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Labeled Gluten Free, But Not!


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14 replies to this topic

#1 highrentsmile

 
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Posted 06 February 2008 - 01:03 AM

Maybe, it is because I am a newbie, but this is confusing! When I buy a product which states "Gluten Free" I assume it contains no gluten ingredients, and has no possibility of being cross contaiminated with gluten. How wrong was I! They got me! Mi-Del Gluten Free Cookies, this is the statement...
<BR>
"Produced in a facility that also produces milk, peanuts, tree nuts, and wheat. MI-DEL Gluten Free products are routinely tested using the ELISA method to ensure 'gluten free status' as determined by the World Health Organization."
<BR>
Nature's Path Life Stream Gluten Free Frozen Waffles:
"Produced in a non-gluten free facility.
Produced in a facility that uses dairy, sesame & soy."
<BR>
Blue Diamond Nut Thins:
States Gluten Free on Box and Website
Also found on box-
Allergen Disclaimer
Produced in a facility that also also makes products containing: dairy, soy, other tree nuts, and wheat.And they even have an endorsment from the Celiac Foundation!
<BR>
Barabara's Bakery Rice Cereal
States Gluten Free on box.
Also states: "Made with Gluten Free ingredients" on website
A phone call confirmed the cereal is not produced in a gluten free facility.
<BR>
And I keep finding MORE! There are so many ways that they sneak by it. How do I know for sure, I mean there aren't very many products that actually say, made in a dedicated gluten free facility. I usually eat single ingredient foods anyway, but there is always a need for some processed products too. So, what are the laws on stating Gluten Free? Are there any? What is the best thing to do? Is it safe to eat these foods that are "tested" to be Gluten Free? It seems like all of those so called "minute" amounts would add up in your system. And, even if I don't react can't I still be damaging my intestines? Yikes!
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Emily- Diagnosed with Celiac in 2007, Gluten-free Casein-free/Organic Diet

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#2 RiceGuy

 
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Posted 06 February 2008 - 03:35 AM

Well, while being processed in a facility that also processes wheat can mean CC, in some ways it may not be any more risky than other routine things. For instance, going through the store, placing your items in a shopping cart, going through the checkout line. None of those things are gluten-free either. There may always be some risk I guess. Even if there isn't any gluten inside the package, by the time you get it home, there may be gluten ON the package. So then how would you open it without any risk? Suppose the clerk who filled the shelf was eating a sandwich moments before, and didn't wash his hands?

You see, it can drive you batty to contemplate every possible avenue of contamination. The good news is that there is a level under which the immune system does not react. Each of us is different in that, but from what I understand, the vast majority should be able to remain safe with reasonable precautions. I always carefully empty packages into appropriate containers, dispose of the packaging, and wash my hands thoroughly. Of course, if you find yourself in the checkout line behind some kid eating crackers or something, it might be a good idea to move to another line, rather than get gluten smeared all over your items as they are slid over the barcode scanner. Small health stores, and online stores would presumably not have such problems, as they don't usually have conveyor belts. At least not that I've ever seen.

In short, I don't think we should worry ourselves over it too much, unless you do find you are getting glutened by them. How you can know for sure, I don't know.
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#3 Crystalkd

 
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Posted 06 February 2008 - 07:56 AM

I have to agree. In most cases the lines are flushed and clean so you should be okay. I regularly buy alot of the products on your list and have had no problem. We are always at risk of getting glutened that just the nature of the disorder however if something says gluten free it is most likely tested to make sure it is. You can try any of the Enjoy Life brand as they are made in a dedicated facility.
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#4 sancan

 
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Posted 06 February 2008 - 08:56 AM

I'm also new to this and was driving myself crazy trying to avoid all CC. Then someone pointed out to me that I eat things processed in a non-gluten free facility every day - MY kitchen! My family are still gluten eaters and although they are very careful to avoid contamination, there's no way I can guarantee that the entire kitchen is gluten free.

So my rule of thumb has become - if it's processed in a *facility* that also processes wheat, it's probably okay. If it's processed on *machinery* that also processes wheat - then I say "no thanks". I know how well I wash the pots between meals; I can't say the same for them.

Hope this helps you prevent a brain meltdown!
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#5 Mango04

 
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Posted 06 February 2008 - 09:06 AM

You won't find many processed foods that come from dedicated gluten-free facilities. Like others have said, that absolutely doesn't mean they are all contaminated.
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"Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food." - Hippocrates

#6 Mango04

 
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Posted 06 February 2008 - 09:13 AM

In short, I don't think we should worry ourselves over it too much, unless you do find you are getting glutened by them. How you can know for sure, I don't know.



I agree. Take neccessary precautions to the best of your ability. Don't drive yourself crazy.
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"Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food." - Hippocrates

#7 loco_ladi

 
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Posted 06 February 2008 - 11:13 AM

Many companies put the "produced in a facilty" portion to protect themselves from this sue hungry world we live in I think....

envision what would happen if they didnt add that disclaimer to their products and someone died because of CC ? How many millions of dollars would the family be able to sue for?

I agree and practice what was stated before, if it says "produced in a facility" I dont worry to much if its made on the same line as others I generally pass.
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Just my .00000002 cents worth
If I knew what I was doing years ago I would have half a clue today!

#8 highrentsmile

 
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Posted 06 February 2008 - 12:09 PM

Well, while being processed in a facility that also processes wheat can mean CC, in some ways it may not be any more risky than other routine things. For instance, going through the store, placing your items in a shopping cart, going through the checkout line. None of those things are gluten-free either. There may always be some risk I guess. Even if there isn't any gluten inside the package, by the time you get it home, there may be gluten ON the package. So then how would you open it without any risk? Suppose the clerk who filled the shelf was eating a sandwich moments before, and didn't wash his hands?

You see, it can drive you batty to contemplate every possible avenue of contamination. The good news is that there is a level under which the immune system does not react. Each of us is different in that, but from what I understand, the vast majority should be able to remain safe with reasonable precautions. I always carefully empty packages into appropriate containers, dispose of the packaging, and wash my hands thoroughly. Of course, if you find yourself in the checkout line behind some kid eating crackers or something, it might be a good idea to move to another line, rather than get gluten smeared all over your items as they are slid over the barcode scanner. Small health stores, and online stores would presumably not have such problems, as they don't usually have conveyor belts. At least not that I've ever seen.

In short, I don't think we should worry ourselves over it too much, unless you do find you are getting glutened by them. How you can know for sure, I don't know.

I agree, and while I don't worry about the packaging at all, I just envisioned a flour dust filled factory with my food getting contaiminated. I suppose they must take better percautions than that. No, I too, think it is too much to worry about who touches my box! lol :)
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Emily- Diagnosed with Celiac in 2007, Gluten-free Casein-free/Organic Diet

#9 mamaw

 
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Posted 06 February 2008 - 12:48 PM

Rice guy
You did a great job on this... I agree . We all must just do our best & live on................You know the saying "S_ _ _ t happens" Mistakes are great learning tools!!!!

mamaw
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#10 Unclezack

 
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Posted 14 February 2008 - 12:45 PM

Maybe, it is because I am a newbie, but this is confusing! When I buy a product which states "Gluten Free" I assume it contains no gluten ingredients, and has no possibility of being cross contaiminated with gluten. How wrong was I! They got me! Mi-Del Gluten Free Cookies, this is the statement...
<BR>
"Produced in a facility that also produces milk, peanuts, tree nuts, and wheat. MI-DEL Gluten Free products are routinely tested using the ELISA method to ensure 'gluten free status' as determined by the World Health Organization."
<BR>
Nature's Path Life Stream Gluten Free Frozen Waffles:
"Produced in a non-gluten free facility.
Produced in a facility that uses dairy, sesame & soy."
<BR>
Blue Diamond Nut Thins:
States Gluten Free on Box and Website
Also found on box-
Allergen Disclaimer
Produced in a facility that also also makes products containing: dairy, soy, other tree nuts, and wheat.And they even have an endorsment from the Celiac Foundation!
<BR>
Barabara's Bakery Rice Cereal
States Gluten Free on box.
Also states: "Made with Gluten Free ingredients" on website
A phone call confirmed the cereal is not produced in a gluten free facility.
<BR>
And I keep finding MORE! There are so many ways that they sneak by it. How do I know for sure, I mean there aren't very many products that actually say, made in a dedicated gluten free facility. I usually eat single ingredient foods anyway, but there is always a need for some processed products too. So, what are the laws on stating Gluten Free? Are there any? What is the best thing to do? Is it safe to eat these foods that are "tested" to be Gluten Free? It seems like all of those so called "minute" amounts would add up in your system. And, even if I don't react can't I still be damaging my intestines? Yikes!


  • 0
Suffered from intestinal problems since the age of 4.

Doctors diagnosed everything from IBS to haital hernia.

Self diagnosed after prompting from a friend with Celiac Disease and a Natureopath.

1 week of Gluten Free foods was all it took to know. Years to heal.

#11 happygirl

 
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Posted 14 February 2008 - 12:48 PM

Maybe, it is because I am a newbie, but this is confusing! When I buy a product which states "Gluten Free" I assume it contains no gluten ingredients, and has no possibility of being cross contaiminated with gluten.


There is no "rule" or "law" determining what gluten free means. It is being worked on in the FDA now.

But "no" possibility is virtually impossible. lots of things aren't produced in a gluten-free facility that don't mark it. Some are marked. Doesn't mean that they don't take every precaution, and it doesn't mean that wheat is prepared right next to the gluten-free products.

Just something to keep in mind.
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#12 missy'smom

 
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Posted 14 February 2008 - 02:00 PM

So my rule of thumb has become - if it's processed in a *facility* that also processes wheat, it's probably okay. If it's processed on *machinery* that also processes wheat - then I say "no thanks". I know how well I wash the pots between meals; I can't say the same for them.


This has become my policy as well. I have reacted to items labeled "gluten-free" and produced on shared lines that were cleaned. Apparently I'm one of the very sensitive ones. Someone close to me, who is a doctor said "this is a good thing" and while it sucks, I have to agree. My body tells me exactly what is OK and what is not. In the end I think this is to my benefit.
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Me: GLUTEN-FREE 7/06, multiple food allergies, T2 DIABETES DX 8/08, LADA-Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults, Who knew food allergies could trigger an autoimmune attack on the pancreas?! 1/11 Re-DX T1 DM, pos. DQ2 Celiac gene test 9/11
Son: ADHD '06,
neg. CELIAC PANEL 5/07
ALLERGY: "positive" blood and skin tests to wheat, which triggers his eczema '08
ENTEROLAB testing: elevated Fecal Anti-tissue Transglutaminase IgA Dec. '08
Gluten-free-Feb. '09
other food allergies

#13 HAK1031

 
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Posted 14 February 2008 - 02:37 PM

my understanding of the "official" definition of gluten-free, according to the FDA as of January 2008, is that a product has to be tested under 20 parts per million of gluten in order for it to bear the label.

that said, i pretty much follow the same philosophy as everyone else- shared facility, i just take into account the brand and how well trusted it is, and the type of food. eg i'll eat nuts that are manufactured in a wheat-containing facility because i feel there is less of a chance of flour being in the air than say a bakery. cc is everywhere. i eat lunch at school everyday, and the tables have visible crumbs on them! i just make sure i dont touch them, and neither does my food.
  • 0
Gluten Free since 10/07
Mildly Lactose Intolerant, slight intestinal symptoms after eating milk products, but easily corrected with lactase enzyme
Endometriosis- DX'd 5/07

Gluten Antibodies- "negative"...don't know exact numbers, am highly suspicious...
DXed celiac 12-19-07 via genetics/elimination diet- DQ2 allele

Brother with Celiac, aspergers...his tests were all negative (he didn't have genetics done), including endoscopy, but he definitely is at the least gluten intolerant...highly suspect my mother has it as well- she has hyperthyroid, fibromyalgia, hemochromatosis, and now colon cancer, and she has been weak and exhausted and just generally sick. She's going to get tested.

#14 happygirl

 
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Posted 14 February 2008 - 02:42 PM

http://www.cfsan.fda...dms/glutqa.html

http://www.csaceliac...reeLabeling.php
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#15 tarnalberry

 
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Posted 14 February 2008 - 03:14 PM

if you ever have bread, or cereal, or a granola bar in your kitchen, YOUR KITCHEN is a shared manufacturing line. sure, you have cleaning processes between 'runs', but it's still shared. and that's why I don't worry about it overly much, depending on the product and how I'm feeling. the equipment versus facility differentiation is fair as well; it's always a personal decision.
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Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"
Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy
G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004
Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me
Bellevue, WA




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