Get email alerts Get Celiac.com E-mail Alerts  




Celiac.com Sponsor:
Celiac.com Sponsor:




Ads by Google:






   Get email alerts  Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts

Do Not Trust The Trader Joes Labels
0

74 posts in this topic

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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Ads by Google:

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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites




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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 :(

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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://surefoodsliving.com/wp-content/uplo...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!)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for editing your earlier post for clarification, FF.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for editing your earlier post for clarification, FF.

I did not edit the original post, for clarification or anything else! I didn't edit it at all--that was how I wrote it the first time. You can tell, because it appears in psawyer's post as a quote.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must have misread it, then. I thought you had corrected it to update it regarding gluten free labeling. My mistake!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fiddle-Faddle, you state that, in the US, gluten-free means less than 200 ppm.

My question was about the basis of that statement. As far as I know, the FDA has yet to establish a regulation about the designation "gluten-free," so how are we to know that the limit is 200 ppm. Maybe there is no established limit yet (my understanding). It could end up at 200 ppm, or a different number. Until the FDA makes and publishes a rule, we just don't know.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is interesting to me that Europe uses a standard of 200 ppm. I often read on this forum about how Europe is so far advanced compared to the US when it comes to gluten free testing, products, labeling, medical profession, and so on. We are so backward in the USA, they are so much better, blah blah. So it strikes me as strange that Europe seem to be getting by quite successfully using a standard of 200 ppm. Many on this forum seem to feel that even a standard of 5 ppm will not be good enough. In fact, from what I can glean, many here actually feel that no product should be labeled gluten free, ever, because you can actually never certify that a product is gluten free. They also seem upset with products that contain no gluten ingredients if they are made on shared equipment or in shared facilities. They don't seem to realize that such labeling is voluntary and much of the gluten free foods that they do eat are probably produced in shared facilities - they simply aren't labeled that way! Gluten is everywhere. Studies show that those with celiac disease can probably handle up to 6 mg of gluten daily without intestinal damage.

Aren't we asking for some impossible to reach standard regarding labeling? As customers it is up to us to take some responsibility for what we put in our bodies - we shouldn't blame these companies that produce products especially for us. If you can't handle food made on lines that also process wheat then do your best to establish which companies are doing that and avoid that food. But I don't think it is unreasonable for a company to say their food is gluten free if they test it to be below 20 ppm and use good practices.

The FDA study linked below is titled, "Approaches to Establish Thresholds for Major Food Allergens and for Gluten in Food":

http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/alrgn.html#table-iii-1

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe the standand in the EU was just set this week to 20ppm to be 'gluten-free' and 100ppm for 'very low gluten'. The compliance date is 2012 for manufacturing and labeling changes. I believe wheat starch is still allowed. Here is a link. If you Google it you can find a few more on the subject.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I believe the standand in the EU was just set this week to 20ppm to be 'gluten-free' and 100ppm for 'very low gluten'. The compliance date is 2012 for manufacturing and labeling changes. I believe wheat starch is still allowed. Here is a link. If you Google it you can find a few more on the subject.

So can gluten-free or very low gluten products be made on lines that also process wheat, or be made on machinery that also processes wheat? Would very low gluten products be suitable for someone with celiac disease (or who is the target, I wonder?)

The FDA article I linked to mentioned that 20 ppm for 'naturally' gluten free products and 100 pmm for other gluten free products was a good target so it sounds like the EU standard is reasonable.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From traderjoes.com:

In addition, we have voluntarily included information about the manufacturing process of our products ("Made on shared equipment..." and "Made in a facility that processes..."). What these statements don't include (there is only so much room on the label) is that all Trader Joe's private label suppliers follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP's). We work closely with all of the companies that manufacture our products and require that they are vigilant about minimizing and monitoring any potential cross contamination risk. Some of the steps taken to prevent cross contamination include education and training of employees about allergens, careful labeling and segregation of allergen ingredients, cleaning of lines between production runs and stringent scheduling of product runs. Manufacturers may even use alternate days to process products that contain allergens from those products that do not.

We provide you with all of this information so you can feel confident that you are making informed buying decisions. We want you to feel safe, comfortable and thrilled by with the food choices you are making.

As manufacturers and ingredients can change, we strongly encourage our customers to read ingredient information every time they buy a Trader Joe's brand product (or any product, for that matter).

Clearly, everyone needs to evaluate his or her own needs and decide whether they are willing to consume products manufactured on the same equipment, or in the same facility, or only from dedicated facilities. As for me, this statement is good enough. If the equipment is cleaned between runs, and the product I'm eating doesn't contain gluten ingredients, I will eat it. I won't necessarily do the same with other brands, but I haven't had any problem with TJ's stuff so far.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was an article in I believe the NY Times? a couple months ago ( I can't find the link, but its somewhere on this board) where they tested out these so-called "good manufacturing practices" which do have an FDA standard in regard to allergens because some children had gotten allergic reactions to food that should never have had allergens in them. I no longer trust that statement. Places like Whole Foods and TJ's don't make or process their own food. In TJ's case a lot of it is processed outside the US. They set these standards for their plants, but who knows how often they check it, how its actually being run etc. Call me paranoid, but I don't trust these big corporations to follow through on all these claims. Heck, the Peanut Butter Corp people are claiming they followed "good manufacturing practices".

I will do "shared facilities" but you won't find me eating anything "shared equipment". I have a 100% gluten-free house for a reason.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How many parts per million of gluten can a product be contaminated with by being produced on equipment that also produces wheat and gluten? Since many of us have had reactions to products processed on shared equipment, then it seems likely that a product can acquire more than the 200 ppm gluten just by being produced on shared equipment.

Anyone agree/ disagree?

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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
0

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      103,639
    • Total Posts
      918,434
  • Topics

  • Posts

    • How effective is HD skin biopsy after being gluten free for a year
      DH is celiac disease that appears on the skin (gluten triggered).  It does not appear when you are consuming dairy, which sounds like a separate issue for you.   A DH biopsy requires active lesions (new/fresh) from consuming gluten.  So, if you want to be tested via a skin biopsy you must go back on gluten.  Finding a dermatologist who knows exactly how to biopsy for DH is often difficult.  Be sure your Derm is knowledable and has biopsied for DH before. Why no endoscopy for now?  I bet your GI  knows that your insurance will deny the endoscopy.  After all, you tested negative to the blood panel.  Your GI should not even ordered the blood panel knowing that you had been gluten free for months.  You have to be consuming gluten daily for 8 to 12 weeks for the blood test to be accurate.   Did you ever test positive?  Why did your primary diagnose you?  Having the gene just means you can develop celiac disease.  Some 30% of the population carries the genes.  The gene test should only be used to help rule out celiac disease.  
    • How effective is HD skin biopsy after being gluten free for a year
      No one can say exactly how long you might be able to get a positive dh biopsy after having been gluten free as long as you have been. The Chicago Celiac Disease Center says this: http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/faq/im-scheduled-to-have-a-skin-biopsy-to-screen-for-celiac-disease-should-i-maintain-a-gluten-containing-diet-similar-to-those-who-are-being-screened-via-blood-or-intestinal-biopsy/ http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/faq/what-is-a-gluten-challenge/ You said you had a flare of the plaque psoriasis -- that is NOT dh so why do you think the dh biopsy will show positive? Testing positive for the celiac genes does not mean you have celiac disease. 30+% of the population have the celiac genes but only very, very small fraction of those people do or will present with celiac disease. The gene tests are only used to rule OUT celiac NOT to diagnose it. Frankly, I can understand why your GI does not put any stock in your Primary doc's thinking you have celiac disease. A positive celiac gene and the boils in your armpits which the GI never saw and were never biopsied for dh but they resolved on a gluten free diet and so did your plaque psoriasis. That's all the GI has to go on. I don't know why you are pushing an endoscopy. If you've been eating strictly gluten free then an endoscopic biopsy for celiac will be negative.  Your PCP should have done a celiac blood panel on you back when you were still eating gluten rather than dx you based on the celiac gene you tested positive for.
    • How effective is HD skin biopsy after being gluten free for a year
      I've been gluten free for a year now and my gastro wants to wait for the endocopy until I'm eligible for the colonoscopy when I turn 50 later this year. I don't think she believes I have celiac, even though I tested positive for one of the genes associated with celiac and my primary has diagnosed me as having celiac. The gluten sensitivity blood tests came back negative, of course, since I was gluten free for 9 months at that time. Why is she waiting? At any rate, My digestive system has improved greatly, but when I reintroduced non fat Greek yogurt in my diet, the plaques psoriasis returned on my elbows. My primary believes it is dermatitis herpetiformis (as well as I, since before going gluten free, I used to get boils in my armpits) and I'm scheduled for a skin biopsy in 3 weeks. However, I eliminated dairy from my diet 4 weeks ago and the plaques psoriasis is healing like it did when I eliminated gluten from my diet a year ago. If the scar is reduced to eczema, does that mean there still are IGA deposits in my skin? I don't want to resume dairy since I experienced a cross reaction to the casein in cheese and found lactose was on that same list. So my question is, how long do the granular IGA deposits remain in the skin in order to have a valid skin biopsy test performed for dermatitis herpetiformis? Since it takes 1-2 years for dermatitis herpetiformis to heal on a gluten free diet and I just had a recent flare up, can I continue on my dairy free diet or should I resume eating non fat Greek yogurt for the next 3 weeks just for this skin biopsy?
    • Celiac Night Vision
      Thanks Cristiana. It was Mistyx7 and night driving. Migraine type is very personal but does not appear to be closely connected to celiac or my peculiar scotomas. If you think going gluten-free has improved it that deserves a separate topic!
    • Burning Sensation
      The last post was from 2011.   if you can eat a regular pizza crust with no issue, then gluten isn't your problem.  You might want to look for something else.  The amount of gluten in a beer or fryer cc is very very small compared to eating a pizza crust.   I am assuming you do not have Celiac disease.
  • Upcoming Events

  • Blog Entries

  • Recent Status Updates

    • celiac sharon  »  cyclinglady

      Hello cycling lady, have you noticed my picture is showing up as you?  Have no idea why but it's rather disconcerting to see my picture and your words 😉  Do you know how to fix it?  You seem to have far more experience with this board than I do
      · 1 reply
    • Larry Gessner  »  cyclinglady

      Hi There, I don't know if there is a place for videos in the forum. I just watched "The Truth About Gluten" I think it is a good video. I would like to share it somewhere but don't know where it should go. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
      Here is the link if you have never watched it.
      https://youtu.be/IU6jVEwpjnE Thank You,
      Larry
      · 2 replies
    • ChiaChick  »  Peaceflower

      Hi Peaceflower, Just wanted to say thank you for the chat.
      · 0 replies
  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      60,732
    • Most Online
      1,763

    Newest Member
    SueJ
    Joined