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Tazo Bottled Drinks And Gluten..?


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#1 GLUTEN FREE IN SLC

 
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Posted 01 June 2012 - 01:03 PM

So I recently bought a bunch of the Tazo bottled tea drinks (all flavors) because they were on sale at Whole Foods. Anyways, after getting home I realized that I didn't even check the labels to see if there were any gluten containing ingredients; I just figured tea drinks would be gluten free. After checking the labels it doesn't list any gluten containing ingredient's, however, none of the flavors say "gluten free". Sometimes gluten can be hidden in "natural flavors" or via cross contamination.

I went online to Tazo's website which was absolutely no help, it doesn't even list the bottled drinks at all. After doing more research online and even calling the company I am still left without a definite answer. The lady said they don't add gluten, however, they can't guarantee it's gluten free (LAME!).

If anyone has any experience with Tazo as a brand, or more specifically the bottled drinks, please let me know if you have any knowledge to whether the drinks are gluten free or not. Also what kind of facility they are processed in, and if there is a possibility of cross contamination?

Any help would be much appreciated. Just fyi the flavors I purchased are Organic Iced Black, Tazoberry, Giant Peach, Brambleberry, and Tea Lemonade.
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#2 psawyer

 
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Posted 01 June 2012 - 01:52 PM

The lady said they don't add gluten, however, they can't guarantee it's gluten free (LAME!).

Not lame, but honest. It means they don't actually test the ingredients or the finished product, so they are not in a position to guarantee gluten-free status. Standard legal disclaimer, found for most mainstream products.
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Peter
Diagnosis by biopsy of practically non-existent villi; gluten-free since July 2000.
Type 1 (autoimmune) diabetes diagnosed in March 1986
Markham, Ontario (borders on Toronto)

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#3 GLUTEN FREE IN SLC

 
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Posted 01 June 2012 - 04:36 PM

Not lame, but honest. It means they don't actually test the ingredients or the finished product, so they are not in a position to guarantee gluten-free status. Standard legal disclaimer, found for most mainstream products.


In regards to my "LAME" comment; it was more in regards to the situation as a whole. I understand the legal nature of this subject, and why she gave me the answer she gave me. However, I feel the employee could have explained more thoroughly the way in which their products are made, and the facilities they are processed in. I didn't mention this in my first comment but the person on the phone was short, and sounded like she could care less. When I call a company for information I expect to talk to a knowledgeable employee that actually knows about the products they produce; or at least cares to help their paying customers. Aside from that, the products I bought aren't even listed on their website. It's not like I bought some off brand at the dollar store; these are commonly sold/expensive drinks. The Tazo employee did say that their drinks are made in a facility that IS NOT ALLERGEN FREE. BUT NO WHERE ON THE DRINKS DOES IT MENTION ANY ALLERGEN INFORMATION. So maybe now you can understand why I might be a little upset with the situation.

So all in all, the product probably doesn't contain gluten. But am I going to continue to buy a product in which the company makes no attempt to please their customers with food allergies? Never again. I can tell you this, there are millions of people in the United States with food allergies; if companies continue to be oblivious to that, they will eventually loose millions of dollars from people like me not buying their product.
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#4 Gemini

 
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Posted 04 June 2012 - 10:45 AM

In regards to my "LAME" comment; it was more in regards to the situation as a whole. I understand the legal nature of this subject, and why she gave me the answer she gave me. However, I feel the employee could have explained more thoroughly the way in which their products are made, and the facilities they are processed in. I didn't mention this in my first comment but the person on the phone was short, and sounded like she could care less. When I call a company for information I expect to talk to a knowledgeable employee that actually knows about the products they produce; or at least cares to help their paying customers. Aside from that, the products I bought aren't even listed on their website. It's not like I bought some off brand at the dollar store; these are commonly sold/expensive drinks. The Tazo employee did say that their drinks are made in a facility that IS NOT ALLERGEN FREE. BUT NO WHERE ON THE DRINKS DOES IT MENTION ANY ALLERGEN INFORMATION. So maybe now you can understand why I might be a little upset with the situation.

So all in all, the product probably doesn't contain gluten. But am I going to continue to buy a product in which the company makes no attempt to please their customers with food allergies? Never again. I can tell you this, there are millions of people in the United States with food allergies; if companies continue to be oblivious to that, they will eventually loose millions of dollars from people like me not buying their product.


The reason companies do not go overboard with allergy information or try to guarantee gluten free status is because American
liability laws heavily favor the consumer. If a company knows they may get sued by some people who make a huge deal out of things, then they are not as inclined to cater to the allergy crowd. You have to remember, you take full responsibility when you eat or drink anything out because nothing in life can be absolutely guaranteed. You see much more allergy information in Europe and are catered to well in many places because they just can't sue someone if they get sick....and I agree with that.
I always take full responsibility for my food actions and if I am unsure of an ingredient, I don't eat or drink it....I find something else. It's not a big deal. The Tazo employee informed you that their product is not produced in an allergy free facility and that's all I ever need to know to make a decision. If wheat were in the drink, it would have to be declared, by law.
As for barley, that might be an ingredient but once you do this for awhile, it is a lot easier to figure out the ingredients that might contain barley.

I really don't think that refusing to buy a product is going to matter at all or affect the company's bottom line because there are many more people without allergies or who are in plain denial about anything they may have and continue to eat or drink whatever they want. That's why there is so much crappy food sold everywhere. They are not going away because of food allergies.

BTW....the bottled Tazo drinks I stay away from. You can buy the lemonade and tea mixture at the store, where they will make it up fresh. I asked to see the bottles and read the ingredients and the black and green teas (plain) are gluten free, along with their lemonade used in the drink. Their Chai tea mix is also gluten free and the soy milk used, in case you are dairy free.
I have found it much easier to go into Starbucks and read the ingredients lists myself and have never been glutened there. Those are the only 2 drinks I ever order there so I've had good luck.
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