222222227000000000&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=41833582510&wl4=&wl5=pla&wl6=19880599990&veh=sem

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I always get Plantars.   Yum....

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I don't touch anything that says "may contain gluten" or "may contain wheat".  They're telling you up front that there is a cross-contamination risk.  I can respect that.  And eat something else.

 

As far as cashews... Planters just warns against traces of tree nuts and peanuts.  I've never had an issue with their cashews or anything else.

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Personally, if it was mine, I would try a little and see how I felt. There is a lot of chocolate companies that do not say gluten free but are.

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I will personally eat from shared facilities, but will not eat from shared equipment unless it is from a trusted company like ghirardelli.  If the label blatantly says "may contain" I will pass.  I think you got a good deal with your chocolate bar trade!  I wouldn't recommend trying a little bit to see how you felt, especially if you are at work and don't want to have bathroom Armageddon there.  All depends on your sensitivity.

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I will personally eat from shared facilities, but will not eat from shared equipment unless it is from a trusted company like ghirardelli.  If the label blatantly says "may contain" I will pass.  

Just wondering why you feel Ghirardelli is ok? The label on their cocoa (my favorite) changed recently to "may contain wheat." I contacted them and they said it is now made by a "co-manufacturer" on shared equipment. I stopped using it and have been trying to convince myself that I like Hershey's cocoa.

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Wow, thanks for the responses everyone! I agree that it's just not worth it to risk it. I chose the plain chocolate bar, thinking it'd be the least risky out of all of the flavors - but when I saw 'may contain gluten' it made me wary. I think it's interesting that the tiramisu flavor only said 'may contain traces of peanuts or tree nuts', but it worked out! I got to have chocolate and I didn't get sick. :)

 

Planters is such a well known brand, I don't know why I haven't come across their cashews yet. I was looking at the bags in the produce/organic section (thinking they'd be safer) and those all said they may contain traces of wheat, same with all of the store brands I was looking at (Stop & Shop, IGA, Walgreens, etc) Maybe they just don't sell the Planters cashews where I was looking. I think they mostly had mixes. I could try Walmart. 

 

I used to eat peanut butter like it was my job, and then last June (before my celiac diagnosis) I had a bunch of allergy tests done and I found out I was "allergic" to peanuts. I ate extra chunky peanut butter the day they told me I was allergic to peanuts. Heh. So, I've stayed away from peanuts and started eating almond and/or sunbutter...and I started to look for cashews to have as a  snack other than peanuts, then I couldn't find any that didn't have the "may contain wheat" warning. -_- I am planning on getting re-tested for the peanut allergy soon. My boyfriend has been itching to go to Five Guys (they have gluten free fries, but they use peanut oil) with me, but I played it cautious in case I actually am allergic to peanuts. 

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Then don't eat those! The can states they are made with peanut oil.

 

Allergy tests are notoriously incorrect. Are you sure it's a peanut allergy? 

 

Talk to StephanieL about this. Shoot her a PM . She has extensive knowledge about allergy testing. 

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Nope! Haha. I've had pretty bad allergies all of my life (severe pollen allergies, etc) I never carried an epi pen or had an inhaler or anything, I just took my Allegra and that was just fine. Then last year they were absolutely terrible - my Allegra stopped being effective at all. So, I figured it was finally time to see an allergist. He did the prick test on my arms and they swelled up, it was terrible but nothing but what i expected. I had really bad seb. dermatitis on my scalp/ears, so I assumed (hoped?) it was an allergy. He sent me for some food allergy tests, peanuts being one of them. I tested positive for peanuts, then a few weeks later (after being very sick for a while) my primary care doctor gave me a blood test for celiac disease because I told him that everything I ate was just going right through me. It was like I had constant food poisoning.

 

My doctor told me that false positive are common with celiac disease, so I do plan on getting re-tested for peanuts soon. It certainly would make my life easier if I didn't need to worry about that, too! And so far this season my allergies have calmed down significantly. Last year was brutal, but I think everything was just coming to a head. I feel much better this year. 

 

I might send her a message. I really don't think it's a true peanut allergy, but of course I wasn't going to risk it. 

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Just wondering why you feel Ghirardelli is ok? The label on their cocoa (my favorite) changed recently to "may contain wheat." I contacted them and they said it is now made by a "co-manufacturer" on shared equipment. I stopped using it and have been trying to convince myself that I like Hershey's cocoa.

 

I was referring to the OP asking about chocolate bars.  The only product I buy of theirs is the filled squares... cocoa I haven't looked at since it is totally different and I buy the nestle tollhouse cocoa, and I also haven't bought any in a good while since I sparsely use it.  But a recent change in the labeling is a good reason to practice reading every label, every time.  Ever try scharffen berger chocolate or cocoa?  It is pricey but their stuff is sooooo good.  gluten-free and says so on labels to take out guesswork.

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I was referring to the OP asking about chocolate bars.  The only product I buy of theirs is the filled squares... cocoa I haven't looked at since it is totally different and I buy the nestle tollhouse cocoa, and I also haven't bought any in a good while since I sparsely use it.  But a recent change in the labeling is a good reason to practice reading every label, every time.  Ever try scharffen berger chocolate or cocoa?  It is pricey but their stuff is sooooo good.  gluten-free and says so on labels to take out guesswork.

In case anyone is interested, I also asked Nestle about their Tollhouse cocoa:

"Nestlé® Toll House® Baking Cocoa - Made in the same facility as products that contain gluten ingredients."

I have tried Scharffen Berger cocoa - good but pricey.

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I am new to this gluten-free life... And on some occasions I have eaten products with the " May contain traces of" and felt ill afterwards... I have to add I am extremely sensitive... No, I have learned to avoid these foods.

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I always get Plantars.   Yum....

Thanks for the recommendation! I was looking for snacks for a wedding reception that I was going to, and I remembered that, so I picked up a container of Planter's mixed nuts. :)

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