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Gluten-free Vs. No Gluten Ingredients
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I was just diagnosed on Monday and am trying to figure things out and am hoping someone can provide some insight. I am trying to understand how much I should be concerned about cross-contamination, both at home and outside the home. When looking at lists on-line, such as Trader Joe's No Gluten list, I am finding some companies stating No Gluten Ingredients instead of Gluten Free. Is this something I need to be concerned about? Is there a way to determine what is considered safe, if produced in a facility that also produces products that contain gluten? Thank you in advance for any information.

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I initially didn't worry about this, in part, because I used very few products at first. I didn't try to substitute everything but just ate what was naturally gluten-free. Over time I have added in and tried more products and have come to see that I'm very sensitive and have clearly reacted to products that were labeled gluten-free but produced on shared equipment. It said on the box that the equipment was cleaned according to allergen control procedures and that they were tested to be under 5ppm. When I contacted the manufacturer, they told me that another one of their products was made in a dedicated(gluten-free) facility. So, I stick to that one. It is a personal decision where you want to draw the line. I personally feel that there is a greater risk of cross-contamination with dry products if they are made on equipment or in a facility that is shared with wheat. When they say "no gluten ingredients" then you don't really know if it is in a shared facility or on shared equipment. You could call or e-mail the manufacturer to ask them about it. Many have shared their experiences with reacting to various gluten-free products so there is some risk involved, even if it is slight. I may not react to the same one that someone else does but the cummulative picture tells me that there is some risk. We all have to decide for ourselves if it is worth it. You can always choose to buy only products made by dedicated gluten-free companies in dedicted gluten-free facilities. It's limiting but it's safe.

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Thank you very much for all the information and sharing your personal experience, very much appreciated!

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I tend to read labels very carefully and avoid products with any kind of gluten in them; however, I don't seek out totally gluten free dedicated line foods. This may be because my reactions haven't been as extreme as others have.

You will become an expert at reading labels in short order. It's probably easiest to start off with totally gluten free products and add in others as you feel comfortable.

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As far as cross contamination at home there are many tips on this website. Personally, if something with gluten "touches" my stuff I consider it contaminated. If I am cooking a gluten free dish and a non-gluten free dish I can't use the same spoon in both. I have to use two different sets of utensils. Dishes, cups, silverware should be washed in hot soapy water or I personally prefer it to come out of the dishwasher before I consider it safe to use. For example, I went out to eat last week and I couldn't figure out what made me so sick...I remembered the deep fried onion rings that were on my food when it arrived. Silly me pushed them off, didn't see any crumbs and ate the food. Well, I was sick within minutes of eating. I am still learning too.

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Keep in mind that, today, any label that discloses possible contamination sources is totally voluntary. There is no law or regulation requiring it, so the absence of such a disclosure on a label does not mean anything.

Do you ever eat in a restaurant? If so, the kitchen is a shared facility and the dishes and cutlery are shared equipment.

Do you have any gluten-containing products in your house, perhaps for other family members? If so, then your house is a shared facility. Do they have their own dedicated dishes, cutlery and dishwasher? if not, then, well, you get the point.

When I see these notices, I consider the type of product and the likelihood of a problem, while keeping in mind that the next product over may be just as risky while not telling me.

When I see "may contain traces of ..." I worry more, but still realize that this may be nothing more than a CYA statement for a shared facility.

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