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Kraft, Conagra, Unilever


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29 replies to this topic

#1 nikaku

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 09:24 AM

I had been hearing a lot about Kraft, ConAgra and Unilever voluntarily labeling all sources of gluten on their full product lines. I wanted to confirm this myself just to be safe, and I thought I would share what I discovered in case anyone else is interested. (This information was gathered in May 2008.)

Kraft and ConAgra both confirmed that they do list any source of gluten including wheat, rye, barley and oats on all of their products. Kraft also said this includes the shared equipment statements (ie, if the product was made on the same equipment as any barley product, the label would state this).

Unilever said they DO NOT label all sources of gluten for their full product line. They only do it for some of their products, like Hellmann's and Ragu (this isn't the full list).

I just wanted to share - hope this is helpful to someone!
~Jessica
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#2 Lisa

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 09:49 AM

Thank you for posting this. But, would you kindly post your source for this information.
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Lisa

Gluten Free - August 15, 2004

"Not all who wander are lost" - JRR Tolkien

#3 Joni63

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 09:51 AM

I had been hearing a lot about Kraft, ConAgra and Unilever voluntarily labeling all sources of gluten on their full product lines. I wanted to confirm this myself just to be safe, and I thought I would share what I discovered in case anyone else is interested. (This information was gathered in May 2008.)

Kraft and ConAgra both confirmed that they do list any source of gluten including wheat, rye, barley and oats on all of their products. Kraft also said this includes the shared equipment statements (ie, if the product was made on the same equipment as any barley product, the label would state this).

Unilever said they DO NOT label all sources of gluten for their full product line. They only do it for some of their products, like Hellmann's and Ragu (this isn't the full list).

I just wanted to share - hope this is helpful to someone!
~Jessica


Thanks for the information Jessica!

Did you happen to get all the products Unilever does disclose gluten in?
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Joni


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#4 psawyer

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 05:50 PM

I would repeat Lisa's request. Please provide the source for your new information about Unilever.

This change in Unilevers's policy is important news, if it can be verified, so please share the source.
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Peter
Diagnosis by biopsy of practically non-existent villi; gluten-free since July 2000.
Type 1 (autoimmune) diabetes diagnosed in March 1986
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#5 GFM

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 08:04 AM

Based on this thread, I decided to contact Unilever via their website. I was extremely disappointed with the canned response that didn't even address the question.

I asked: "What is Unilever's policy on ingredient labeling of foods? I know that the top 8 allergens(which includes wheat) has to be shown if present. Will Unilever also list barley, rye, and oats (whether it be the actual ingredient or an ingredient derived from these)for those who are concerned about Celiac disease? Does this labeling policy also apply to non food items? Thank You."

The response was: "Thanks for writing!

Gluten is found in wheat rye, barley, and oats. In our sauces, the source of Modified Food Starch is corn. The source of Carmel Coloring is a brown food coloring obtained by heating sugars. Malted Barley, which has been partially germinated to permit some of its carbohydrates to be broken down into simpler sugars, is used to provide flavor and sweetening to food products.

Because our products are formulated for use by the majority of our consumers, and not specifically for those on restricted diets, it is possible our product formulations may change at any time. As a result, we cannot provide a list due to several factors:

- Lists of this type reflect products as formulated at a specific time

- Possible that more products/varieties may have been added

- More important, changes in existing products may have occurred

Therefore, we suggest READING ALL INGREDIENT LABELS CAREFULLY.

We hope this information is helpful!

Your friends at Unilever Bestfoods

wsh"

It was disappointing because they didn't answer whether or not barley, rye, or oats would also be identified. Instead they tell me that they can't provide a list (which I didn't ask for) and that I should read labels carefully (which I do otherwise I wouldn't have asked the question in the first place). Very frustrating!
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#6 Lisa

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 08:12 AM

Agreed. This is a disappointing response. Sometime, the response is determined by how you ask the question and how experienced the customer service rep is. I still think that we are not getting the correct response from Unilever. I think a mass inquiry is required here. I'm on a mission.

I wrote to them last week as well with no response. I wrote today requesting their policy regarding full disclosure of gluten on their ingredient listing. I would encourage others to do the same. A non-response is not acceptable.

Here is their contact information:

http://www.unileverusa.com/ourbrands/
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Lisa

Gluten Free - August 15, 2004

"Not all who wander are lost" - JRR Tolkien

#7 happygirl

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 09:25 AM

Hope this helps. I contacted Unilever in Feb 08.

First response (after asking the company's policy)

Hello Laura, Thanks for writing! Gluten is found in wheat rye, barley, and oats. Because our products are formulated for use by the majority of our consumers, and not specifically for those on restricted diets, it is possible our product formulations may change at any time. As a result, we cannot provide a list due to several factors: - Lists of this type reflect products as formulated at a specific time - Possible that more products/varieties may have been added - More important, changes in existing products may have occurred Therefore, WE SUGGEST READING ALL INGREDIENT LABELS CAREFULLY. Kind regards,
Your friends at Unilever

My response to their response:
Can you please answer my actual question, from my original comment, which is: What is your company’s policy on labeling? Does Unilever clearly label all sources of gluten in their ingredients, including wheat, rye, barley (malt) and oats? I do not need a list of gluten free products, nor did I ask for one. I fully understand why you can't provide a list and think its great that you don't, because of constant changes. Please take the time to read my question and respond appropriately. Thank you.

Their final response, with bolding by me:

Hello Laura, Sorry for the misunderstanding! Ingredients that may contain any of the top eight allergens as defined by FDA: peanuts, tree nuts, soy, fish, seafood, wheat, eggs, and milk or dairy, as well as any ingredient that may contain gluten are always listed on the label. Kind regards,Your friends at Unilever
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#8 Darn210

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 09:28 AM

Here is their contact information:

http://www.unileverusa.com/ourbrands/



OK . . . I apparently brought their website down . . . :ph34r: . . . I wrote my letter, saved a copy (just in case), hit submit and now . . . :blink: . . . don't tell anyone it was me.

:lol: :lol:

I'll try again a little later.
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Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.


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#9 Lisa

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 09:31 AM

Laura (happygirl) posted the most current information. Holy Cow Janet! Who let you out of Sillyville? :o :lol:


Here is Unilevels response today and my reply:


> Hello Lisa,
>
> Thanks for stopping by!
>
> Gluten is found in wheat rye, barley, and oats.
>
> Because our products are formulated for use by the majority of our
> consumers, and not specifically for those on restricted diets, it is
> possible our product formulations may change at any time. As a result,
> we cannot provide a list due to several factors:
>
> - Lists of this type reflect products as formulated at a specific time
>
> - Possible that more products/varieties may have been added
>
> - More important, changes in existing products may have occurred
>
> Therefore, we suggest reading all ingredient labels carefully.
>
> We hope this information is helpful.
>
> Your friends at Lipton
>
........................................

With all due respect, you did not answer my question. I shall ask again.
What is the POLICY of Unilever regarding listing all forms of gluten on their
ingredient list on your products.

If a product contains malt, is it the POLICY of Unilever to disclose that as
an ingredient.

Lisa


>
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Lisa

Gluten Free - August 15, 2004

"Not all who wander are lost" - JRR Tolkien

#10 Puddy

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 06:56 AM

I, too, contacted Unilever this week and after their first reponse which seems to be the one that everyone else received about not having a 'list', I reworded my question and here is their response:

Thanks so much for writing!

It is important to know and understand that Unilever takes a proactive role in managing all food allergy issues.

Unilever also follows good manufacturing practices-established procedures to identify potential risk areas to prevent "cross contact" between allergen and non-allergen foods.

Unilever has accurate labeling and good manufacturing practices. Unilever focuses of the eight most common allergies identified by both U.S. FDA and the Food Allergy Network. These allergens are eggs, milk and dairy products, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish as well as any ingredient that may contain gluten.

Unilever takes great care to be certain that the ingredient statements of all of our products are accurately labeled and are in full regulatory compliance as outlined by the FDA/USDA guidelines.

As always, if you cannot determine whether the product contains the ingredient in question, you should not use it.
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Toni

Gluten Free - February 16, 2008

Diagnosed with positive bloodwork and biopsy.

No digestive symptoms for the past 25 years, but did have severe anemia, osteoporosis, lactose intolerance and RLS at time of diagnosis.

#11 Lisa

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 07:04 AM

Four stars for Unilever's gluten listing policy. Zero stars for their customer service idiots. <_<
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Lisa

Gluten Free - August 15, 2004

"Not all who wander are lost" - JRR Tolkien

#12 blueeyedmanda

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 07:39 AM

Four stars for Unilever's gluten listing policy. Zero stars for their customer service idiots. <_<



LOL! I liked this statement.
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~~~~Gluten Free since 9/2004~~~~~~


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#13 Krystal Ball

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 10:43 AM

I realize this is an old thread, however I am responding to let you know my recent experience with Unilever's "labeling policy". I had been suffering many of my food allergy symptoms and decided the common thread was Knorr bouillon. I wanted to double check the gluten-free status so I called the customer service line. By giving her the UPC code, the customer service rep was able to tell me that the bouillon contains gluten. When I mentioned what I understood the labeling policy to be she replied, "Well, it [gluten] can hide in things like caramel color."

Here is the Knorr policy (a subsidiary of Unilever) as per their website (bolding by me):

"Most Knorr products are made with gluten-containing ingredients, and cannot be considered gluten free. Ingredients that may contain gluten are always listed on the label. Since product formulations change from time to time, we do not have a printed list of products that identifies those products that contain specific allergens or gluten. The best advice we can give you is to check the ingredient list on the label. If you cannot determine whether the product contains the ingredient in question, we suggest you do not use it."

This is, I believe, misleading. Now, I interpret it to say "We always include all the ingredients on our label and you must decide if they contain gluten."

I believe their labeling policy is just this: they label the ingredients on their products. I do not believe that it is safe to assume they are clear and transparant regarding gluten.

(PS- Isn't it illegal to not clearly label allergens? I realize this doesn't include gluten, but still...)
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#14 psawyer

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 11:53 AM

Of course they label "all the ingredients." That is the law. But, some terms permissible on labels can have multiple meanings.

My read on that statement by Unilever has always been that rye, barley, oats and wheat are ingredients that will be clearly disclosed.

BTW, caramel color is gluten-free. That particular myth was shown to be false years ago.


By law, only eight identified allergens are required to be labeled. Wheat is included, but rye, barley and oats are not.
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Peter
Diagnosis by biopsy of practically non-existent villi; gluten-free since July 2000.
Type 1 (autoimmune) diabetes diagnosed in March 1986
Markham, Ontario (borders on Toronto)

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#15 Lisa

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 12:53 PM

And, your information is only as good as your customer service representative. B)

I use HerbOx, and they are labeled "gluten free".
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Lisa

Gluten Free - August 15, 2004

"Not all who wander are lost" - JRR Tolkien


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