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Wendy's Canada Food Allergy Poster
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The Wendy's I go to in Ottawa has a poster up and it has the allergens in their food products. I was sick of the baked potatoes and the kids wanted Wendy's, so I gave in. The grilled chicken without the bun was not listed as containing wheat. I got sick on my way out to the car. I called the regional manager and he admitted that the chicken breast does have wheat. These are the ingredients on the website:

Ultimate Chicken Grill Breast

Chicken breast, water, seasoning (sea salt, maltodextrin, natural flavours, yeast extract, onion powder, garlic powder, sugar, gum Arabic, dextrose), modified corn starch, sodium phosphates. Rubbed with paprika and spice.

To my inexperienced eye there is nothing there that contains wheat, but the manager admitted there was wheat in the seasoning. I have asked him to take down the posters with the incorrect information down until they can be replaced but he was not interested in doing that.

As well, some of the salad dressings are listed as having no soy on the poster. Here is the ingredient list:

Creamy Red Jalape
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Have you thought about talking to someone higher up in the Wendy's chain?

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My very experienced eye does not see any wheat in the first ingredients list either.

Is it possible that the poster came from the US? The reason I ask is that the salad dressing you posted is considered soy-allergen free under US federal law. There is an exemption in the statute for "highly refined oils." So, in the US, that dressing would not be considered to contain the allergen soy.

Edited by psawyer
Clarified references to soy as an allergen
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I can't find the reference now, but I remember reading somewhere that yeast extract could contain gluten, and should only be considered safe if in a product labelled gluten free.

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With the exception of "brewer's yeast," yeast and products derived from it are gluten-free. That includes "yeast extract" and the essentially synonymous "autolyzed yeast." "Brewer's yeast" is questionable, as it has two meanings, one of which is the spent yeast from the process of brewing beer from barley.

Yeast extract is a concern if you are avoiding MSG, but that is a whole 'nother ball game. And since I mentioned MSG, let me mention once again that MSG is gluten-free.

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Have you thought about talking to someone higher up in the Wendy's chain?

I have called but they have not returned my call as of yet.

My very experienced eye does not see any wheat in the first ingredients list either.

Is it possible that the poster came from the US? The reason I ask is that the salad dressing you posted is considered soy-allergen free under US federal law. There is an exemption in the statute for "highly refined oils." So, in the US, that dressing would not be considered to contain the allergen soy.

The poster is Canadian. Seriously soya oil does not contain soy??? Well, I'm glad I am not american because, my body does not agree. As far as the wheat goes, I don't know if the ingredient list on the site is different from the ingredient list on the box, I am just going by what the manager said. It could have also been tongs or something.

Thanks for all the replies. I will see it through and let y'all know what was decided.

Connie

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It could have also been tongs or something.

Cross-contamination is always a risk in a fast-food place like Wendy's.

I'm not aware of an exception for oils in Canadian label rules that is similar to the US one.

But in the US, oils are not considered allergen content, regardless of the source. Add to that the fact that (also US rules) restaurant meals are not required to disclose anything about their content. Whatever you do see is completely voluntary.

As far as I know, disclosure of allergen content for restaurant food is voluntary in Canada. CFIA is fairly firm on requiring that the statements not be misleading. "Misleading" is open to interpretation.

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I was going to say, too, that you may have gotten sick from cross-contamination. I went to a Wendy's not too long ago and they were handling everything with the same gloves: buns, meat, and condiments...order after order. And crumbs are everywhere in a place like that, especially when they're busy. For a moment I considered getting a bunless burger, but not after I saw how they were preparing the food. Even if I did ask them to change gloves, it would have been too risky in my opinion.

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Got a call back from Wendy's nutritionalist. Apparently there is no gluten in the grilled chicken breasts. So I guess it was cross contamination. As well, she claims the soya oil (highly refined) is not an allergen. I did not know this. Is anyone sensitive to soy but okay with soya oil?? I assumed that I had been having reactions to it but I could have been wrong.

Connie

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As far as I know, disclosure of allergen content for restaurant food is voluntary in Canada. CFIA is fairly firm on requiring that the statements not be misleading. "Misleading" is open to interpretation.

...for now!! New regulations passed by Health Canada will make listing of allergens mandatory on all labels, starting in August 2012. WOOOHOOO!!! :D

From Health Canada:

The Food and Drug Regulations require that most pre-packaged foods carry a label and that their ingredients appear in a list in decreasing order of proportion. However, some ingredients used in food products which were previously exempt from declaration in the list of ingredients, (e.g., components of margarine, seasoning and flour) will now be required to appear on food labels also.

Health Canada has worked with the medical community, consumer associations, and the food industry to enhance labelling requirements for priority allergens, gluten sources and sulphite in pre-packaged foods sold in Canada. Proposed new regulations will strengthen labelling requirements by requiring that the most common food and food ingredients which can cause life-threatening or severe allergic reactions are always identified by their common names so that consumers can easily recognize them on food labels.Canada's new food allergen labelling regulations will come into force on August 04, 2012.

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...for now!! New regulations passed by Health Canada will make listing of allergens mandatory on all labels, starting in August 2012. WOOOHOOO!!! :D

From Health Canada:

The Food and Drug Regulations require that most pre-packaged foods carry a label and that their ingredients appear in a list in decreasing order of proportion. However, some ingredients used in food products which were previously exempt from declaration in the list of ingredients, (e.g., components of margarine, seasoning and flour) will now be required to appear on food labels also.

Health Canada has worked with the medical community, consumer associations, and the food industry to enhance labelling requirements for priority allergens, gluten sources and sulphite in pre-packaged foods sold in Canada. Proposed new regulations will strengthen labelling requirements by requiring that the most common food and food ingredients which can cause life-threatening or severe allergic reactions are always identified by their common names so that consumers can easily recognize them on food labels.Canada's new food allergen labelling regulations will come into force on August 04, 2012.

That doesn't sound like it applies to restaraunt food - Just prepackaged.

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Maybe I'm just paranoid, but anything labelled "Seasonings" freaks me out. :ph34r: I know spices can be only spices, but seasonings can be all kinds of things. I know they're supposed to disclose wheat (looking forward to full disclosures everywhere!) but you never know - especially when ingredients are (I'm assuming) shipped in from elsewhere.

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Maybe I'm just paranoid, but anything labelled "Seasonings" freaks me out. :ph34r: I know spices can be only spices, but seasonings can be all kinds of things. I know they're supposed to disclose wheat (looking forward to full disclosures everywhere!) but you never know - especially when ingredients are (I'm assuming) shipped in from elsewhere.

If it just said "seasonings," you would be correct. But in this case the contents of the seasonings are given in a parenthesized list after the word. So, in this case, we do know what is in them.

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My daughter was allergic to soy but outgrew the allergy. When she was allergic, the oil didn't bother her. But soy flour would make her sick to her stomach.

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Seriously soya oil does not contain soy??? Well, I'm glad I am not american because, my body does not agree.

If an oil is unrefined or cold-pressed, there is more of a likelihood of proteins having survived the process to remain in the final oil. With refined oils, however, the processing is supposed to eliminate enough of the protein to not be a problem. There's been more research done on this with peanut oil, but the results were pretty promising that refined oil is safe.

That said, anecdotally, people have still reported having issues with some refined oils made from their allergens. This might, however, be due to allergen cc, because if the oil is made from a food, then that food is necessarily present in the facility where it's being processed.

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Just wondering: maybe you're super-sensitive? There's maltodextrin in it, which should be safe for most celiacs because it's under the 20 ppm limit. However, some people are super-sensitive and can still react to it. Maltodextrin is a flavouring agent which is made from hydrolised starch. If made from wheat starch it can cause problems with a very small percentage of celiacs.

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Ellie84, I know things may be different in Europe, but here in Canada I have never seen maltodextrin that was wheat derived. Corn is the usual source.

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Ellie84, I know things may be different in Europe, but here in Canada I have never seen maltodextrin that was wheat derived. Corn is the usual source.

Ah, lucky for you then ^_^ I even have to double-check gluten-free products to check for "gluten-free" wheat starch and maltodextrin. Our Celiac Association NCV has received many complaints from people about gluten-free foods. Many people still have reactions to them/

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