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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Irish Snack Company Busted for Contaminated "Gluten Free" Products

      Irish food manufacturer Largo, whose snack products include Tayto, has admitted it sold gluten-contaminated crisps.

    Caption: Photo: CC--YoungThousands

    Celiac.com 01/18/2017 - Irish food manufacturer Largo, whose snack products include Tayto, has admitted it sold crisps contaminated with high amounts of gluten in a packages that were labeled "Gluten Free."

    The company has pleaded guilty to breaching food safety regulations.

    After buying a package of O'Donnell's mature Irish cheese and onion, gluten-free crisps for her 10-year-old son, a mother from Arklow, County Wicklow, reportedly noticed a reaction to the crisps when his ears began turning red. The mother complained to the company and the HSE subsequently brought a criminal case against the food manufacturer.

    Calling the case a "very serious matter," Judge Grainne Malone noted that the maximum penalty on indictment in the cases at the circuit court was a €500,000 fine and/or three years in prison. However, the judge agreed to the jurisdiction of the district court in the case.

    Giving evidence, HSE environmental health officer Caitriona Sheridan said that products to be labeled gluten-free were required to contain less than 20 parts-per-milligram gluten. The crisps targeted by the complaint tested at more than 700 ppm gluten. Lab tests on a second control sample of the product showed more than 100 ppm of gluten.

    Two other people have since filed complaints about high gluten in Largo's gluten-free products. The company responded by withdrawing two pallets of the products, which it said contained the incorrect crisps.

    Counsel for the company, Andrew Whelan, told the court the issue was identified as a malfunction in the line, and that Largo will now package gluten-fee products in a "totally segregated" production area.

    Read more at Barfblog.com

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as 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.

  • Related Articles

    Dyani Barber
    Celiac.com 04/12/2011 - Paul Seelig was found guilty today of 23 counts of obtaining property by false pretense after a two-week trial in Durham, NC. The jury found that he illegally represented baked goods as gluten-free, but they actually contained gluten. Mr. Seelig received an 11 year prison sentence for his crimes, which included the sickening of more than two dozen customers, one of whom had a premature delivery that was possibly caused by her involuntary gluten consumption.
    Seelig's company, Great Specialty Products, purchased regular gluten-containing items from companies in New Jersey such as Costco, and then repackaged them in his home kitchen and sold them as "gluten-free" at the NC State Fair, various street fairs and via home delivery. Seelig claimed that his baked items were homemade in his company's 150,000-square-foot commercial kitchen, and that his company raised its own grains on its 400-acre farm. High gluten levels were detected by both customers and investigators in Seelig's supposedly gluten-free bread, even though he claimed that he tested his bread weekly for gluten and found none. Mr. Seelig could not produce any of his test results at trial.
    Source:

    http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/04/12/1123724/bread-seller-lied-jurors-find.html

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 11/09/2011 - The Publix supermarket company recently pulled its fall issue of Publix GreenWise Market magazine, because it included a recipe that was erroneously labeled as 'gluten-free.'
    The company also announced plans to mail a follow-up warning about the recipe to print subscribers.
    The recipe for Orange-Honey Sweet Rolls included wheat germ and yeast, some brands of which contain gluten. The recipe appeared on Page 18 of the magazine.
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    Publix operates 1,039 stores in the Southeast, including GreenWise Markets in Palm Beach Gardens and Boca Raton, Florida.
    Source:

    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/publix-recalls-magazine-over-gluten-free-gaffe-1907091.html

    Scott Adams
    I have a big issue with what I believe to be a misleading headline in a recent joint press release by Domino's Pizza and the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA)...here is the headline:
    "Domino’s Pizza Becomes First National Pizza Delivery Chain to Offer Gluten Free Crust"
    When you read the release further, starting at the 5th paragraph, which many people will never get to, it says:
    "While Domino’s new Gluten Free Crust is appropriate for those with mild gluten sensitivity, Domino’s and the NFCA do not recommend it for those with celiac disease. Domino’s and the NFCA found that while the crust is certified as gluten free, current store operations at Domino’s cannot guarantee that each handcrafted pizza will be completely free from gluten."
    So my question is this: How can the NFCA, a national organization dedicated to supporting celiacs, actually get behind this? Domino's is obviously a big corporation that has decided it wants to cash in and profit on the new gluten-free gold rush, but they cleary don't want to spend the money that it would take to make their pizzas truely gluten-free, and safe for celiacs.
    The Designations area of the NFCA's web site begins with: "Restaurants that complete GREAT Kitchens earn a designation based on their ability to meet gluten-free needs and avoid cross-contamination with gluten."  Just below this it describes their "Green Designation" and its "Amber Designation," and describes its Amber Designation as follows: "This level requires ingredient verification and basic training of wait staff and managers. Kitchen practices may vary with this designation, level one of the tier system, meaning those with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity should ask questions and exercise judgment when dining at an establishment with an Amber Designation. Domino's has earned this designation."  So how has Domino's met "gluten-free needs and avoid cross-contamination with gluten"?
    Also, I think any celiac who watches the video Domino's made for this release will find it a bit scary...the same ovens, pizza scoopers, topping areas, etc., as where they make their regular gluten pizzas.
    I would exclude Domino's as an advertiser on Celiac.com based on this release.
    Some might think that the NFCA has sold out here. I invite them to respond using the comment field below, and I invite you to respond.
     
    Also, there is a lively discussion going on in our forum on this topic.  
    Here is the original press release:
    ANN ARBOR, Mich., May 7, 2012 – Domino's Pizza is responding to the needs of choice consumers, today launching a Gluten Free Crust available in all of its nearly 5,000 U.S. stores and becoming the first national pizza delivery chain to offer such a product.
    Domino’s Pizza (NYSE: DPZ) consulted with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) to ensure its products and team member training meet the standards of the foundation’s GREAT Kitchens Amber Designation. NFCA’s GREAT Kitchens is an official credentialing program that has expanded to include restaurants offering gluten free products with varying kitchen practices, therefore suitable for those with gluten sensitivity under the Amber Designation.
    Domino’s new Gluten Free Crust provides a great-tasting option for consumers who previously could not enjoy pizza from the recognized world leader in pizza delivery because of sensitivity to gluten – a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.
    “Many of our customers have asked for a gluten free crust, and Domino’s is excited to offer a product to customers with mild gluten sensitivity – as well as partner with the NFCA, which has been instrumental to our learning more about how to take this step,” said J. Patrick Doyle, Domino’s Pizza president and CEO. “The prevalence of gluten sensitivity has become a real issue with significant impact on consumer choice, and we want to be a part of the solution. Now, the whole group can enjoy Domino’s with the addition of our new Gluten Free Crust.”
    While Domino’s new Gluten Free Crust is appropriate for those with mild gluten sensitivity, Domino’s and the NFCA do not recommend it for those with celiac disease. Domino’s and the NFCA found that while the crust is certified as gluten free, current store operations at Domino’s cannot guarantee that each handcrafted pizza will be completely free from gluten.
    “The NFCA is thrilled that Domino’s Pizza has developed a product that will improve the quality of life for many of the estimated 18 million Americans who are gluten sensitive,” said Alice Bast, NFCA founder and president. “Not only is Domino’s Gluten Free Crust a huge win for much of the gluten free community who can now get pizza delivered to their door, it’s also delicious. Customers aren’t going to believe they’re eating a pizza made on a gluten free crust when they try it. And the variety of fresh toppings that are available is a giant leap ahead.”
    In an effort to remain open and informative about Domino’s Gluten Free Crust, Domino’s has created a video on YouTube that allows customers to decide whether this product is suitable for their diet, found here: www.youtube.com/user/dominosvids.
    “Offering Domino’s Gluten Free Crust is a big step for us, and we wanted to make sure we were doing it right,” said Doyle. “Domino’s is doing that by partnering with experts at the NFCA and by empowering the gluten sensitive community with the information they need.”
    Domino’s new Gluten Free Crust is available in stores across the U.S. in a small, 10-inch size only, and prices vary by store.
    Domino’s pizza made with a Gluten Free Crust is prepared in a common kitchen with the risk of gluten exposure. The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness supports the availability of Domino’s Gluten Free Crust, but cannot recommend the pizza for customers with celiac disease. Customers with gluten sensitivities should exercise judgment in consuming this pizza.
    About Domino’s Pizza®
    Founded in 1960, Domino's Pizza is the recognized world leader in pizza delivery.  Domino’s is listed on the NYSE under the symbol “DPZ.”  As of the first quarter of 2012, through its global footprint primarily made up of locally-owned and operated franchises, Domino’s operated a network of 9,810 franchised and Company-owned stores in the United States and over 70 international markets.  During the first quarter of 2012, Domino’s had global retail sales of nearly $1.7 billion, comprised of over $830 million domestically and nearly $855 million internationally.  Domino's Pizza had global retail sales of over $6.9 billion in 2011, comprised of over $3.4 billion domestically and over $3.5 billion internationally. In May 2011, Pizza Today named Domino’s its “Chain of the Year” for the second straight year – making the company a three-time overall winner, and the first pizza delivery company to receive the honor in back-to-back years.  In 2011, Domino’s was ranked #1 in Forbes Magazine’s “Top 20 Franchises for the Money” list.  
     

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 12/05/2014 - To remain healthy, people with serious gluten intolerance, especially people with celiac disease, must avoid foods containing gluten from wheat, barley, and rye. Accordingly, gluten detection is of high interest for the food safety of celiac patients.
    The FDA recently approved guidelines mandating that all products labeled as “gluten-free” contain less than 20ppm (20mg/kg) of gluten, but just how do products labeled as “gluten-free” actually measure up to this standard?
    Researchers H.J. Lee, Z. Anderson, and D. Ryu recently set outto assess the concentrations of gluten in foods labeled "gluten free" available in the United States. For their study, they collected seventy-eight samples of foods labeled “gluten-free,” and analyzed the samples using a gliadin competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. They then calculated gluten content based on the assumption of the same ratio between gliadin and glutenin, testing gluten levels down to 10ppm (10mg/kg).
    They found that forty-eight (61.5%) of the 78 samples labeled gluten-free contained less than 10ppm (10 mg/kg) gluten. Another 14 (17.9%) of the 78 samples contained less than 20ppm (20mg/kg) gluten, in accordance with the guidelines established by the Codex Alimentarius for gluten-free labeling.
    However, 16 samples, over 20%, contained gluten levels above 20 mg/kg, ranging from 20.3 to as high as 60.3 mg/kg. Breakfast cereal was the main culprit, with five of eight breakfast cereal samples showing gluten contents above 20ppm (20 mg/kg).
    The study does not name specific brands tested, nor do they indicate whether tested brands are themselves monitored by independent labs. Still, the results, while generally encouraging, show that more progress is needed to make sure that all products labeled as “gluten-free” meet the FDA guidelines. Until that time, it’s a matter of “caveat emptor,” or “buyer beware,” for consumers of gluten-free foods.

    Source:
    J Food Prot. 2014 Oct;77(10):1830-3. doi: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-14-149.

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