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Do Not Trust The Trader Joes Labels


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#1 Happy Holly

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 03:25 PM

I almost purchased some baked cheetos at Trader Joes today. The front of the package had the mark indicating it was gluten free. The back, however, indicated that the product had been processed on equipment that also processed wheat products.

I have sent an e-mail to Trader Joes but have not yet heard back from them.

Please be very careful and do not trust their gluten free label on the front of their products.
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#2 sbj

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 03:34 PM

This doesn't seem fair to Trader Joe's to me. I don't believe they are breaking any rules by stating that something is gluten free even though it might be made on equipment that also processes wheat.
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#3 Lisa

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 03:39 PM

I can understand your frustration. :)

In the Unites States, as of yet, there is no standard for labeling a product "gluten free". A company can label a product "gluten free" if there are no gluten ingredients.

More and more, I see companies labeling their products "no gluten ingredients". Rarely a manufactured product can claim to be 100% gluten free. The slightest exposure growing, harvesting and processing can not guarantee 100%.

But a product that is processes at a facility that also produces wheat products, does not make that product non-gluten free, and should be labeled "no gluten ingredients".

Trader Joe's does very well by us and they are very well intended. There may be an occassional product that slips by, but we are lucky to have them.
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#4 Happy Holly

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 03:40 PM

Sorry, but I have to disagree here.
If it is processed on the same equipment with wheat, then it most likely has wheat in it.
Have you ever eaten something that did not have gluten in it but was process on equipment with wheat? I have and the results were pretty serious.

Cross contamination is serious and should not be underestimated. I still shop at Trader Joes, I just want those of us who cannot eat wheat or gluten to be awawre that the label on the front may have been placed there by someone who does not fully understand celiac sprue disease and gluten intollerance. If something is processed on equipment with wheat, then we cannot eat it. :(

This doesn't seem fair to Trader Joe's to me. I don't believe they are breaking any rules by stating that something is gluten free even though it might be made on equipment that also processes wheat.


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#5 psawyer

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 03:41 PM

Sbj is correct. There is no regulatory definition by the FDA of "gluten-free."

Canada has strict rules about the ingredients in "gluten-free" products, but even those apply only to ingredients intentionally in the product.

In both Canada and the US, labels regarding shared equipment, or shared facilities, are completely voluntary. So, just because you don't see a notice, you can not assume that ether the equipment or the facility is dedicated to gluten-free products. A number of companies will by their own policy always disclose this, but many don't.

It sucks, but that is the way it is.
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Peter
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Type 1 (autoimmune) diabetes diagnosed in March 1986
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#6 wschmucks

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 04:01 PM

A product that is labeled "Gluten Free" should not contain any gluten-- even if there isnt a law enforcing it. It should mean exactly what it says. If they mean that there arent ingredients in the product-- fine-- say tno gluten ingredients. But I do not think it is fair or safe to consumers to say something is gluten free, when there is gluten in it, regardless of how the gluten found its way into the product.


I have fell victim to Trader Joes too many times to count and I think they're a great store in general, but very unsafe for anyone with food allergies or reactions. I will not shop there anymore.
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#7 sbj

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 04:18 PM

A product that is labeled "Gluten Free" should not contain any gluten

The test does not exist that can show something contains no gluten. No test is that sensitive - it's not possible. Gluten is virtually unavoidable in microscopic amounts - it's everywhere, even in 'gluten-free' flours.
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#8 happygirl

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 04:33 PM

Plates in my kitchen are, by default, equipment that has wheat made on it.
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#9 sugarsue

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 05:55 PM

I don't know what is right or wrong or possible or not possible regarding gluten labeling and testing, but I do know that I just glutened my daughter by the Trader Joe's Cheese Puffs. I knew the back said shared "equipment" and it was our first try at that. I thought it would be OK since she has done fine with shared "facility". She was sick within 10 minutes :(
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Susan
LYME diagnosed 11/2010, allergic to wheat, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, allergic to all grasses, most trees, dust
Mom to 9 year old dd, lyme, diagnosed 11/2011, highly gluten intolerant, epilepsy w/ generalized seizures, mitocondrial markers, malabsorption, recurring candida - Gluten-free Casein-free since 9/16/08. Diagnosed with P.A.N.D.A.S. 6/20/09, seizure free since going gluten-free!
and 10 yr old dd, Lyme diagnosed 11/2011, severe dust allergy, allergic to most trees/grasses/weeds. Positive gluten intolerance testing. Gluten Free since 12/09/08. Diagnosed with P.A.N.D.A.S. 6/20/09

#10 Mtndog

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 06:09 PM

Trader Joe's, in my experience, discriminated between "No gluten ingredients," which means they don't have gluten ingredients but you need to read the processing statement on the back, and gluten-free which hasn't been processed on shared equipment.

I've noticed over the last few years their labeling has gotten better. But, like anything else you should always read the WHOLE label.
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#11 Jenny (AZ via TX)

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 06:10 PM

I think everyone is going to react differently. I will not eat anything that says made on shared equipment with wheat. I will eat if it says made in a facility that also processes wheat. It's a personal choice.
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#12 Fiddle-Faddle

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 07:59 PM

For those who don't yet know this, "Gluten-Free" in the US does not mean gluten-free. It means that it may contain up to 200 ppm (parts per million) gluten.

Rice Dream rice milk, for example, is processed with barley enzymes, and contains residual gluten, but they are allowed to call it "gluten-free" as long as it tests as 200 ppm or less.

200 ppm is more than enough for most celiacs to react, BTW.
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#13 happygirl

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 08:07 PM

Actually, no ruling has been made. http://www.csaceliac...reeLabeling.php And, the proposed ruling is 20 ppm, not 200.

There is NO regulation on gluten free at this time. http://celiacdisease...ng/a/FALCPA.htm
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#14 psawyer

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 08:09 PM

For those who don't yet know this, "Gluten-Free" in the US does not mean gluten-free. It means that it may contain up to 200 ppm (parts per million) gluten.

Can you provide your source for this, please. Although directed by law to develop a definition for "gluten-free" the last I knew the FDA had not yet done so, so "gluten-free" meant whatever the company using the term wanted it to mean. Various levels have been talked about.

A limit level will be necessary, because to enforce a rule there must be a way to test for compliance. No test can ever prove total absence of anything, so the detection level will always be more than zero parts per million. It does not follow that just because the test used for enforcement detects 200 ppm, that every product with a gluten-free label contains 199 ppm. Less than 200 ppm also includes 0 ppm--there is just no way to verify that with a test.
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Peter
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Type 1 (autoimmune) diabetes diagnosed in March 1986
Markham, Ontario (borders on Toronto)

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#15 Fiddle-Faddle

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 08:23 PM

I'm not sure I understand what you're asking me. I didn't say that "gluten-free" means that it DOES contain 200ppm, just that it may contain UP TO 200 ppm.

According to Kikkoman, their soy sauce can be listed as safe, too, even though wheat is the second ingredient on the label. See: http://surefoodslivi...ment_2_4_05.pdf That letter is dated 2005, so if it's no longer accurate information, I do apologize. They listed the Codex standard as 200 ppm. (And I'm not saying I agree with Kikkoman, either, I just thought it was interesting. Sorry if this isn't the right thing to post here--I'm very tired!)
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