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Kraft And Cross-Contamination O.0


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#1 cavernio

 
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Posted 03 July 2012 - 06:12 AM

OK, so I've read A LOT of people tout that Kraft will be gluten-free unless otherwise stated, especially on this website. I have trusted this information, not really questioned it.

I only decided to check this out for myself since I've been buying a lot of kraft sauces that have 'spices' or 'natural flavours' as ingredients, and I thought I should double check just in case. Especially since people who are trying to cook for me keep peppering me with questions with what is safe, and I *wanted* to tell them Kraft is safe, but again, I can't be too cautious, can I? Afterall I'm one of those people whose body doesn't really tell me I've eaten gluten (at least not yet,) so I can't trust it to tell me when I have eaten it.

Firstly, it is very clear to me from their website that all ingredients that have added gluten in them will be listed clearly on the label. That's good. Matches what everyone says.

However, this is a statement from taken directly from their website, the same site that says all their gluten ingredients will be clearly listed, http://www.kraftreci...freefoods.aspx:

"A small number of Kraft Foods products are labeled as “gluten-free” according to the proposed definition by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These are: Crystal Light, Kool-Aid and Tang powdered soft drinks and some Back to Nature rice crackers. We take this claim seriously and for such products, we are assured there is no unintentional contact with gluten during every step of the agricultural growing, transportation and manufacturing process. You might notice that many additional Kraft Foods products may have ingredient statements that do not list a source of gluten, but without the extremely specialized procedures in place to diligently validate gluten purity, we do not label the finished product as gluten-free. In this way, we are very serious and thorough when labeling products as gluten-free."

Whoa. This is big news. It's basically a huge, red flag saying 'cross-contamination imminent' for all their products that don't specify gluten-free right on the package. This isn't OK to me. And it's not like they only manufacture nuts or raisins or something so that you can think something like, 'well, only nuts and raisins will be put on their machinery'. Kraft manufactures everything under the sun, so it seems highly likely that cross-contamination is bound to exist for some of their products at least some of the time.


So with that, has anyone every experienced a gluten reaction after using a Kraft product? Thinking back about previous gluten reactions, do you think you may have attributed a possible Kraft contamination to something else because you assumed Kraft was safe?


I'm really upset by this :-( I thought I had a big brand name I could trust, where I could read the label and be worry free if the ingredients were safe, for products I could find at any grocery store where I live.
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#2 Gemini

 
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Posted 03 July 2012 - 08:22 AM

"A small number of Kraft Foods products are labeled as “gluten-free” according to the proposed definition by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These are: Crystal Light, Kool-Aid and Tang powdered soft drinks and some Back to Nature rice crackers. We take this claim seriously and for such products, we are assured there is no unintentional contact with gluten during every step of the agricultural growing, transportation and manufacturing process. You might notice that many additional Kraft Foods products may have ingredient statements that do not list a source of gluten, but without the extremely specialized procedures in place to diligently validate gluten purity, we do not label the finished product as gluten-free. In this way, we are very serious and thorough when labeling products as gluten-free."


I think this is a pretty fair statement of fact about their products and one that Celiac's need to learn to interpret. This is basically a legal disclaimer so they won't get sued. They clearly label their products as gluten free and those with no gluten-free label, but with no listed gluten ingredients to worry about, are most probably safe for the vast majority of Celiacs out there. You are never going to get a written guarantee on food, with good reason.
If you don't trust that as being good enough, then stick to fruits and veggies to eat, and no processed foods whatsoever. Unless you have additional food allergies or intolerances, this is probably not necessary. I have never gotten sick from any Kraft product I have used and I am an extremely sensitive Celiac.


I'm really upset by this :-( I thought I had a big brand name I could trust, where I could read the label and be worry free if the ingredients were safe, for products I could find at any grocery store where I live.


No need to be upset or worry...it takes time to learn the ropes and understand labels. The vast majority of foods that are labeled or have no gluten ingredients are safe to consume but unless a company tests for gluten after every batch, there will never be any ultimate guarantee. If you want that level of testing, be prepared for that $50.00 loaf of bread. Testing is expensive and not necessary all the time.
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#3 Skylark

 
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Posted 03 July 2012 - 09:05 AM

I've got some bad news if that worries you. None of the big companies guarantee gluten-free status or lack of CC unless they have labeled a product gluten-free. Then can't! Even the gluten-free label generally means <20 ppm, not the <10 ppm that GFCO certification requires.

There is a lot of awareness of celaic among big manufacturers. They don't want to make people sick because it's bad for business. FALCPA requires all wheat to be labeled; many big manufacturers go the extra mile and declare barley, oats, and rye. Whether the food is safe or not depends on your personal level of sensitivity. If you don't have symptoms, you need to adopt a lifestyle that works for you and get repeat TTG testing from your doctor. If your TTG stays elevated you know you're not being careful enough with processed foods and other potential sources of CC.

General Mills: "If there are no gluten- containing ingredients listed in the product ingredient label, but the product does not make a gluten free claim, it is because we cannot fully assure that this product is gluten free. While we have not added gluten-containing ingredients, factors such as sourcing, conditions of manufacture, etc. do not allow us to provide the full level of assurance that a gluten free claim requires"

ConAgra: "Please be aware that although ConAgra Foods cannot certify products to be gluten-free, we can assist you by affirming that a product has been formulated without commonly known gluten containing ingredients."

http://glutenfreeins...statements.html
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#4 cavernio

 
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Posted 03 July 2012 - 09:07 AM

Or you can take it to mean that Kraft is too damned lazy to keep flour off their assembly lines. As they've already stated, most of their products contain NO gluten, but they can't confine all of those products to the same assembly lines?

Most of us avoid products that say at the bottom 'May contain traces of wheat'. Kraft products never have that on them yet this is exactly what that paragraphs basically says.

And as to testing being expensive to make 50$ loaves of bread...seriously? Do you have any idea how many tests every, single product in existence already goes through? Expiration dates? Ingredient amounts? Heck, every plant in existence tests to see that their food weighs the right amount, 5% lower than what the package says. It's not necessary to test every bag of product to give an assurance of being gluten free; they just need to know where their ingredients come from and then put the wheat free ones on the same line.
Besides which, there OBVIOUSLY existsprocessedgluten free producs that are labelled gluten free and tested gluten free that hardly cost more, and in some cases, the exact same amount. There exists plenty of processed foods I can eat. Kraft products, unless labelled gluten free, unfortunately, are not on that list.

You say it's 'just a legal thing', but you should know as well as I do that cross-contamination is a serious concern for celiacs. Furthemore, they haven't even claimed that they try to avoid cross contamination! If they did they'd say that try to avoid cross-contamination and be proud of it but still not put 'gluten free' on their label for the legal reasons.

I'm upset that people have said they are safe when they clearly are not. But I suppose that's my own fault for not checking it out myself, I know that now. I won't trust any information I don't get directly from a manufacturer from now on.

I have lost 12 years of my life to depression, tiredness, brain fog, now I have nerve damage too. I have no career because of it. We're all lucky because we haven't died from being celiacs. I am not about to maybe eat something that knowingly damages me. I can't really understand how anyone would.

Sorry Kraft, but you're not getting my money for your maybe CC'd products anymore.


This post was intended to INFORM others who, like me, were under the impression that I didn't have to worry about Kraft products if the label was safe, so that we can individually make our own choices based on factual information. I don't take kindly to the undertone of your response that I'm somehow being unreasonable and that this post is somehow unwarranted.
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#5 cavernio

 
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Posted 03 July 2012 - 09:08 AM

I know that gluten-free is <20ppm.

I also was never under the impression that those other, large brands would be gluten-free without the label as I was with Kraft.

There are countless instances on this site where someone says 'It's Kraft and they're gluten-free if the ingredients don't have gluten'
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#6 Skylark

 
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Posted 03 July 2012 - 09:14 AM

This post was intended to INFORM others who, like me, were under the impression that I didn't have to worry about Kraft products if the label was safe, so that we can individually make our own choices based on factual information. I don't take kindly to the undertone of your response that I'm somehow being unreasonable and that this post is somehow unwarranted.

What's unreasonable is focusing solely on Kraft when what you have written is true for every single major food manufacturer. If you feel that way, you need to avoid ALL processed foods that are not GFCO certified and/or from dedicated facilities. You are freaking out over some CYA legalese. Use your common sense!

We know processed foods are CC. Why do you think most new members get advised to eat whole foods?
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#7 cavernio

 
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Posted 03 July 2012 - 09:22 AM

In my OP you see me say that I'm upset because I lost the only large brand that I thought I could trust, which I trusted because people ON THIS SITE say it's gluten-free while failing to mention the CC possibility. That is why I'm focussing on Kraft. I'm sorry if that's not good enough and I should have checked every other large manufacturer too and made a post about that. I guess my journalism isn't up to par, I didn't realize I had to be all-encompassing.
Next time I make a post about the gluten-free shampoo I use I'd better post ALL the gluten-free shampoos too...


Besides which, from your link actually, Kraft says:

"If a Kraft product contains gluten, a source of gluten will be listed in the ingredient statement, no matter how small the amount."

which is contradictory to the quote I posted from Kraft.
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#8 kareng

 
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Posted 03 July 2012 - 09:22 AM

I think you are interpreting this incorrectly. They don't test for gluten so they won't list them as gluten free. They make many different products, so they wouldn't even be made on the same machines or in the same factories. Cheese wouldn't be made on the same machinery that makes crackers, for example. Wouldn't work.

Like Skylark said, if you feel this way about Kraft, then you must feel the same way about other manufacturers. Sounds like its best if you eat only whole foods and certified gluten-free foods.
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#9 cavernio

 
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Posted 03 July 2012 - 09:23 AM

It was gemini's response I didn't like in the first place, not yours skylark.
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#10 cavernio

 
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Posted 03 July 2012 - 09:25 AM

It's hard to misinterpret the wording 'If a Kraft product contains gluten'.

I doubt I'm the only person on this site who believes what I did. Sorry if I'm 'too dumb' by trusting advice here. I was just trying to clarify something.
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#11 Jestgar

 
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Posted 03 July 2012 - 09:29 AM

Whoa. This is big news. It's basically a huge, red flag saying 'cross-contamination imminent' for all their products that don't specify gluten-free right on the package.

Actually what it's saying is that, if they haven't tested it, they won't label it. It has nothing to do with CC.
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#12 cavernio

 
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Posted 03 July 2012 - 09:29 AM

"...we are assured there is no unintentional contact with gluten during every step of the agricultural growing, transportation and manufacturing process."

Meaning that those steps ARE NOT in place for their regular foods. It is not just the testing they are missing.

Read between the lines. If they said care was taken to not CC ALL of their foods, again, why don't they say that? Other manufacturers say that.
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#13 psawyer

 
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Posted 03 July 2012 - 09:37 AM

Besides which, from your link actually, Kraft says:

"If a Kraft product contains gluten, a source of gluten will be listed in the ingredient statement, no matter how small the amount."

which is contradictory to the quote I posted from Kraft.

The two statements are different, and need to be read together to get a full understanding. Kraft, like many others, will always disclose any known gluten content. Like others, they do not test the ingredients that they acquire from their suppliers, so there is a slight risk of the accidental presence of undetected gluten. Like others, they have processes and procedures in place to ensure that ingredients not intended to be in a particular product are not in that product.
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#14 cavernio

 
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Posted 03 July 2012 - 09:40 AM

I understand that Kraft is being crafty
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#15 Darn210

 
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Posted 03 July 2012 - 09:44 AM

Most of us avoid products that say at the bottom 'May contain traces of wheat'. Kraft products never have that on them yet this is exactly what that paragraphs basically says.


I just want to mention that the "May contain traces . . . " or "Manufactured in a facility that also produces . . . " is a totally voluntary statement made by the manufacturer and is not required by law. If you want to know if a facility is a dedicated gluten free facility, you'll have to call the manufacturer.
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