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C-Girl

Hoodwinked By Trader Joe's?

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I'm new to this forum, getting quite a surprise diagnosis of celiac disease (I thought I'd picked up an intestinal virus while travelling!) and am really struggling with the often misleading labels for gluten free products. My latest mistake was believing the "no gluten ingredients used" label on Trader Joe's quinoa and black bean tortilla chips. Boy were they good, but after eating them it's been two days of misery. There is NO information anywhere on the bag about whether they were made on shared equipment or in a facility that also uses wheat products. But, right there on the front of the bag is their happy little lower-case g symbol. I don't believe them at all anymore.

 

Yet, Trader Joe's has other products labeled explicitly as gluten free. Which ones can I trust?

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It might just be the quinoa.  I can't tolerate it or oats, even if they are certified as "gluten free".   :(

 

Trader Joe's uses "g" symbol to say that the product doesn't contain gluten in the ingredients, but it's not certified.  It can be made on shared equipment.  Stick with just the plain corn chips.  We haven't been "glutened" by them.  

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It could be the quinoa, but a lot of Trader Joe's products are made on shared lines/facilities and they have the "g" label on the shelf. I think I reacted to their tomato soup a few weeks ago. It was on their gluten-free list and didn't say anything on the container about allergen warnings. 

 

The only things that I use from Trader Joe's these days:

Agave Nectar

Green Tea

Almond Butter

Maple Syrup

Almond/soy milk

Fresh fruits and vegetables

Cheese

Salt

 

No reactions to these. 

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When I was first diagnosed ( also a surprise) about 15 months ago - I was excited to see that Trader Joe's had so many gluten free items. However - I quickly became very disappointed in them, realizing that the little "g" icon all over their products often comes with a disclaimer on the back saying " made on shared equipment with wheat". I brought this discrepancy to two different store managers' attention - but they were not very helpful. I also wrote Trader Joe's corporate to express my disappointment in them - and they just came back with a BS response. I am looking forward to the FDA labeling laws to go into effect - so I can shop there again with a bit more confidence. I really miss Trader Joe's products and am surprised that they have not stepped it up more when it comes to gluten free.

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When I was first diagnosed ( also a surprise) about 15 months ago - I was excited to see that Trader Joe's had so many gluten free items. However - I quickly became very disappointed in them, realizing that the little "g" icon all over their products often comes with a disclaimer on the back saying " made on shared equipment with wheat". I brought this discrepancy to two different store managers' attention - but they were not very helpful. I also wrote Trader Joe's corporate to express my disappointment in them - and they just came back with a BS response. I am looking forward to the FDA labeling laws to go into effect - so I can shop there again with a bit more confidence. I really miss Trader Joe's products and am surprised that they have not stepped it up more when it comes to gluten free.

I was very disappointed, too. I asked people in the store who had no idea what they were talking about. I wrote to them, as well, and probably got the same response that you did. I've reacted to their brown rice wraps, tomato soup, and nuts (possibly quinoa, too). For now, I'm sticking with their naturally gluten free foods, but I'm VERY interested in seeing how they will respond to the FDA labeling. 

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Wow, I love those chips and so far have never had a reaction, but I could be less sensitive.

 

I give Trader Joe's a lot of credit for being way ahead of a lot of other companies. They try pretty hard, and are pretty good about labeling when something is made on shared equipment. As other stated, maybe it was another ingredient?

 

Being Celiac, we ALWAYS have to double and triple check regardless of what a label says. I too learned that the hard way.

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It's my understanding that the issue with TJ's is as follows: They contract with

regular brands, like Stonyfield or Hood or whoever, at a discount, and they slap

their own labels on the product. Therefore, there is a disconnect between the

labeling and your ability to investigate further. A bag of chips might have the little

'g' on it, but you can't call the company to find out what that really means because

TJ's doesn't disclose who is actually making the product. I believe that's why Udi's

is one of the few branded items you'll see in the store, they probably weren't

willing to let TJ's put their own label on it. So for those less sensitive or only looking

for a decent deal on tasty pickles, TJ's is great. For those of us more sensitive, it's

better to stay away from ambiguous labeling like 'No gluten ingredients'.

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