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Are Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Gluten Free Or Not?
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I just got off of the phone with a customer service representative from Hershey's. They do have a gluten free list, but do not post it on their website and are unable to email a printed copy because it changes so often. As of today, the only Hershey's candies which are gluten free are:

1. Hershey's kisses

2. Hershey's 1.55 ounce chocolate bar

3. Hershey's chocolate bar with almonds

I specifically asked about Reese's peanut butter cups, and was told that they are not gluten free. Just wanted to get the word out.

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That stinks! Did they used to be gluten free and now they are not? No Reeses, no Twix, no Kit Kat. Good thing I can still have Snickers...or can I???

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That stinks! Did they used to be gluten free and now they are not? No Reeses, no Twix, no Kit Kat. Good thing I can still have Snickers...or can I???

There is always confusion with these since some of the special holiday shaped Reese's are not gluten free. I hope that this was the case with the person you spoke with. According to the packaging I have never saw a regular Reese Peanut Butter Cup that was not gluten-free.

Or they could have changed the formula - which I hope is not the case!!!!

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Did they give you any specifics to what changed?

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I suspect this is the case here.

I tend to agree. Haven't they always been a little 'reserved' when it comes to saying something is gluten-free or not?

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Good afternoon fellow Celiacs (and non-Celiac gluten free-ers). Hope everyones having a nice day. We're having a small ice storm here in Big D.

Now down to business. I'm looking at a Reeses PB Cup ingredient label. I eat them fairly often. Not only are there no gluten ingredients listed, there's not anything that might remotely be of questionable nature. Therefore, for me, it is gluten free.

No offense to anyone that believes otherwise, but I wouldn't put two cents worth to anything someone that answers a phone would have to say about it. Chances are they are not knowledgable about the issue, or know near as much about it as I do. And in the remote case where they might know something, they are only going to give a legally driven answer which is going to be useless by design.

I've been on a gluten-free diet for over four years and haven't felt the need to make even one phone call. I really don't understand the thinking behind it. Everything I need to know is on the ingredients label. Now if I had a small Celiac child that was problematic, and I had prescription medicine that didn't list the ingredients, yes of course I would call.

I've been following this forum for over four years, and it seems most of the time there's a topic that starts out as "such & such is NOT gluten-free", and there's a phone call involved, there's never any real concrete evidence given to contradict the ingredients label.

That's my story. Peace to all. :)

best regards, lm

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Good afternoon fellow Celiacs (and non-Celiac gluten free-ers). Hope everyones having a nice day. We're having a small ice storm here in Big D.

Now down to buisness. I'm looking at a Reeses PB Cup ingredient label. I eat them fairly often. Not only are there no gluten ingredients listed, there's not anything that might remotely be of questionable nature. Therefore, for me, it is gluten free.

No offense to anyone that believes otherwise, but I wouldn't put two cents worth to anything someone that answers a phone would have to say about it. Chances are they are not knowledgable about the issue, or know near as much about it as I do. And in the remote case where they might know something, they are only going to give a legally driven answer which is going to be useless by design.

I've been on a gluten-free diet for over four years and haven't felt the need to make even one phone call. I really don't understand the thinking behind it. Everything I need to know is on the ingredients label. Now if I had a small Celiac child that was problamatic, and I had prescription medicine that didn't list the ingredients, yes of course I would call.

I've been following this forum for over four years, and it seems most of the time there's a topic that starts out as "such & such is NOT gluten-free", and there's a phone call involved, there's never any real concrete evidence given to contradict the label.

That's my story. Peace to all. :)

best regards, lm

http://www.zeer.com/Food-Products/Reese-s-Peanut-Butter-Cups/000025736

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Ingredients

Milk Chocolate (Milk Chocolate contains Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Chocolate, Nonfat Milk, Milk Fat, Lactose, and Soya Lecithin and PGPR (as Emulsifiers)Peanuts, Sugar, Dextrose, Salt, and TBHQ and Citric Acid (to Preserve Freshness)

Hershey has been notorious in support of their proprietary suppliers, rather than the customers who buy their product.

I try to avoid purchasing their products for that reason alone.

I do agree with lm, reading labels generally works for me. And your information is only as good as your customer representative.

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I believe it because I got sick as a dog eating 2 over t giving break (my treat while everyone else got pies)

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There's nothing in those ingredients with gluten.

richard

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I'm with LM on this one. I have family members who work for Hershey Co. and have been told directly that they won't claim gluten free but their products don't contain gluten ingrediants. If they changed their formula to something that did contain those ingrediants, they'd be obligated by the FDA to put that on the label. I eat these and many of their other non gluten ingrediant candy with no issues. Never once has it made me have any form of a reaction.

To each his own! Unless they clearly put a gluten ingrediant on there...I'm not giving up their deliciousness.

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Thank you all for your responses and comments. I called Hershey's because I have had my usual celiac symptoms after eating a regular sized peanut butter cup on two separate occasions in the past year (and no, I am not lactose intolerant, soy intolerant, or have any problems with emulsifiers or any of the other ingredients in them). I am extremely sensitive to cross-contamination, though, and have had reactions to other products which manufacturers have stated have "no gluten ingredients,'" but I have later found out are produced on shared lines after I have had reactions, i.e. Tostitos.

I agree that, per the packaging, that there are no gluten-containing ingredients in Reese's peanut butter cups.

When I called Hershey's main phone number to speak with a customer service regarding gluten, the rep who I spoke with had much more knowledge about gluten than I expected. The three Hershey's candies which are "gluten free" are the only ones which are produced on dedicated lines and do not risk coming in contact with gluten-containing products during manufacturing.

It would be interesting to see if others who call Hershey's get conflicting information.....

I am envious of those of you who do not get sick from cross-contamination and are able to use and trust ingredient labels. Unfortunately, that is not the case for all of us!

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Yes it's very unfortunate that some people are extremely sensitive to very small amounts of gluten. I feel for you as it must make life even more difficult.

For practical purposes however, we need some way to identify products that contain gluten ingredients, and those that don't. An additional (but separate) category are products that do not contain gluten ingredients, but are made on shared lines, or in a facility that also processes wheat.

The regular and snack size RPBC would be in the first category. They do not contain gluten ingredients and therefore should be safe for most celiacs. If the phone representative is to be believed, they potentially could be risky for extremely sensitive Celiacs due to being processed on shared lines.

Potential cross contamination. Now that's a whole nuther subject!

best regards, lm

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Ok good. I thought my night was going to be ruined. :-)

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Thank you all for your responses and comments. I called Hershey's because I have had my usual celiac symptoms after eating a regular sized peanut butter cup on two separate occasions in the past year (and no, I am not lactose intolerant, soy intolerant, or have any problems with emulsifiers or any of the other ingredients in them). I am extremely sensitive to cross-contamination, though, and have had reactions to other products which manufacturers have stated have "no gluten ingredients,'" but I have later found out are produced on shared lines after I have had reactions, i.e. Tostitos.

I agree that, per the packaging, that there are no gluten-containing ingredients in Reese's peanut butter cups.

When I called Hershey's main phone number to speak with a customer service regarding gluten, the rep who I spoke with had much more knowledge about gluten than I expected. The three Hershey's candies which are "gluten free" are the only ones which are produced on dedicated lines and do not risk coming in contact with gluten-containing products during manufacturing.

It would be interesting to see if others who call Hershey's get conflicting information.....

I am envious of those of you who do not get sick from cross-contamination and are able to use and trust ingredient labels. Unfortunately, that is not the case for all of us!

I am an extremely sensitive Celiac and usually only eat commercially processed foods from dedicated facilities(there are a few exceptions where their production practices are excellent) yet have never had any problems with RPBC. There really is no way to prove cc in small amounts anywhere because they cannot test down to levels below 5 ppm. You still may be sensitive to another ingredient in the candy as that can be hard to pin down also.

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I've been on a gluten-free diet for over four years and haven't felt the need to make even one phone call. I really don't understand the thinking behind it. Everything I need to know is on the ingredients label.

My father is pretty much the same. He's never called a company about their gluten free status. He goes by labels. I can't. And...I don't know if I can describe how this thinking comes about well enough, but I'm really going to try, because just from talking with my father, I know it probably seems crazy-over-the-top to you for people to do this. And I guess I wish it didn't, because truly, it isn't, at least not for some of us. I hope I can do this without it coming across just a confusing ramble or really offensive. Truly, not trying to be. Apologies if I get this wrong.

I often get the impression that it is assumed that folks like myself, who call companies, do this right off the bat. That we're super, super careful like this from the beginning. And I can honestly say, I haven't yet met anyone who did. Who would want to? It's a pain in the butt.

It's typically after starting off NOT calling companies and getting burned that we start taking more care.

So, here goes my explanation for what might be a common experience for those of us who call up companies to ask about gluten CC and such (it's not all of us, but not too far off for a lot of us, I don't think.)

Imagine you went on your gluten free diet, and you didn't get better. Your symptoms didn't improve, in fact, some of them might even get WORSE after you go gluten free. You are sick all the time, you are miserable, and since you KNOW you are only eating gluten free foods, you start looking for other problems.

You look at other food allergies and intolerances, and maybe you find some. You avoid those. Still sick. Still not getting all the way better. Test for other stuff. Still not better.

And then, if you're lucky, maybe you notice that you feel better on less processed foods. A day of carrots and broccoli and you have no symptoms. A day where you eat a can of gluten free chili: sick. A meal of rice and spinach: good. A meal where you have gluten-free cereal: sick. And then you eat the gluten-free chili maybe a second time, or a third, or a fourth, and you are sick after eating it, every time, no matter what else you ate or didn't eat along with it.

And that seems to be how it starts. You call up a company, hoping to find out what in the world about it could make you sick, and you find out it processes gluten on the same line, or in the same room. And you call up another company that made food you were sick after, and find out they do the same thing. And then another, and then another, and pretty soon, you are avoiding all these foods that process gluten foods on the same line as yours, and finally, FINALLY, you start to get better. Your symptoms start to go away.

And that's when you start calling companies up before you eat their food, to find out how they process their food, because otherwise, you get hosed.

And you are correct, lm, when you say that there is little evidence of gluten to be found in a test on many of these items (although sometimes you can find a person who saved some of the food and actually sent it in for testing somewhere). But for most people I know who call up the company, we had to do our own testing using our bodies and our experiences. Hard to quantify, at times. Very hard to give as proof to someone else who is NOT experiencing these same issues.

But I don't think that it necessarily makes the experience less valid, you know? Not any more than someone who is saying they feel fine eating a 'no gluten ingredients' food that many react to should be doubted for NOT having a reaction, if that makes sense?

Potential cross contamination. Now that's a whole nuther subject!

I found it really interesting that you viewed it as such, because I guess as a celiac who DOES have to make these phone calls, I always view it as the same thing, now. If something is gluten free, I think it should mean the food is free from gluten ingredients AND free from potential cross contamination. Otherwise, there's no way to tell if the product is always safe, or if you just get to play Russian roulette and hope that your batch of food didn't get contaminated.

Now if it's 'no gluten ingredients,' then that says nothing about cross contamination, in my book. That's honest on a company's part. If there was a differentiation, I really wish that one would be it. Gluten free - I honestly can't see it as anything but weaseling a bit on the truth when a company says this, but knows there's at least a moderate contamination risk.

And part of the reason it bothers me so much is that most people SEE gluten free and think there IS no cross contamination risk. Personally, I have all faith that the company folks are smart enough to know that, and use the term gluten free for just that reason.

IMO, it's like a company owning a pond and saying the pond is safe because the nearby snakes only come and swim in it once every few weeks. That's just fine for those who swim when there's no snakes, but the company knows that the danger exists and it IS going to harm someone at some point. And they're not making that clear in their labeling.

I know it's just my opinion. And I'm probably more irritated by it because my level of sensitivity is more affected by this than, say, my father's. But I notice that for the two organizations that certify products as gluten free, both the ingredients AND the cross-contamination issues have to meet a certain set of standards, so I don't think I'm completely alone in thinking that 'gluten free' should address cross-contamination, not just ingredients.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents and all. And very glad you were so honest about your opinions, I think this is turning into a very interesting discussion, as a result. :)

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I think all companies should be required to label products that are made on shared equipment. They do that with peanuts and nuts so why not wheat. Having said that I am in love with Reese's dark chocolate peanut butter cups and I eat them several times a week. I don't have a lot of symptoms so I can't always tell if I am having a reaction but my recent blood work showed I was following the gluten free diet very well. I did find last fall that Reese's came out with a new candy bar and the packaging looked very much like the peanut butter bar but I read the label and it had wheat in it. You can never be too careful.

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Dear Shauna,

What a terrific post! I wish I had your elegance and graciousness. I thought you explained your particular situation, or category, very well. Yeah, I can see where if you tried just the "reading labels" thing, and it doesn't work for you, you have to take more extreme care.

I guess I feel like I don't want newbe's to automatically think they have to do that. You know, get the wrong impression from the more extreme posts on this forum. Everyone should do exactly what you did. Try just reading labels, and if that doesn't work try something else.

I don't want everyone to think all Celiacs are extreme nut-cases. I feel like I'm fighting for some moderation and common sense sometimes. I apologize if I inadvertainly step on some toes along the way. I will try to be more sensitive (no pun intented) to the more sensitive here.

best regards, lm

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I guess I feel like I don't want newbe's to automatically think they have to do that. You know, get the wrong impression from the more extreme posts on this forum. Everyone should do exactly what you did. Try just reading labels, and if that doesn't work try something else.

I can totally understand that - and I agree, that's a good thing. I can remember that first shopping trip after going gluten free, so overwhelming. Just reading the labels alone felt impossible. It's something that I think I have to be more aware of, at times, because my family had to go SO extreme that it's hard to remember how many people don't.

'Just' reading labels feels like the easiest thing in the world, now. ;) Although when I forget that I get reminded of it by my family, LOL. Five people gluten free, some more sensitive, some not. I'll be pointing out risks for my dad that he didn't know of, and he'll be reminding me that my one kid who isn't as sensitive as me and my daughter actually CAN have this other gluten-free Food.

But I think something like what's going on here with the discussion is really helpful - reminders that most people don't have to call companies, and reminders that some do - hopefully that can be good info. for everyone, you know? Makes it so no one slips through the cracks because they think the diet's too hard, and no one stays sick because they actually need the harder diet, either.

Works out well. :-)

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Well put T.H B)

I guess I feel like I don't want newbe's to automatically think they have to do that. You know, get the wrong impression from the more extreme posts on this forum. Everyone should do exactly what you did. Try just reading labels, and if that doesn't work try something else.

I get that you don't want folks to throw up their hands in frustration and run screaming into the night away from gluten-free because of how careful some of us end up having to be. I think we can all agree that, no matter how hard this stuff seems at times, we are all better off for having figured out what a problem Gluten is.

I don't want everyone to think all Celiacs are extreme nut-cases. I feel like I'm fighting for some moderation and common sense sometimes. I apologize if I inadvertainly step on some toes along the way. I will try to be more sensitive (no pun intented) to the more sensitive here.

You may want to be more mindful, given that the opening line in this paragraph (that you tell us you are going to try to be more sensitive in by the by) is pretty offensive.

You don't want people to think that all Celiacs are nut-cases... Why would they think that? Because some of us are more sensitive then others? Would you rather they bury their heads in the sand about this VERY real possibility? Stay sick because it can't possibly be the Reeses since there are no gluten ingredients in it? To perpetuate this notion...THAT would be the true nut-casery.

Just out of curiosity do those of you who aren't so sensitive have any other autoimmune disorders? Heart disease? Cancer? Diabetes? etc... I only ask because I'm starting to understand that just because you aren't having symptoms doesn't mean damage isn't occurring somewhere in the body, small intestine or not.

Or perhaps you have already healed your permeable intestine and that may not be allowing CC through? Have you scoped, are your villi healed?

I am sincerely interested in the bigger picture. Why some of us are sensitive and others aren't. Fascinating topic.

Thanks!

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I think we drifted a little from the Reeses topic. And I certainly didn't intend to offend anyone.

But, they might get that impression from people having reactions to labeled gluten free products that are made in a completely gluten-free facility, for instance. The manufacturers may be asking themselves, what do we have to do to satisfy all these people?

best regards, lm

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FALSE Reese's ARE gluten free, and always has been!! Those customer represetntatives apparantly have no clue what they are talking about!! I just had a Reese's today, and it was a recent one-the Valentine's Day one. Possibly they update them a lot, maybe they did. I also very highly doubt that there is only 3 gluten free products availiable right now. Come on! They were just lazy enough to READ 3 to you!

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FALSE Reese's ARE gluten free, and always has been!! Those customer represetntatives apparantly have no clue what they are talking about!! I just had a Reese's today, and it was a recent one-the Valentine's Day one. Possibly they update them a lot, maybe they did. I also very highly doubt that there is only 3 gluten free products availiable right now. Come on! They were just lazy enough to READ 3 to you!

Before you come on here with your CAPS and your exclamation points please check your facts and read the entire thread. There have been some peanut butter cups that are not G.F in the past. They were the special holiday ones for Halloween and / or Easter. They may have changed for this year but I know I have seen wheat listed on them in the past.

Also, Hershey's is not very consumer friendly when it comes to giving out their ingredients. So it is quite possible that the customer service rep only read those three items as they don't like to specifically state that products are gluten free since they cannot quarantee that their suppliers are using gluten-free items.

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