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Kraft Products ... I'm Shocked!

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I was buzzing the internet today looking to see if the Green Giant frozen veggies are gluten free, when I stumbled upon the Gluten Free statement from Kraft.  I'm SHOCKED and had to share this with everyone.  To me, it says ... check the label on their products but beware that even though they do not add gluten to a product, thus not declared on the label, that some of the ingredients in that product MAY contain gluten because they do not verify from their ingredient vendors of the gluten free status, and thus cannot guarantee the end product!!!!  Well, no WONDER I still feel like I've been glutened sometimes!  Thought it was just all in my head!!!  No more Kraft products purchase for me!!!!!!!  :o

 

So, here's the sneaky statement they have on their web site:

 

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For labeling purposes, Kraft includes wheat, barley, rye and oats as sources of gluten. Our packages identify gluten by listing these common sources. Other grains that contain gluten are triticale, spelt, kamut, mir and farina, and if these grains are included in our products, they will also be labeled.  However you should know that we do not guarantee that our products are gluten-free because we sometimes purchase flavoring, color or spice ingredients from suppliers who do not list every possible source of gluten beyond what is required by law.

 

If you have a concern about possible trace amounts of gluten from sources other than wheat, which may be contained in flavoring, color or spice, you should avoid purchasing the product.  A small number of Kraft Foods products are labeled as "gluten-free" according to the proposed definition by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These are: Crystal Light, Kool-Aid and Tang powdered soft drinks. We take this claim seriously and for such products, we are assured there is no unintentional contact with gluten during every step of the agricultural growing, transportation and manufacturing process. You might notice that many additional Kraft Foods products may have ingredient statements that do not list a source of gluten, but without the extremely specialized procedures in place to diligently validate gluten purity, we do not label the finished product as gluten-free. In this way, we are very serious and thorough when labeling products as gluten-free.

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I take it to mean that they won't call a product gluten-free unless they are testing it or making it specially to be gluten-free.  If it has gluten in it, they will label it.  But, of course its up to you whether to buy the products or not.

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That is a CYA statement. They do it because the lawyers tell them to. In almost three and a half years on this diet I have never, NEVER been glutened by any Kraft product and I trust them completely.

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i usually skip most of that stuff because of the soy or other ingredients that i don't eat.   <_<

 

i think it's a cya statement, too.  if it's not labeled gluten-free, then eat at your own risk?  because, at their own admission, it's not been tested and/or some ingredients can't be verified.  the stuff they sell that is gluten free is labeled gluten free, is that correct?  

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As has been said, it is a legal CYA statement. I have been on the gluten-free diet for over 14 years, and have NEVER had a problem with a Kraft product. The same goes for Unilever, General Mills, Nestle, ConAgra, etc. All have a clear policy to disclose any known source of gluten, but will not make a "gluten-free" claim since they do not test. They don't test because it would add to production cost of the mainstream product in question, and make them less competitive for the 99% of the market who don't care about gluten. I wish it were not so, but it is, so get used to it.  ;)

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As has been said, it is a legal CYA statement. I have been on the gluten-free diet for over 14 years, and have NEVER had a problem with a Kraft product. The same goes for Unilever, General Mills, Nestle, ConAgra, etc. All have a clear policy to disclose any known source of gluten, but will not make a "gluten-free" claim since they do not test. They don't test because it would add to production cost of the mainstream product in question, and make them less competitive for the 99% of the market who don't care about gluten. I wish it were not so, but it is, so get used to it.  ;)

 

The odd thing is, most of their competitors ARE testing.  If I have a choice between two products, Kraft and something else, and the something else tests and lists they are gluten-free on the label, I'm buying the something else.  I bought some pudding yesterday, yes, the Jell-O (Kraft) was probably ok, but I don't know for sure, so I bought the other brand that had gluten-free on the label.  Kraft is big enough that they can test....but if they prefer statements like that, I'll buy other products.

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The odd thing is, most of their competitors ARE testing.  If I have a choice between two products, Kraft and something else, and the something else tests and lists they are gluten-free on the label, I'm buying the something else.  I bought some pudding yesterday, yes, the Jell-O (Kraft) was probably ok, but I don't know for sure, so I bought the other brand that had gluten-free on the label.  Kraft is big enough that they can test....but if they prefer statements like that, I'll buy other products.

 

I totally agree with you!  Kraft is big enough they could spend the money to test the product(s) ... it's a tiny, tiny cost to test the end product.  And, like you, from now on ... if there's a choice between Kraft and some other product, I'm going with the other product.

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You all realize that the companies, at least in the US, do not have to test to call something gluten-free?  The law doesn't really say they must test.  Some companies may be labeling things gluten-free that have no gluten ingredients.  I think bigger companies will want to test in case the government calls them on a product.  You might want to check each company's  gluten-free labeling policies to see if they actually test or not.  

 

There are a couple of certifying organizations  & if their symbol appears on the product, the company is supposed to be following the certifying organizations policies.

 

I have never had a problem with any Kraft products I have used.  Mainly, we use their cheeses. Seems a waste of money to test cheese for gluten.

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But it is not so cheap. For example, one of the criteria to be certified is that even the employees can not bring in gluten containing food in their lunches in the manufacturing facility (I toured a commercial gluten-free bakery in Atlanta). The certification is super strict. They just do not test the end product but suppliers as well.

That is why Trader Joes and others now use a statement saying "No gluten ingredients used" when they used to say Gluten free on the front of the box. To keep the cost down, they have opted not to certify foods. Risk? Small. But there is a risk for everything. You just have to learn to read the labels. A pain, but that is the way it is. We are fortunate compared to so many other countries, our food is relatively cheap and plentiful. And that our country requires disclosure on the product labels.

Now back to making my daughter's tuna salad using Kraft Miracle Whip or we will be late to school!

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But it is not so cheap. For example, one of the criteria to be certified is that even the employees can not bring in gluten free food in their lunches in the manufacturing facility (I toured a commercial gluten-free bakery in Atlanta). The certification is super strict. They just do not test the end product but suppliers as well.

 

I assume that you meant that the employees were prohibited from bringing in gluten? :)

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The odd thing is, most of their competitors ARE testing.  If I have a choice between two products, Kraft and something else, and the something else tests and lists they are gluten-free on the label, I'm buying the something else.  I bought some pudding yesterday, yes, the Jell-O (Kraft) was probably ok, but I don't know for sure, so I bought the other brand that had gluten-free on the label.  Kraft is big enough that they can test....but if they prefer statements like that, I'll buy other products.

 

But Kraft's direct competitors aren't. You think they are because you look at what is tested, what is marked gluten free and what is certified. The companies Kraft is in direct competition with are largely the ones Peter identified, which also aren't testing, Unilever, General Mills, Nestle, ConAgra, etc. I eat products from many of these companies often and none of them are making me sick. As Karen pointed out, just because something says gluten free on it, doesn't mean it was tested. It doesn't have to be. I refuse to live my life in a constant state of paranoia. I was there early on after diagnosis and it isn't a good place to be. A very wise woman told me that we live in a shared world. That really helped me realize that I can still keep myself safe by being educated without being worried about things there is no point in worrying about. Like Kraft, Unilever, etc products.

 

ETA: I just want to add, that if you want to choose not to eat them. Don't. But for the sake of people who come to this site for good information this needs to be repeated, these products are perfectly safe. Read the label, if there is gluten it will say so.

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There are a lot of scenarios like this in a celiac lifestyle. For example, drug companies don't test their medications for gluten either. 

 

I think that we just have to evaluate the level of risk based on what is known about the company. If 95% of a companies products contain gluten and they make one with no gluten containing ingredients, but that's made on shared equipment (even with GMP) and it isn't tested, I won't eat that product. Nor will I eat baked goods made in shared bakeries.

 

However, if most of a companies products are naturally gluten free and they disclose ingredients rather than hiding them, I would feel okay with their food.

 

In the end, it's a personal choice and we all have to choose the level of risk we're willing to live with.

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There are a lot of scenarios like this in a celiac lifestyle. For example, drug companies don't test their medications for gluten either. 

 

I think that we just have to evaluate the level of risk based on what is known about the company. If 95% of a companies products contain gluten and they make one with no gluten containing ingredients, but that's made on shared equipment (even with GMP) and it isn't tested, I won't eat that product. Nor will I eat baked goods made in shared bakeries.

 

However, if most of a companies products are naturally gluten free and they disclose ingredients rather than hiding them, I would feel okay with their food.

 

In the end, it's a personal choice and we all have to choose the level of risk we're willing to live with.

 

 

You are so right.  A little common sense in these things is important.  For example, all they make on a cheese machine is cheese.  Cheese doesn't have gluten. They only make dairy type things in a cheese factory.     But a cereal with no gluten ingredients might be made with gluten containing cereals - that would be one I would want a gluten-free on.  

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I buy mostly organic products these days, but the same rule applies. Regardless of whether it says gluten-free or not, I inspect the labeling for anything that looks suspicious. If it says "make in same facility as" I usually leave it on the shelf. However, if it doesn't say gluten-free but also doesn't list any gluten-containing ingredients or anything else suspicious, I'll still trust it. The only times I'm wary is if its the one gluten-free product made by a very gluteny company. I don't expect every company to test, but if you're going to label something gluten-free, you'd better be able to back that claim up.

I also have to watch for soy, so no Kraft peanut butter for me... But I'm sure most of their products are fine.

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I assume that you meant that the employees were prohibited from bringing in gluten? :)

Thank you for catching my error (post edited). I should think twice before posting prior to my first cup of coffee and getting ready for school!

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But Kraft's direct competitors aren't. You think they are because you look at what is tested, what is marked gluten free and what is certified. The companies Kraft is in direct competition with are largely the ones Peter identified, which also aren't testing, Unilever, General Mills, Nestle, ConAgra, etc. I eat products from many of these companies often and none of them are making me sick. As Karen pointed out, just because something says gluten free on it, doesn't mean it was tested. It doesn't have to be. I refuse to live my life in a constant state of paranoia. I was there early on after diagnosis and it isn't a good place to be. A very wise woman told me that we live in a shared world. That really helped me realize that I can still keep myself safe by being educated without being worried about things there is no point in worrying about. Like Kraft, Unilever, etc products.

 

ETA: I just want to add, that if you want to choose not to eat them. Don't. But for the sake of people who come to this site for good information this needs to be repeated, these products are perfectly safe. Read the label, if there is gluten it will say so.

 

I would like to point out as well .... a couple years ago, I bought some Chicken Broth by Swanson.  I was gluten free but kept feeling like I was getting glutened and all I was eating was chicken broth based soup because I was staying sick, in a never-ending cycle.  So, decided to call Swanson and they had me read the bar code and such from the carton.  Even though the label showed NO gluten in the ingredients, the attendant on the phone told me that it was NOT gluten free.  So, reading the labels sometimes means nothing.  And, I don't know about others, but sometimes it takes a good week or more for me to get better after eating even a small amount of gluten.  My "throwing caution to the wind" is not an option for me and I must be paranoid to avoid severe sickness.  While some of you may not suffer much, I do and it's a great concern to me that companies would have misleading information both about their product and the ingredients listed on the product.  And, what Kraft is saying is that they cannot guarantee the ingredients they use to make their products, which are purchased from third parties, are gluten free.  Not good.  And, those who say they eat Kraft products and don't have a problem ... well maybe you're not as sensitive as some of us ... I don't know.  But, Kraft's statement is very concerning at the least.

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Here is a link to an explanation from Danna Korn about what "not gluten-free" means. It does not always mean "contains gluten."

Read more about customer service answers here.

It is instructive, and I would recommend reading it.

But let's suppose for a moment that the xxxxxx that Kraft bought from yyyyyy Inc. was contaminated. It is likely a minor ingredient, comprising a small percentage of the finished product. How much gluten would actually be in the final Kraft product? Would it even be detectable using R5 ELISA testing? I doubt it.

Make your own decision about your personal comfort level, but for the vast majority of us, these products are safe and widely available without having to pay a higher price to get something with a gluten-free label.

I have been buying with confidence from Kraft and the other companies I mentioned for over ten years without a problem, and yes, I am relatively sensitive and do react to small amounts.

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You all realize that the companies, at least in the US, do not have to test to call something gluten-free?  The law doesn't really say they must test.  Some companies may be labeling things gluten-free that have no gluten ingredients.  I think bigger companies will want to test in case the government calls them on a product.  You might want to check each company's  gluten-free labeling policies to see if they actually test or not.  

 

There are a couple of certifying organizations  & if their symbol appears on the product, the company is supposed to be following the certifying organizations policies.

 

I have never had a problem with any Kraft products I have used.  Mainly, we use their cheeses. Seems a waste of money to test cheese for gluten.

 

 

But Kraft's direct competitors aren't. You think they are because you look at what is tested, what is marked gluten free and what is certified. The companies Kraft is in direct competition with are largely the ones Peter identified, which also aren't testing, Unilever, General Mills, Nestle, ConAgra, etc. I eat products from many of these companies often and none of them are making me sick. As Karen pointed out, just because something says gluten free on it, doesn't mean it was tested. It doesn't have to be. I refuse to live my life in a constant state of paranoia. I was there early on after diagnosis and it isn't a good place to be. A very wise woman told me that we live in a shared world. That really helped me realize that I can still keep myself safe by being educated without being worried about things there is no point in worrying about. Like Kraft, Unilever, etc products.

 

ETA: I just want to add, that if you want to choose not to eat them. Don't. But for the sake of people who come to this site for good information this needs to be repeated, these products are perfectly safe. Read the label, if there is gluten it will say so.

 

 

You are so right.  A little common sense in these things is important.  For example, all they make on a cheese machine is cheese.  Cheese doesn't have gluten. They only make dairy type things in a cheese factory.     But a cereal with no gluten ingredients might be made with gluten containing cereals - that would be one I would want a gluten-free on.  

 

 

again--back to my comment of contradictory information by the "old timers" that you all love so much...according to the FDA's new laws, gluten-free means gluten-free....so, if the product says gluten-free, it has to test under 20 PPM....or naturally be gluten-free---but then some naturally gluten-free items like frozen veges have gluten in them too...sooooooo, back to my statement, for those of us that are still new at this....if it doesn't say gluten-free, it's not really safe to buy.....and if one company is going to test and label gluten-free, then I will buy that product.  I guess I don't understand why everyone is ok with companies sidestepping this....but ok.

 

as for cheese---many packaged cheeses have some kind of corn starch or flour to prevent clumping (shredded cheese).  There are some "flavored" cheeses that are NOT gluten-free so you can't make a blanket statement that cheese is gluten-free....

 

looking at labels for some General Mills, Nestle and Hormel foods in my cupboard, they all have the gluten-free label on them....so, under the new labeling laws, they are gluten-free....

http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm367654.htm

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again--back to my comment of contradictory information by the "old timers" that you all love so much...according to the FDA's new laws, gluten-free means gluten-free....so, if the product says gluten-free, it has to test under 20 PPM....or naturally be gluten-free---but then some naturally gluten-free items like frozen veges have gluten in them too...sooooooo, back to my statement, for those of us that are still new at this....if it doesn't say gluten-free, it's not really safe to buy.....and if one company is going to test and label gluten-free, then I will buy that product.  I guess I don't understand why everyone is ok with companies sidestepping this....but ok.

 

as for cheese---many packaged cheeses have some kind of corn starch or flour to prevent clumping (shredded cheese).  There are some "flavored" cheeses that are NOT gluten-free so you can't make a blanket statement that cheese is gluten-free....

 

looking at labels for some General Mills, Nestle and Hormel foods in my cupboard, they all have the gluten-free label on them....so, under the new labeling laws, they are gluten-free....

http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm367654.htm

 

Wow!!!  YOU SAID IT ALL AND SAID IT PERFECTLY!!!  And, no, all cheese is NOT gluten free!  I think some of the folks here are eating gluten because they're too easy to eat things NOT labeled gluten free and seem to uphold Kraft and others for giving such unclear statements.  And, I think, the folks that are eating these non-gluten-free products are constantly contaminating themselves with gluten and thus don't notice when they eat it from these companies.  WELL SAID!

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again--back to my comment of contradictory information by the "old timers" that you all love so much...according to the FDA's new laws, gluten-free means gluten-free....so, if the product says gluten-free, it has to test under 20 PPM....or naturally be gluten-free---but then some naturally gluten-free items like frozen veges have gluten in them too...sooooooo, back to my statement, for those of us that are still new at this....if it doesn't say gluten-free, it's not really safe to buy.....and if one company is going to test and label gluten-free, then I will buy that product.  I guess I don't understand why everyone is ok with companies sidestepping this....but ok.

 

as for cheese---many packaged cheeses have some kind of corn starch or flour to prevent clumping (shredded cheese).  There are some "flavored" cheeses that are NOT gluten-free so you can't make a blanket statement that cheese is gluten-free....

 

looking at labels for some General Mills, Nestle and Hormel foods in my cupboard, they all have the gluten-free label on them....so, under the new labeling laws, they are gluten-free....

http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm367654.htm

You seem to be twisting things we are saying around. For example - wheat flour is sticky when moist - making it incapable of keeping cheese from sticking. This goes back to my suggestion to use some common sense. And there are a very very few cheeses with beer in them - but they aren't the regular old Kraft cheese and they proudly and legally list beer as an ingredient.

The law does not say they must test before labelling gluten-free - so if they are sure something would make the gluten-free standard, they can label it gluten-free without testing. They could be called on it at some point and have to prove they are less than 20 ppm.

The safest way to eat would be to grow your own food, which is, of course next to impossible for most people. Please, eat products you feel safe eating. Please don't assume or accuse me of purposefully glutening myself. I feel great, my tests are always negative for Celiac antibodies. Gluten does not hide. It is not evil or sneaky. Companies aren't trying to poison Celiacs.

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I think that the most important thing to do is to read the ingredient list on each and every product that you buy each and every time. I don't think that anybody here is saying that we should eat food without reading ingredients.

Exactly. Read the label, every time. A manufacturer making a gluten-free claim does not have to test, but they will be darned sure, for legal liability reasons, that if tested they will pass.

ETA: Where I am, the anti-caking agent in shredded cheese, when there is one, is powdered cellulose. Cellulose is gluten-free. As Karen said, flour would be a binding agent, not an anti-caking agent.

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You seem to be twisting things we are saying around. For example - wheat flour is sticky when moist - making it incapable of keeping cheese from sticking. This goes back to my suggestion to use some common sense. And there are a very very few cheeses with beer in them - but they aren't the regular old Kraft cheese and they proudly and legally list beer as an ingredient.

The law does not say they must test before labelling gluten-free - so if they are sure something would make the gluten-free standard, they can label it gluten-free without testing. They could be called on it at some point and have to prove they are less than 20 ppm.

The safest way to eat would be to grow your own food, which is, of course next to impossible for most people. Please, eat products you feel safe eating. Please don't assume or accuse me of purposefully glutening myself. I feel great, my tests are always negative for Celiac antibodies. Gluten does not hide. It is not evil or sneaky. Companies aren't trying to poison Celiacs.

What you don't understand about CHEESE is that some of the enzymes used to PRODUCE cheese come from Wheat.  I thought everybody knew that, thus I didn't mention it.

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What you don't understand about CHEESE is that some of the enzymes used to PRODUCE cheese come from Wheat. I thought everybody knew that, thus I didn't mention it.

I am not sure where you are getting this info from? If these " wheat enzymes" are actually used to produce cheese and contained gluten, wouldn't the Celic Associations warn us of this? I would think you can't eat any cheese then because enzymes aren't a listed ingredient and you wouldn't know where they came from.

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http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/GlutenFreeSnacks/f/Is-Cheese-Gluten-Free.htm

This expert is extra conservative and super sensitive. This is her take on cheese. She always errs on the side of extreme and sometimes excessive caution. .

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