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Glutened At Costco
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My husband and I were at Costco today - rarely do I try any of their samples unless they specifically say "gluten free."

There was a sample lady there today that was promoting a stir-fry tofu product - "low fat, high in protein and gluten free" is what she said. The ingredient panel was cut from the box and displayed on a display board - "gluten free" it read.

So I picked up a sample and took a bite and knew it had soy sauce in it. I asked the sample lady if she had added anything to the stir fry and she said, "yes, frozen vegetables and soy sauce."

I told her that she was serving a product which would make me and others sick and asked her if she realized that soy sauce has gluten in it.....she did not and she was clearly embarrassed - she only mumbled "sorry" and looked away.

Silly mistake on my part - never again.

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I never eat samples because I worry about all the other people putting thier hands on or around my sample. Sometimes they are demonstrating 2 diffferent products & one had gluten.

I shouldn't say never. When HyVee does the gluten-free sample day, I skip breakfast. ;)

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You should contact the store manager of that Costco and report the incident. They need to know that "sample lady" is an idiot who was going to make customers sick, if it was not a gluten free soy sauce - did you specifically ask what brand/type she used ?

I would never assume anything about samples.

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I agree with Takala that you should contact the Costco store manager and report the incident. While I believe the "sample lady" was probably just ignorant about the disease (Most samplers are employed through temp services, and are not actual employees of or trained by stores), the store management should be vigilant in ensuring that any sample offered as "gluten free" has not been tampered with or amended, and that samplers working at food tables with products marketed to special diet populations do not alternate between tables so that the risk of cross contamination is minimized.

This is your opportunity to be an ambassador for our community, and to educate a member of the public at large about this important, critical issue.

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I don't know how Costco does it. The local grocery " sample ladies" are hired by an agency that demos food items at various places. The agency is hired by a food company to show off a product. The sample pushers are told what to fix & how to present the items. Not used if the food company or the agency tells them. You might want to let the manufacturer know if you remember who it was. And tell Costco.

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Yep - I told the store manager right after the incident.

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they're rarely, if ever, store employees. They're hired by marketing companies to market the brand of food, they're not hired by the store. I'd also find out from the Costco which marketing company brought the person in, and contact them to make sure they know if they're sampling foods labeled as "gluten free" then they should know what that means and why!

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Not sure it matters - the pan she was cooking on, possibly the spatula, would all have been contaminated anyway. Unless they have a sign up saying the testing food is gluten free as prepared, I wouldn't touch it...maybe not even then.

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Not sure it matters - the pan she was cooking on, possibly the spatula, would all have been contaminated anyway. Unless they have a sign up saying the testing food is gluten free as prepared, I wouldn't touch it...maybe not even then.

Me, neither. I would never try samples from anywhere (unless it was a gluten-free facility and the employees themselves were gluten-free). There are just too many variables for me.

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I WILL eat certain samples. Some samples come straight from a bag or container and the stuff is obviously gluten-free or something that I know is gluten-free. Cheese if there's no crackers around. If the person is cooking something like sausage or bacon in a regular pan and there's no gluten product around, yep, I'll eat it. Yes, I know, I'm trusting they washed the pan well, but then I'm trusting that any time I go out to eat at a restaurant.

richard

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