I don't think it's good advice, especially for any new Celiacs that may be perusing this board, to say that all we need to do is check the labels and not worry about whether or not a claim has been made. That has not been the case in my experience and I think this forum is ripe with other people who've said the same thing.
Celiac Disease is not that hard to learn and manage. There definitley is a learning curve but there is plenty of info out there on how to do so from reputable medical sites and books. It's obvious when people fail to learn from the right places because these are the folks who think gluten lurks everywhere. It does not but if that were true, no one would heal and we would be stuck at home, eating only whole foods and never venturing out to eat or living life normally, which is entirely possible with this disease.
I've been cc'ed and glutened by plenty of products containing and/or contaminated with undeclared wheat. Also, just because you've been eating something forever does not mean it's safe. People have different levels of sensitivity and it's well known that auto-immune diseases can fluctuate or cycle in their severity at different times in an individual's life. I've had periods of time in my life where exposure to wheat didn't have the same impact that it does now.
If you believe you have been cc'd or glutened that many times, then you need to review how you are doing the diet. Sorry to have to add this ad nauseum, folks, but I have been gluten free for 10 years and the number of times I have taken a hit is extremely small....not even once a year. I am an extremely sensitive Celiac also. I had to make my house entirely gluten free because
that was the only way it worked for me. When I did get sick, it was almost always from other's mistakes and not from a product I bought at the supermarket that was cc'd. Many companies do not change their ingredients unless it's an announced change because they generally do not want to mess with something that works. I routinely use products that I have used for 10 years and have never gotten sick from them so all this hype about products constantly changing is a bit mystifying to me as I can't be the only one who routinely goes long periods of time without getting sick. But I read the labels before buying and that seems to work just fine. Nothing in life is guaranteed 100% but relying on labels is the best way to go. If you have questions, call the manufacturer and make your decision from there.
Not to keep bumping this thread, but in my opinion, consistency is key when it comes to trusting a brand or product. This is not a situation where the product is unlabeled, but also produced in a facility/on lines with no wheat, or in a place that's cleaned thoroughly, and it's always been that way. I eat plenty of unlabeled products when the company is transparent about their manufacturing processes and consistent in their statements. The thing is that Talenti has said a couple different things over the past few years and that makes them, as a brand, seem untrustworthy to me.
From my perspective, the FDA passed their new gluten free labeling law, and in response, Talenti slunk away, removing all their claims. It seems pretty obvious that they have some issues with their ingredients or their manufacturing procedures. Personally, I think they DO have an obligation to the Celiac community because they have always advertised themselves as gluten free and continue to do so online, despite the fact that their actions imply the contrary. Removing the claim means that they very well may not meet the current legal definition and probably do not. Reminder, that legal definition was put in place for the very purpose of protecting our health.
No.....most likely that is not what is going on. Because Americans are such sue happy people and mistakenly think that an FDA stamp of approval entitles them to a 100% safe meal or product, some companies are removing their gluten-free labeling because they don't want to spend the money and time to test and they don't want to be sued by people who may very well have gotten sick from something else in the product but choose to insist it was gluten. This happens a lot. I can also see them not bothering to test when the product is naturally gluten free. Do we really need to ceritfy milk as gluten free before some people think it isn't cc'd? I choose to rely on myself to figure out what is gluten-free anyway and not the government. The FDA routinely puts their blessing on medications that are later recalled because they harm people........lots of people. It really all comes down to reading the label, calling the manufacturer if you have doubts or questions and deciding from there. Once you have been gluten-free for awhile and have really learned the diet well and what is in the food you eat, it becomes second nature and easy to figure out what is safe for you.
I don't think this is acceptable, especially when you see companies like Amy's taking the exact opposite course of action. Instead of removing their claims, Amy's complied with the law in order to retain/secure their customer base. We've also seen several major brands START making the claim, like Hershey, for example. Tostitos is another one. They did the ethical thing (and quite frankly, the cost effective thing,) by waiting to make any labeling claims/changes until they knew the definitive legal guidelines. Food manufacturers knew the law was coming. Some chose to respect it's intent and others took advantage of a limited timeline before ditching the "gluten free" label and jumping ship altogether.
I am surprised you have referenced Amy's because Amy's has had problems with cc'd products.....or they did in the past. That was the product line I got sick from and I know many Celiac's who do not eat Amy's products as they have gotten sick also. The only thing that seems safe from Amy's, in my experience, is the gluten-free mac and cheese. Two of their other products made me extremely sick and it was a gluten hit so I don't eat Amy's.
Outside of ingredients that outright contain wheat, Talenti also uses a lot of ingredients that could be subject to cross contamination. I've never seen them account for that. Personally, I always thought gluten free Peanut Butter Cup gelato was probably too good to be true. There are plenty of Artisan products that are certified gluten free and probably don't have the consumer volume that Talenti has at it's disposal. Other companies make it work because they care about their customers. I'm the first one to say, Talenti is very tasty. That's really just not enough of a reason to eat it given recent events.
I do not eat gelato because of the dairy but which ingredients do you feel could be subject to cc? This is one of the biggest misconceptions about the gluten-free diet. I think people who fear that everything can be cc'd should just stick to a whole foods diet. Of course it can happen and does but the vast majority of foods out there that have been made available to us, especially in the last 10 years or so, are safe. Many of them have dedicated facilities also and if you can't trust that, then your option is whole foods only. But there are people who insist you can be cc'd by vegetables because they are coated in wax or by chicken if they eat a wheat containing grain in their feed, which we all know is not true. I understand the being careful aspect of this disease because I've lived it for the past 10 years. But if gluten-free foods are that contaminated, no one would heal. I certainly never would have achieved this level of health if all those unlabeled or label removed foods had the potential to be cc'd. Companies are not going to be that careless and risk losing a lot of business or be sued. Maybe the labels should read "naturally gluten-free but use at your own risk". I know that if I ever do become sick from a product and it is a true gluten hit, I just don't buy the product again. Lesson learned and this will not set you back on your healing...only if it happens frequently.
I do not want newbies to think that the food supply is something to be feared and that finding safe food without a flashing certified gluten-free sign is impossible, because it is not. There are many mainstream food products out there that can be enjoyed safely, even by sensitive Celiac's such as myself. I have found that eating cleanly can have it's drawbacks. Sometimes foods which are rich will make my gut feel unsettled. Has nothing to do with gluten, just food I am not used to eating anymore that is richer than what I am used to.