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  • Jefferson Adams

    Gluten and Allergen-Contamination Causing Surge in Food Recalls as Popularity Rises

    Jefferson Adams


    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      As popularity of allergen- and gluten-free foods rise, so too are food recalls due to allergen contamination. The latest news from New Zealand matches trends elsewhere.


    Caption: Image: CC--Leighna Raluca

    Celiac.com 01/31/2019 - The popularity of gluten-free and allergen-free foods is on the rise, and that’s generally good news. In theory, that’s good news, as it means more products, better selection and lower prices. However, it seems that the proliferation of gluten- and allergen-free products also means higher rates of allergen contamination.

    We’ve written about the upswing in gluten contamination in foods labeled gluten-free, but it appears as though the problem of allergen contamination in products labeled allergen-free is neither restricted to America, nor restricted to gluten.



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    The latest information coming out of New Zealand shows that food recalls due to allergens have quadrupled over the past five years, with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) leading 144 investigations in that period. Meanwhile, official food recall investigations climbed to 28 in 2018, compared with just six in 2013.

    The new information and numbers show that more vigilance is needed on the part of manufacturers, grocers, consumers, and public health officials.

    Interestingly, wine received the most complaints, with reports of milk, egg, royal jelly and sulfites contamination.

    Recalls due to food allergens have affected numerous businesses. For example,  in 2017, gluten-contaminated buckwheat flour triggered a recall by 27 stores, which pulled the product from their shelves. 

    Do you know of any food recalls we may have missed? Share your thoughts below.

    Read more at Stuff.co.nz


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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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