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Sick From Trader Joe's Semisweet Chocolate Chips :-(
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15 posts in this topic

I just wanted to post a heads-up about Trader Joe's semisweet chocolate chips. Trader Joe's lists them as "no gluten ingredients used", but I recently got sick after eating them. I was having a chocolate craving, so I ate some chocolate chips straight out of the bag and was very sick within minutes :-(

Does anybody have any ideas about this? Do you think the vanilla is not gluten free? Should I avoid all foods that contain vanilla? Or maybe it was cross-contamination in the factory? From what I understand about their factory, it only processes other chocolate chips, which are also listed as "no gluten ingredients used", so I thought it ought to be safe. Also, do you know any chocolate chips that are safe?

I'm new to this super-sensitive side of Celiac's, so I'd appreciate any advice from those of you who have been dealing with this for longer. The rest of my family members with Celiac's got less sensitive after they stopped eating gluten for a couple of years, but I just keep getting worse!

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Vanilla is gluten-free.

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I thought TJ's chocolate chips were marked as processed in a wheat sharing facility...anyway, I've been avoiding them since going gluten-free. I thought I did it for a reason. Perhaps I'm mistaken on the labeling or it has changed?

Before gluten-free I thought they upset my stomach a few times, I thought perhaps the strength of the cocoa?

Honestly, I've had a hard time with TJ's chocolate nut products since gluten-free - chocolate macadamias, almonds, etc. I've stayed away from that stuff there. I have had good experiences with their plain nuts and some plain dried fruit not processed in wheat sharing facilities. I also love their chocolate creme brulee which is not processed in a wheat sharing facility.

I buy Ghiradelli semi sweet and milk chips and have no problems with them.

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I've never had TJ's chocolate chips, but DO avoid anything that has shared equipment statement that they produce.

We use Nestle or Ghiradelli chocolate chips and bake with vanilla often.

It is common to become more sensitive to gluten once removed.

Hope you are feeling better soon.

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Always read the entire package on anything you buy at TJ's. I can't speak for the chocolate chips specifically because I don't buy chocolate chips. But quite a lot of their foods say that they are processed on shared lines. For this reason, we buy very few things there.

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i had to cut out all chocolate. I had a friend who made her own for awhile and I could eat hers, but then she had too much trouble finding uncontaminated starting materials. What a shame, I miss chocolate!

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Thank you for your help, everybody--I will go check out the Enjoy Life chips ASAP! As for the facility that processes TJ's chocolate chips, it says there is shared equipment with soy and milk, but nothing about wheat (they usually mention that if it is the case).

I was asking about the vanilla being gluten-free because I have seen some with caramel color added. And while I understand that the there is no gluten in the distilled alcohol that may be used to make the extract, many distilled spirits also have caramel color as a hidden ingredient (you have to contact the manufacturer to find out). I only found out about this problem during the past year after getting very sick from both sherry and tequila in my own cooking. Does anybody know anything further about this problem?

I'm starting to think I should avoid anything that has a brown or yellow color, but then I feel paranoid. However, since I seem to be getting sick more and more frequently, it seems like it may be the best solution:-(

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Thank you for your help, everybody--I will go check out the Enjoy Life chips ASAP! As for the facility that processes TJ's chocolate chips, it says there is shared equipment with soy and milk, but nothing about wheat (they usually mention that if it is the case).

I was asking about the vanilla being gluten-free because I have seen some with caramel color added. And while I understand that the there is no gluten in the distilled alcohol that may be used to make the extract, many distilled spirits also have caramel color as a hidden ingredient (you have to contact the manufacturer to find out). I only found out about this problem during the past year after getting very sick from both sherry and tequila in my own cooking. Does anybody know anything further about this problem?

I'm starting to think I should avoid anything that has a brown or yellow color, but then I feel paranoid. However, since I seem to be getting sick more and more frequently, it seems like it may be the best solution:-(

Caramel color is safe here in the U.S. and Canada. Wheat must be disclosed and cannot be hidden in a product.

If you're looking for vanilla, McCormick's vanilla is marked gluten-free on the label.

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For me, I've realized that some fats make me sick and come to think of it I react to many chocolates. I don't like chocolate anyway. Maybe try white chocolate. I really watch desserts because I'm so sensite to the fats. I can do kaniccanic (sp?)

cookies with no problem. I get sick from their donuts, real sick. So I've decided it must be some fats. I get sick from some spices, not sure which ones. Maybe you may react to chocolate.Our body gets funny after celiac disease. It is always a work in progress.

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I've been glutened so many times by TJ's "no gluten ingredients used" products I've stopped shopping there. The problem is that they have to re-package all the food into the TJ-specific packaging... something may not have gluten in it, but something they packaged right before that may have had gluten in it.

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I have been Glutened more times by Trader Joe's products than any other store. I remember being excited when my local Trader Joe's put up a big banner a year or two ago to let customers know about that their new dedicated Trader Joe's gluten-free logo and labeling. A staff member informed me there had even been staff training sessions.

Because I trusted the brand, I did not check the back of packages with the Trader Joe's gluten-free logo, at first. Only after being Glutened several times did I discover how many products actually stated shared facility and/or equipment on the back of the package. Not cool. I politely pointed this out to a couple of staff members who didn't seem to know what I was talking about. Great training sessions!

I've been glutened so many times by TJ's "no gluten ingredients used" products I've stopped shopping there. The problem is that they have to re-package all the food into the TJ-specific packaging... something may not have gluten in it, but something they packaged right before that may have had gluten in it.

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Btw, I tried the TJ's chips this month and no reaction.

I still won't touch the chocolate covered nuts products, again, though.

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Good to know you had no reaction to the chips, that was brave. My husband can't understand why I would even risk anything that could make me ill...I tell him sometimes you just gotta find out, otherwise eating the same things all the time becomes very boring.

I am fairly sure TJ Corn Tortillas Glutened me. They claim "Gluten Free" on the front but there is no statement on the package about shared equipment/facility, I wish they would make this clear. I just shouldn't have eaten 'em though. It's difficult sometimes deciding where to draw the line between risking being Glutened, and never trying anything new.

Btw, I tried the TJ's chips this month and no reaction.

I still won't touch the chocolate covered nuts products, again, though.

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Good to know you had no reaction to the chips, that was brave. My husband can't understand why I would even risk anything that could make me ill...I tell him sometimes you just gotta find out, otherwise eating the same things all the time becomes very boring.

I am fairy sure TJ Corn Tortillas Glutened me. They claim "Gluten Free" on the front but there is no statement on the package about shared equipment/facility, I wish they would make this clear. I just shouldn't have eaten 'em though. It's difficult sometimes deciding where to draw the line between risking being Glutened, and never trying anything new.

I actually thought it was stupid, but did it anyway.

I found I prefer the taste of Ghiradelli chips, though.

I try to balance my paranoia with common sense, in an effort not to live in a bubble. Figured having an alternative chocolate chip source was a good idea with holidays coming.

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