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Red Lentils From The Bin
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6 posts in this topic

I was wondering if you buy lentils from bins, you know in the bulk section of the store. I was desperate for red lentils and this was the only place I could find it. What do you think? Should I use it? Have you had any problems with lentils/grains from the bulk section?

The bin it was in was the type where it's suspended and to open it there's a lever you push and the lentils come out. You don't scoop it out with a spoon.

Thanks, I appreciate all the opinions.

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I needed unsalted cashews for snack mix I was making...4 stores later, I finally found some in the bins like you are talking about. All the bins were labeled with nutritional information and on the label it clearly stated that this product was packaged in a facility that also processes wheat, soy, dairy, etc....I found the manager and asked if he new why it said that, he didn't but he called the main distributor and basically it was explained to me that they arrive to the warehouse in HUGE container and then are repackaged in the warehouse for distribution to the stores...with no regard to cross contamination...I wouldn't say that this happens everywhere, I just know i can't buy out of the bins at my grocery store.

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I think you'll be okay if you sort and wash the lentils well before you use them. I prefer not to buy bulk ingredients but sometimes it can't be helped. You're supposed to sort/wash beans and lentils anyway to remove little pebbles and surface dirt, so this is just one more reason to do so.

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I've done that a few times, and the times it has turned out all right, I just checked the bins around it. If there was nothing with gluten nearby and it had no 'processed with wheat' issue, I have bought them without trouble.

But if it has gluten nearby, I worry that when the nearby bins are used, it might poof in the air and get in that area where the food comes out, you know? so I tend to avoid it at that point.

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I never buy from bulk bins. Even without shared scoops, I am concerned about what was in the bin in the past. I've never seen a bulk section that didn't have a lot of wheat, pasta, barley, and other gluten grains. I have to admit, if someone handed me a random bag of red lentils, I would pick them over, rinse them well, and then not worry about gluten so you'll probably be fine. Things like dried fruit and trail mixes that are sticky and you don't rinse well that would be more troublesome.

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Thanks everyone! I might try sometime, although for the past week my stomach is so messed up, this is so depressing. See my other post.

I do soak lentils, I soak for 12 hrs and rinse before cooking. Still unsure what to do, I'll play it by ear.

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