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Blue Diamond Growers Almond Nut-thins


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34 replies to this topic

#16 Michi8

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 07:29 AM

Your post leads me to believe that you don't really understand what goes on in a factory. It isn't as though there are heaps of flour lying around, or that the lines are just getting lightly rinsed between runs. You have to remember that bacterial contamination and pest control are extremely important as well, and if for no other reason they will be extremely careful because of those things. There is something called a HACCP plan (http://ohioline.osu....b901/index.html) that dictates the procedures that must be followed to ensure food safety (this includes allergen control, when applicable). This is followed very strictly. In most cases, allergens cannot even be stored in the same area as other products, and there are cleaning procedures that are meant not only to control bacterial contamination but allergens as well.

In the plant I work in, the cleaning process for a line takes 6 hours. EVERYTHING is cleaned and sanitized, right down to the hoppers that hold the glue for the cartons. Soy and dairy are segregated from each other and from other ingredients in the warehouse. Everyone in the plant, from the management to the caser operator, gets allergen awareness training annually.

If you are unsure of a company's policy when it comes to allergen control, you are free to call them and ask about their HACCP plan. That should tell you all you need to know.

I, for one, eat Nut Thins all the time without worry.


Why are you being so hostile about my questions? Please don't treat me as if I'm stupid. I've obviously stepped on a bunch of people's toes here, because I'm getting a lot of flack for bringing this up. So much for being a supportive and helpful environment. :(

Michelle
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#17 jerseyangel

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 07:37 AM

Michelle :)

Please don't be upset--we all need to remember that *anyone* can react to *anything*. We all have different levels of tolerance, and just because something agrees with us, does not mean that's the case for everyone.

I appreciate someone sharing a positive or a negative experience with products. I am someone who is sensitive to minute amounts of gluten, and I like to compare notes, or use these comments to guage whether or not to buy certain products.

The same type of thing happened to me last year when a well-liked brand of potato chips glutened me. I was clearly in the minority on that one! :P I felt bad, too, but I realized that everyone was just giving their own opinions--which is good.

I'm sure no one intended to offend you ;)
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#18 Michi8

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 07:43 AM

Michelle :)

Please don't be upset--we all need to remember that *anyone* can react to *anything*. We all have different levels of tolerance, and just because something agrees with us, does not mean that's the case for everyone.

I appreciate someone sharing a positive or a negative experience with products. I am someone who is sensitive to minute amounts of gluten, and I like to compare notes, or use these comments to guage whether or not to buy certain products.

The same type of thing happened to me last year when a well-liked brand of potato chips glutened me. I was clearly in the minority on that one! :P I felt bad, too, but I realized that everyone was just giving their own opinions--which is good.

I'm sure no one intended to offend you ;)


Thanks, jerseyangel.

I've come away from this thread feeling like if I don't know the answers already, then I'd better not be asking questions. I certainly didn't think that making a comment/rant (as many people around here do) about something that surprised me would result in such negative personal responses. From some of the posts, it sure seems to me that no one bothered to read what I was actually saying anyway. I'll be sure to not post on something like this again. I'll just stumble through figuring out how to safely eat gluten free on my own.

Michelle
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#19 frenchiemama

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 07:57 AM

Why are you being so hostile about my questions? Please don't treat me as if I'm stupid. I've obviously stepped on a bunch of people's toes here, because I'm getting a lot of flack for bringing this up. So much for being a supportive and helpful environment. :(

Michelle



What makes you think I'm being hostile? You clearly don't know much about food manufacturing, and I was explaining to you in as much detail as possible without being overly technical. Not peppering all of my posts with smiley faces doesn't make me hostile.
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#20 frenchiemama

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:09 AM

Also, for anyone interested, if a product bears an Orthodox Union marking or is otherwise marked as kosher, you can bet that cleaning and HACCP procedures are taken quite seriously. Companies putting these marks on their products are subject to regular and frequent inspection by a Rabbi (in our case, someone sent by the OU). Those guys mean business.
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Carolyn


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#21 Michi8

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:16 AM

What makes you think I'm being hostile? You clearly don't know much about food manufacturing, and I was explaining to you in as much detail as possible without being overly technical. Not peppering all of my posts with smiley faces doesn't make me hostile.


It's not the smiley faces. It's your tone. Where in my posts does it give you the impression that I think "heaps of flour" are lying around the factory anyway? The food manufacturing explanation itself was great...very informative. Still doesn't answer to me how careful I really need to be about cc though, and how seriously I need to take the CYA statements in terms of gluten.

I have had to deal with CYA statements for many years, due to my other allergies, and I know, based on what kind of reactions I have, what my level of comfort with risk for those allergens is...but I have clear-cut reactions to those foods too. I am only a week into gluten free now...and am making mistakes left and right...I don't know, at this point, what my level of acceptable risk is.

Michelle
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#22 frenchiemama

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 09:07 AM

"Heaps of flour" is just a figure of speech. You needn't take things so literally. Feel free to interpret my tone however you like, I was just trying to help.
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Carolyn


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#23 Tim-n-VA

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 09:42 AM

For me this is a fine line. The CYA statements are necessary due to the general tendancy to sue in the US. We all have to figure out what level of risk is acceptable to us. When a product is making an effort to be supportive of the gluten-free community but protects themself with the CYA statement, that seems fair.

If the standard becomes no wheat ever in the facility, that will make gluten free products both completely safe and extremely rare. In this thread is a report that the Blue Diamond people have dropped the gluten-free label. While they might bring it back, they could just decide its not worth the cost.

If we (as a community) are overly demanding on the strictest definition of gluten-free we'll have fewer choices. If we are too accepting of cross-contamination, we will have fewer valid choices.
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#24 celiacgirls

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 09:47 AM

My rule is that if it says manufactured in a place with wheat I will try it. If it says "may contain traces of wheat", I will not. I'm not sure if this is really the way it is, but I interpret the first as a CYA statement and that there is a remote chance of cc, and the second as a pretty good chance of cc. Only because I have had reactions from "a slight trace" and none that I know of from something manufactured in a place with wheat. If I started noticing gluten symptoms, I would review what I had been eating and those items would be the first suspects, but that hasn't happened yet.

I consider myself pretty strict and sensitive and so far (7 months gluten-free) this has worked for me.
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#25 eleep

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 09:52 AM

Also, for anyone interested, if a product bears an Orthodox Union marking or is otherwise marked as kosher, you can bet that cleaning and HACCP procedures are taken quite seriously. Companies putting these marks on their products are subject to regular and frequent inspection by a Rabbi (in our case, someone sent by the OU). Those guys mean business.


Perhaps we need to start a major religion just for Celiacs!

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#26 Guest_Kathy Ann_*

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 04:05 PM

One more comment about the dairy included in these crackers. If I were in charge of product development for any food company, I would try to cater to as many markets as I could to stay safely diversified with a broad base. If I could use arrowroot or tapioca or some other less allergenic starch instead of cornstarch to help those with corn allergies, for instance, I would. If I could leave out other major allergens like dairy to particularly catch the autistic market right now, I would do that too. If I could use brown rice instead of white to add nutrition and make the health food crowd happy, that would be a good move. And if I could use another sweetener like honey, fruit juice or something instead of sugar, it would help a whole lot of people. My point is that the more allergens you remove, the bigger market share you might get, not to mention just being a better and more useful company. I often wonder who's in charge of those departments, based on the choices I see companies making. The only reason this matters so much to me is that I'm one who has a lot of other allergies besides gluten. And I have a really tough time finding any acceptable prepared foods at all. I think companies could improve in this area if they really wanted to.
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#27 frenchiemama

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 04:23 PM

One more comment about the dairy included in these crackers. If I were in charge of product development for any food company, I would try to cater to as many markets as I could to stay safely diversified with a broad base. If I could use arrowroot or tapioca or some other less allergenic starch instead of cornstarch to help those with corn allergies, for instance, I would. If I could leave out other major allergens like dairy to particularly catch the autistic market right now, I would do that too. If I could use brown rice instead of white to add nutrition and make the health food crowd happy, that would be a good move. And if I could use another sweetener like honey, fruit juice or something instead of sugar, it would help a whole lot of people. My point is that the more allergens you remove, the bigger market share you might get, not to mention just being a better and more useful company. I often wonder who's in charge of those departments, based on the choices I see companies making. The only reason this matters so much to me is that I'm one who has a lot of other allergies besides gluten. And I have a really tough time finding any acceptable prepared foods at all. I think companies could improve in this area if they really wanted to.



It's all about the bottom line, though. They can sell more "regular" products than specialty products, and they want to use the cheapest ingredients possible. They also go by what the majority of consumers want - which is cheap, super salty, and super sweet. Sad but true.
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#28 blueeyedmanda

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 05:51 PM

I am on board with Karen, I do the same thing she does, contains wheat is a no go but being processed in a facility containing wheat. I will give it a try. I eat a lot of Enjoy Life products and they are made without the Allergens and some are quite tasty. It can be done. But like previously stated they want to sell a product that will be bought be a bigger audience.
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#29 Guest_Kathy Ann_*

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 06:38 PM

It's all about the bottom line, though. They can sell more "regular" products than specialty products, and they want to use the cheapest ingredients possible. They also go by what the majority of consumers want - which is cheap, super salty, and super sweet. Sad but true.


I know you're right. It's such a shame that money has to always determine policy. I'm all for profits, but for me integrity has to be right up there too. I just solve it all by making everything myself. Not convenient, but MUCH safer.
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#30 blueeyedmanda

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 07:38 PM

To save money in that way is one of the saddest but true statements.
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