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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

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Warning: Popular Salsa Contains Gluten
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22 posts in this topic

Yup, that's right. Salsa with gluten. Not flour, or anything that might just be there through contamination, but straight up hydrolyzed wheat gluten.

Why? I don't know. But here's the product:

Reser's Original Baja Cafe Salsa

Ingredients list:

Tomatoes (Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Salt, Calcium Chloride and Citric Acid), Water, Onion, Jalapeno Pepper (Jalapeno Peppers, Salt, Acetic Acid, Calcium Chloride), Salt, Seasoning (Salt, Hydrolyzed Wheat Gluten, Stabilizer (Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Sugar), Potassium Sorbate (to Protect Freshness), Cilantro, Yeast Extract, Natural Flavors, Lactic Acid, Soybean Oil), Vinegar, Modified Corn Starch.

-----------

My suspicion is that other varieties of Reser's Salsa also contain this ingredient, though I haven't read the labels.

Soooo, inquire of your favorite restaurants whether or not they use Reser's. Of course, we should always read labels, yada yada yada. But shouldn't there be a hall of shame for making such a food science nightmare of a normally innocuous product?

I sent them a cranky email. Perhaps you should, too.

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Thank you for posting this.

Maybe all those times I thought it was the tortilla chips it was really the darn salsa.

Hmph! :angry:

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Thank you for posting this.

Maybe all those times I thought it was the tortilla chips it was really the darn salsa.

Hmph! :angry:

This has me questioning everything now. I'm double checking with Campbell's about Pace because of their "Natural Flavorings." Frito Lay specifically lists Tostitos brand as gluten free, (except for the individual cups of nacho cheese that you get at movie theaters) and I know my favorite "real" salsa brand, Herdez, contains just the basics: Tomatoes, onions, serrano peppers, salt, cilantro.

(At home I usually make my own fresh but it's one of those things I tend to eat when I'm out.)

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Surprisingly, quite a few of the mainstream salsas are not gluten-free.

Yup, that's right. Salsa with gluten. Not flour, or anything that might just be there through contamination, but straight up hydrolyzed wheat gluten.

Why? I don't know. But here's the product:

Reser's Original Baja Cafe Salsa

Ingredients list:

Tomatoes (Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Salt, Calcium Chloride and Citric Acid), Water, Onion, Jalapeno Pepper (Jalapeno Peppers, Salt, Acetic Acid, Calcium Chloride), Salt, Seasoning (Salt, Hydrolyzed Wheat Gluten, Stabilizer (Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Sugar), Potassium Sorbate (to Protect Freshness), Cilantro, Yeast Extract, Natural Flavors, Lactic Acid, Soybean Oil), Vinegar, Modified Corn Starch.

-----------

My suspicion is that other varieties of Reser's Salsa also contain this ingredient, though I haven't read the labels.

Soooo, inquire of your favorite restaurants whether or not they use Reser's. Of course, we should always read labels, yada yada yada. But shouldn't there be a hall of shame for making such a food science nightmare of a normally innocuous product?

I sent them a cranky email. Perhaps you should, too.

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Surprisingly, quite a few of the mainstream salsas are not gluten-free.

Hi Nanchris,

Could you pass on some brand names? This has got me looking around 'teh interwebs today and I can't find any specific gluten containing ingredients for other salsas, other than those contained within scary taco bell products and mass produced burritos.

I'm sure Reser's isn't the only one, though.

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This has me questioning everything now. I'm double checking with Campbell's about Pace because of their "Natural Flavorings." Frito Lay specifically lists Tostitos brand as gluten free, (except for the individual cups of nacho cheese that you get at movie theaters) and I know my favorite "real" salsa brand, Herdez, contains just the basics: Tomatoes, onions, serrano peppers, salt, cilantro.

(At home I usually make my own fresh but it's one of those things I tend to eat when I'm out.)

The Clan Thomas has taken Pace off of their gluten-free list. So we no longer eat it.

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The Clan Thomas has taken Pace off of their gluten-free list. So we no longer eat it.

I am hoping this thread gets some Google love, because all I am finding on Pace are these old lists that cite it as gluten free, and a thread from back in March with the gluten-free Campbells products listed (but not Pace.) I have emailed Campbells, but if anyone around these parts has the definitive word on Pace please share. It's so extremely common that it's probably not safe to eat salsa at BBQs anymore.

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I found this on another site:

***The following was received by mail. You must call 1-800-257-8443 to get the most recent copy of this list from Campbell's, as they won't send it by email. The following information was dated "As of February 2009". Note that there are no Campbell's Soups or Pace Picante products that are considered gluten-free.***

I actually no longer buy campbells products. At one point they were on one of the lists here as a company that did not hide gluten, but after double checking w/ them about a product that according to the label looked o.k. I was told it contained gluten. I asked twice what it contained, but could not get an answer. I prefer companies that keep an updated list on their site, but if I remember correctly they will only mail it and I don't care for that.

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Most mainstream salsas I know about are indeed gluten-free. Remember that any wheat would have to be listed, as it was in the salsa that started this thread. Rye and oats won't be in salsa. That leaves barley, which is usually listed as malt.

Has anybody found out why Pace was delisted? Is wheat or anything that could hide barley now in the ingredients? Or is Campbell just getting paranoid about declaring something gluten-free?

Disclaimer: I don't eat Pace myself, but only because I like other salsas better.

richard

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Regarding Pace Salsas:

I called Campbell's today to ask about its gluten free status. First, the customer service rep reviewed the gluten free products list which is the same one that has been floating around here, and doesn't mention Pace.

Then, in response to my question about what, specifically, the salsa could contain that included gluten, he educated me on what "gluten contains." (Ur, as opposed to what contains gluten, and didn't mention wheat)

I told him that since the product labels (except for some of the cheesy products) do not include any gluten containing products, it is dangerous to think that there might be hidden gluten. I asked that the company please list any gluten containing products on their ingredients labels or clarify for their customers how there might be gluten in the product, and that they update their gluten free list to include this information. I also mentioned that salsa is generally considered to be a relatively safe product for people with gluten sensitivities since basically there really is no good reason why a salsa product should contain any (Particularly unlabeled gluten.)

We shall see if anything actually comes of that but it was somewhat therapeutic to speak to an actual human, however little he could actually do about it.

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If I might suggest...that you forget about Campbell's Pace and buy the numerous products that Newman's Own makes that are gluten free. Plus the proceeds go to the many philanthropic endeavors sponsored by the Newman Family:

http://www.newmansown.com/faqs.aspx#q6

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If I might suggest...that you forget about Campbell's Pace and buy the numerous products that Newman's Own makes that are gluten free. Plus the proceeds go to the many philanthropic endeavors sponsored by the Newman Family:

http://www.newmansown.com/faqs.aspx#q6

Honestly, I don't buy any of these products. (I usually make my own or buy Herdez, Newmans or other lesser known or local brands) However, they are extremely common and one tends to encounter them in food service contexts as well as at friends' barbecues. Every now and then a person has to buy something from a convenience store, as well. Also, since the label doesn't actually mention any troublesome ingredients it's a risk for the average consumer out there. (Assuming there actually is an issue, which we don't know.)

I got this response from Campbell's Foodservice division:

Our Pace products do not contain any wheat in our ingredient statement. The natural flavoring appears to be hot pepper.

Thank you,

Campbells North America Foodservice

I have asked them to clarify why it does not appear on their list of gluten free products.

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Also, since the label doesn't actually mention any troublesome ingredients it's a risk for the average consumer out there. (Assuming there actually is an issue, which we don't know.)

quote]

I'm sorry, I don't quite understand?

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I'm sorry, I don't quite understand?

I guess I should say, the average gluten sensitive consumer. If you're just at the market shopping and reading labels there is no red flag to tell a consumer there might be an issue with gluten. It's not like cereals where you might expect cross contamination from other grains, either.

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I guess I should say, the average gluten sensitive consumer. If you're just at the market shopping and reading labels there is no red flag to tell a consumer there might be an issue with gluten. It's not like cereals where you might expect cross contamination from other grains, either.

Well, I think you need to apply some educated judgements when shopping. If wheat is an ingredient, it by law must be listed in the ingredient list or in the allergen statement. If wheat is not listed, it's not in there.

Other forms of gluten MAY be hidden in natural flavors, but I believe that to be rare. Sometime you have to make a judgement call and decide if a product would reasonable contain barley or rye.

The key to successfully eating gluten free is to learn to adequately decipher labels. I support those companies who will clearly list all forms of gluten. Shopping is not an effort.

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Well, I think you need to apply some educated judgements when shopping. If wheat is an ingredient, it by law must be listed in the ingredient list or in the allergen statement. If wheat is not listed, it's not in there.

True, but as has been pointed out there could be undeclared malt flavoring. Not that there should be. Regardless, the writer and lawyer in me has to know why it is not on the gluten free list. Drives me crazy not to have the specifics, and doesn't go over terribly well with the husband when he's shopping, either. I have a friend who is allergic to cilantro, some Pace salsas do not contain any, thus it was frequently around at some of our get togethers. I had read the label and wouldn't have thought anything of it.

I spoke with Reser's, their customer service rep was extremely nice and assured me she'd passed on my written comments as well as my phone call to their R&D department. I told her we of the gluten free persuasion research these things online quite a bit and would appreciate a note on the website should the ingredients change for the better.

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Red Cactus Country Sweet Salsa says gluten free on the label. It is by far my favorite and the only salsa I buy.

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why it is not on the gluten free list.

Currently, gluten free labeling is totally voluntary at this time. Many companies do not label, even though there is no gluten ingredients, because they do not test. Many will list a product as gluten free, yet they also list a disclairmer. And many companies will not supply a gluten free listing due to product change....there can be many "whys".

Guess we better get back to salsa. :)

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Will somebody pass the Tostitos? I'm getting hungry reading this.

I'm not a fan of gluten-free lists, because things change and the list is out of date five minutes after it is created. If there is nothing questionable in the ingredient list, then who cares about a list. I know I don't. Let's not make a big deal about nothing.

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Alrighty then. Can we get some good salsa recipes please?

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Alrighty then. Can we get some good salsa recipes please?

Here's my basic one, there's room for lots of variation:

2 Tomatoes, diced

1/4 of a medium onion, diced (or more or less, depending on taste)

1/4 cup diced cilantro

Juice of two limes

Cayenne pepper to taste

Ground cumin to taste (optional)

Stir together, and you're done! If you want it to be less chunky, mash it. If you like your salsa spicier, chop up a serrano (very finely) and substitute for cayenne.

I usually like it just like that, but there are other variations:

Use canned diced tomatoes instead of fresh (makes it a little runnier, more like store bought)

Use canned crushed tomatoes for a very smooth salsa

Simmer all but the cilantro (at that at the end or it will kill the flavor) stirring on the stove until smooth.

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This has me questioning everything now. I'm double checking with Campbell's about Pace because of their "Natural Flavorings." Frito Lay specifically lists Tostitos brand as gluten free, (except for the individual cups of nacho cheese that you get at movie theaters) and I know my favorite "real" salsa brand, Herdez, contains just the basics: Tomatoes, onions, serrano peppers, salt, cilantro.

(At home I usually make my own fresh but it's one of those things I tend to eat when I'm out.)

It has been posted elsewhere here that Pace is not gluten-free.

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