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  • Jefferson Adams

    Celiac Shoppers Fight Against ’Poisonous' Store Placement of Gluten-free Flours

    Jefferson Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Gluten-free shoppers in New Zealand are upset over grocery store placement of standard flours beside, or above gluten-free flours on store shelves.


    Image: CC--U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Caption: Image: CC--U.S. Department of Agriculture

    Celiac.com 12/25/2018 - Recently, a bit of a dustup kicked off in New Zealand, literally, over what celiac shoppers see as the placement of gluten-free flours beside or beneath standard wheat flours that are not gluten-free. The news website Newshub recently ran a photo of shelves at Ponsonby Countdown that showed gluten-free flour beside the regular flour.

    "That's bad, because flour puffs everywhere, contaminating everything near it," one shopper told Newshub, asking to remain anonymous. A Countdown spokesperson told Newshub on Tuesday the store will be reviewing the placement of gluten-free flour.



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    In all fairness, with store shelf space a scarce commodity, stores have a tough job. In general, customers overwhelmingly like similar products placed close together. So, the thinking goes, gluten-free flour and standard flour are both flour, so they belong together on the shelf.

    Of course, for people with celiac disease, the two products are distinct, and most celiac want the products separated for safety reason. "However,” said the Countdown spokeswoman, “we completely understand how the placement of gluten-free flour next to plain flour may concern some customers and we'll review this."

    It sounds like the company will be listening to their gluten-free shoppers and looking to find a way to place their gluten-free flour safely for people with celiac disease.

    Stay tuned to see how the story resolves.

    Read more at: Newshub.co.nz

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    Fair Dinkum! Sounds like some of the people stocking shelves really are kiwis, but I won't hold that against them. Hopefully Countdown sorts it out and realises the seriousness of celiac disease and the need for storing gluten free flour where it won't get contaminated. I'll have to check my local Woolworths (or 'Woolies') here in the land down under ?

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    There's vigilence and there's OCD.  Celiac disease and gluten allergies toxic level is 20ppm. 

    https://www.coeliac.org.uk/gluten-free-diet-and-lifestyle/food-shopping/law-on-gluten-free/

    Also, inhaling or touching the gluten doesnt do anything.  If the packaging had dust on it, clean it off before opening it.  Don't vilify businesses that sell the food that you can eat.  

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    Some people with celiac are super sensitive to contamination and will stay sick for days or weeks.  So to call them OCD or tell them that the toxic level is 20ppm is rude.  Not everyone is the same.  That is a general guideline.   Some people can't even walk into a store that has a bakery without getting sick because flour is in the air and they breath it in.   

    Stores need to have a dedicated gluten-free area to avoid the contamination.

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    Persons with gluten related dermatitis cannot have "skin contact" with gluten w/out lesion formation.

    If possible I suggest buying gluten-free flours in soft plastic bags that can be washed prior to opening.

    Actually gluten OCD is an interesting thought.  Better to be "overly" cautious than to live with contant "high anxiety". 

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    On 1/2/2019 at 10:02 AM, Guest Laura said:

    Persons with gluten related dermatitis cannot have "skin contact" with gluten w/out lesion formation.

    whhhaaat ??  i thought we were talking about celiac, here...... gluten molecules can't get through your skin......

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    On 12/31/2018 at 11:40 PM, Guest SMG said:

    There's vigilence and there's OCD.  Celiac disease and gluten allergies toxic level is 20ppm. 

    https://www.coeliac.org.uk/gluten-free-diet-and-lifestyle/food-shopping/law-on-gluten-free/

    Also, inhaling or touching the gluten doesnt do anything.  If the packaging had dust on it, clean it off before opening it.  Don't vilify businesses that sell the food that you can eat.  

     

    I would like to have you know that you are incorrect. Someone as sensitive as I am can be sick for days from just inhaling a small amount of wheat flour, please don't comment what you have no idea about, sensitive celiac patients can be harmed by inhaling or touching it.

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    On 1/12/2019 at 3:59 AM, Guest Celiac patient said:

    I would like to have you know that you are incorrect. Someone as sensitive as I am can be sick for days from just inhaling a small amount of wheat flour, please don't comment what you have no idea about, sensitive celiac patients can be harmed by inhaling or touching it.

    Has a point, if you inhale flour/wheat dust it gets in the mucus in your throat and nose, then that runs into your stomach and digestive tract...you get glutened.

    I would also like to say stores are getting more and more annoying. I have been hounding my local HEB for years, they store extra wheat flour above the gluten free flours and the outsides of the packages are dusted in wheat flour.....I would never buy that. I would get it on my hands, the dust would get in my house...any chance of not rinsing any off and getting me or my customers sick...yeah no. I just buy my flours straight from the manufactures in bulk and save on the CC warehouse BS...and money.
    Oh and I have talked the guy into moving them....next day they are back...corporate companies like this do not care.
    BUT I have talked to a local healthfood store (Ann's Healthfood Store) and they moved all gluten flours to bottom shelf and all gluten free flours to top shelf and with all gluten products in the store...gluten on bottom gluten free on top. They are overpriced but that kind of commitment keeps them as my emergency go to in case I run out of something.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,500 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.


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