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Anyone Been Glutened By Earl Grey Tea?
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Not completely true. If it contains a FALCPA allergen, that must be disclosed. It can be sort of hidden in natural flavor, but only if a "Contains:" statement on the same label discloses its presence. In practical terms, natural flavor is almost invariably gluten-free, to the point where I don't worry about it.

Well, FALCPA doesn't cover barley/rye/oats, right? Generally the concern with tea is barley, I would think.

 

(I tried to read it but my eyes went like this :wacko: )

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Yes, FALCPA does not cover rye, oats or barley. Rye and oats are never hidden in flavors.

The possible source would be barley malt, and that is a relatively expensive ingredient, so it is usually explicitly declared as "malt flavor."

Shelley Case on flavorings:

It would be rare to find a "natural or artificial flavoring" containing gluten (a) because hydrolyzed wheat protein cannot be hidden under the term "flavor." and (b) barley malt extract is almost always declared as "barley malt extract" or "barley malt flavoring." For this reason, most experts do not restrict natural and artificial flavorings in the gluten-free diet.

Gluten-Free Diet - A Comprehensive Resource Guide, published 2008, page 46

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The Tim Horton's I once worked at had steeped tea and then different teabags. Possibly sources of CC at my specific store would be the green tea bags which were a giant box (100 or more) of individual bags that the lid was torn off for ease of use. There used to be bagel crumbs in them all the time (or at least the sesame and poppyseeds off the bagels) because it was under the bagel rack. However they also sold the individually wrapped green tea. They did sell Earl Grey, and I suppose it would be possible for the person handling the individual teabag straight from the individual packet may have glommed their hand all over it before pouring the hot water on it, right after getting someone a muffin and didn't use the waxy properly when picking up the muffin. I would call that unlikely though.

There was also a very small chance of getting CC from the filters because they are kept open in a stack, not folded, and crumbs or whatnot could potentially fall in. The store I was at was so busy this would be highly unlikely to happen with a coffee filter. The tea filter for the steeped tea would be more likely for that to happen with since it was a different filter and the tea is never as popular. Still seems highly unlikely. All food besides the bagels were kept in a glass display case in front of the rest of the work area.

The cups I would not worry about CC from since they were stored sideway under the counter in a dispenser.

 

In any case, I don't worry about cc from Tim Horton's with the exception of the green tea. If I wanted some green tea from them I'd ask for the teabag on the side in which case they'd give me a wrapped one and hot water. I would understand always wanting to have the teabag on the side at one of these places though, since pretty much all of them serve gluteny treats too.

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