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Refried Beans
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Do I need to be concerned about gluten hiding in my refried beans? (It seems to be lurking everywhere.) I read the ingredients and nothing stood out as unsafe to me but I am still very much a beginner at this stuff. Can't contact the company who made them either, because I can't find an email address or phone number for them. (Apparently ALDI is not big on customer service). If I do need to be concerned about gluten in my refried beans, what are some brands of gluten free refried beans?

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By law, wheat is required to be listed. That would only leave rye, barley, or oats. I would guess its a low chance of having gluten in it, but I don't personally know if its gluten-free.

Old El Paso is a General Mills company, which will list any gluten. Their refried beans (that I have seen) are gluten-free, and if they weren't, would clearly list any ingredients of concern. http://www.glutenfreeindy.com/foodlists/index.htm

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I'm sure its something that you would have to check with each brand. I buy the Harris Teeter brand and they are safe. The ingredients are few and clearly marked. Do you have a list of things to look for in processed foods? It really helped me get through the first few months when I was unsure about a lot of things. There is one on this site, but I don't have the link. I'm sure someone else can get it to you if you can't find it.

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Not only does one need to be vigilant re: refried beans, watch out for chili beans also. Bush's Best brand chili beans, for instance, contain wheat flour.

Side story if your interested. We had a poker party at my parents house last night. My Dad had told me earlier on the phone, that he saved a can for me to read in case I couldn't eat the refried beans (we were having make your own nachos, with all the fixins').

Well, he gave me the empty can of Gebharts refried beans, I read it and declared it safe. After I had eaten two nachos of the six I had made, someone questioned if the refried beans had chili added that contained meat (one of our guest was a vegetarian). They looked at the can my Dad had saved in the fridge (for me to read and that he forgot about) and indeed, being hot dog chili, it contained not only meat, but wheat flour as well. Needless to say, the vegetarian and I both made a new plate of nachos, sans the chili refried beans.

To my surpise, I did not get sick. These are all too common occurences. Mixups in communication that result in inadvertant gluten ingestion.

best regards, lm

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JUST GOT OFF THE PHONE WITH EL PASO AND THE 'TRADITIONAL' AND THE 'GREEN CHILES' REFRIED BEANS ARE NOT GLUTEN FREE. THERE IS NOTHING IN THE INGREDIENTS SO THAT IS WHY I CALLED MYSELF....THEY ARE NOT GLUTEN FREE

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THAT IS NOT TRUE....I JUST CALLED EL PASO AND THE 'TRADITIONAL' AND THE 'GREEN CHILES' REFRIEND BEANS ARE NOT GLUTEN FREE. I CALLED FOR MYSELF AND THE PERSON ON THE PHONE FROM EL PASO TOOK THE BAR CODE, THE EXPIRATION, THE TYPE AND INFORMED ME THAT THEY ARE NOT GLUTEN FREE.

AND NO BY LAW THEY DO NOT HAVE TO LIST WHEAT. BE CAREFUL...CHECK FOR YOURSELF!!!

By law, wheat is required to be listed. That would only leave rye, barley, or oats. I would guess its a low chance of having gluten in it, but I don't personally know if its gluten-free.

Old El Paso is a General Mills company, which will list any gluten. Their refried beans (that I have seen) are gluten-free, and if they weren't, would clearly list any ingredients of concern. http://www.glutenfreeindy.com/foodlists/index.htm

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In the United States, wheat must by law be clearly disclosed. It is one of eight major allergens covered under the Food Allergy Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) which has been in effect since January 1, 2006.

Unless General Mills has recently changed their policy, Laura is right that they will not hide rye or barley.

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I got the impression from some things I have seen about Old El Paso that the ingredients on lots of products are gluten-free but the company doen't pay to be certified. It's likely a CYA situation.

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This is an old post.

I have never seen gluten in refried beans. Other types of beans, yes. Like Ranch beans or Chili beans.

They are super easy to make yourself though. Either cook some dried pinto beans or use canned beans. Mash with a potato masher and if desired add some olive oil and seasonings such as cumin and powdered onion.

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I got the impression from some things I have seen about Old El Paso that the ingredients on lots of products are gluten-free but the company doesn't pay to be certified. It's likely a CYA situation.

True. Most mainstream companies won't overtly claim "gluten-free" since they don't test for possible contamination. Make your own personal decision with which you are comfortable. In general, I eat products which have no intentionally included gluten, but that are not tested for the accidental presence of gluten.

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THAT IS NOT TRUE....I JUST CALLED EL PASO AND THE 'TRADITIONAL' AND THE 'GREEN CHILES' REFRIEND BEANS ARE NOT GLUTEN FREE. I CALLED FOR MYSELF AND THE PERSON ON THE PHONE FROM EL PASO TOOK THE BAR CODE, THE EXPIRATION, THE TYPE AND INFORMED ME THAT THEY ARE NOT GLUTEN FREE.

AND NO BY LAW THEY DO NOT HAVE TO LIST WHEAT. BE CAREFUL...CHECK FOR YOURSELF!!!

First, they most certainly do have to list wheat in the US. All companies must show the top 8 allergens on the label. Unfortunately rye, barley, and oats aren't in the top 8, but many companies, General Mills included, are very good about listing those as well.

As for the reps comments - General Mills has a list of gluten free items they are sure are gluten-free either through testing or manufacturing processes. The beans are not on that list, but they are gluten-free. There are a number of General Mills products that are safe to eat that don't appear on that list. Now if you are someone who only eats things labeled gluten-free, then you wouldn't eat their beans. But that's a false sense of security. There are no laws regarding gluten-free labeling. It's up to the manufacturer to decide what they mean by gluten-free.

As for Old El Paso refried beans, my son eats them quite frequently and his blood tests have been fantastic.

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THAT IS NOT TRUE....I JUST CALLED EL PASO AND THE 'TRADITIONAL' AND THE 'GREEN CHILES' REFRIEND BEANS ARE NOT GLUTEN FREE. I CALLED FOR MYSELF AND THE PERSON ON THE PHONE FROM EL PASO TOOK THE BAR CODE, THE EXPIRATION, THE TYPE AND INFORMED ME THAT THEY ARE NOT GLUTEN FREE.

AND NO BY LAW THEY DO NOT HAVE TO LIST WHEAT. BE CAREFUL...CHECK FOR YOURSELF!!!

'

You're incorrect here. By law, they absolutely do have to list wheat.

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I have been eating Old El Paso refried beans (traditional and spicy) for 3 months with no problem whatsoever.  I eat them about once a week.  I add about 3 tablespoons of Herdez Salsa Verde (medium heat) and a little grated cheddar cheese, heat in microwave and have a tasty dip which I eat with homemade tortilla chips.

 

This week I went to the supermarket to buy more beans, but they were out of Old El Paso so I picked up 2 cans of Casa Fiesta traditional and spicy refried beans.  I checked the label and the ingredients were the same as Old El Paso.  When I got home I checked online and they were both listed as gluten free on several different websites.  I made the dish exactly the same way, with the same jar of salsa verde and the same block of cheddar cheese and a new batch of tortilla chips made from the same recipe and ingredients that I always use.

 

Within 15 minutes of eating the Casa Fiesta refried beans I became extremely ill and this continued all night.  This was the worst gluten attack I've ever had.  I got very little sleep and I am in so much pain I will have to stay home from work today.

 

I can't say for sure what caused this, but I won't be buying Casa Fiesta refried beans again just to be on the safe side.

 

However, I must say here that the Casa Fiesta beans were actually better than Old El paso - more bean-y.

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Welcome to the forum, Maeve.  Sorry you got glutened by those beans- I always buy Bush's.  But do note that this whole thread is 4+ years old, and any info posted above has possibly changed.

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