Hi gang. I'm so angry I could scream...I accidentally glutened my daughter with a cup of Celestial Seasonings Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea. I have been at this for a very long time, reading labels diligently, teaching my child as she has grown up to be her own best advocate, and we have literally had not one single glutening issue in more years than I can remember.
I recently purchased several boxes of tea by different companies, because it is cold out and we all wanted something warm to drink. I do check labels diligently, a hard lesson learned for all Celiacs as we know, but I swear, it never even occurred to me that an herbal tea made by a reputable company would add gluten to the mix, so I did not read the ingredients when I purchased this item. Big mistake.
The tea is called Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride, so that should have been my first clue to check the ingredients, but it also boasts itself to be an herbal tea, which threw me off. I am embarrassed to say I did check the side label for nutrition content, but I was checking only for carb count, as we only eat sugar free now. I did not read the ingredient list until last night, and boy am I miffed! I made myself a cup of the tea last night and it just tasted way too good to not have something questionable in it, like artificial flavoring or corn syrup solids (after not eating sugar or any variation of it for it so long my palette is highly sensitive to sweet tastes). When I looked at the ingredients it said it contains ROASTED BARLEY. Roasted barley! And it did not list any allergens whatsoever! Ugh...
So I inspected the entire packaging as carefully as I could and nowhere on the front of the packaging did it say it was not a gluten free food, however it did say--way on the bottom of one side where it is very easily overlooked--that it "Contains Gluten".
Well, Dear Celestial Seasonings, you just glutened my kid. She only drank one cup of the Sugar Cookie tea 4 days ago, and tells me she didn't notice any symptoms, but I can tell you that for the last several days she looked different to me--peaked, pale, circles under the eyes, etc. I told my husband that it wouldn't surprise me in the least if she had a stuffy nose for the next few days--a sure sign of glutening for her. The only good news is that she did not get the resulting abdominal pain and symptoms of a high dose of gluten. But on the other hand, she seems to think that because it didn't affect her that way she can get away with occasional gluten. Wrong! I feel like we just lost years and years of hyper-vigilant avoidance and education.
So there it is, a hard lesson re-learned--always, ALWAYS check labels.