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anyana

Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour - Safe? Plus Add'l Question About Other Safe gluten-free Foods

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Hi everyone! I am very newly diagnosed with celiac, and I have been reading and reading all I can about my new lifestyle.  I am an avid baker, so I'm already trying to learn gluten free baking.

My main question, which leads to a broader question, concerns Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour.  I bought a 3 lb bag at Costco, and it's clearly marked "Gluten Free" - but then the label also says "Packaged on the same equipment that processes peanut, dairy, eggs, wheat, and soybean products."  I'm confused, because I thought ANYTHING with the "processed in a facility that processes wheat" was off limits.  Is this product safe? 

My broader question is, I had read that Kirkland (Costco) nuts should be avoided because they too have this label, but is that actually the case?  As a celiac, must I avoid anything with this label? How can it be called gluten-free but have that label?  So many questions!

Thanks in advance!

Edited by anyana

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Here is my opinion.  I have been gluten free for 2-1/2 years.  My husband (who is not officially diagnosed) has been gluten free for 14 years (he refuses to do a gluten challenge in order to get a diagnosis).  We do not purchase anything from Costco or any food manufacturer that states it is processed on the same equipment or line.  It is not worth the risk. We have been glutened.  The exception to this is calling directly and determine if they do a good job of cleaning equipment.  It is a crap shoot.  A shared facility?  Yes!  For example I buy corn tortillas from a large manufacturer.  Yes, there is wheat flour in the facilty, but the factory is huge and they never make flour tortillas on the corn line.  

I can not speak for the almond flour.  My Costco does not carry it.  I only buy nuts from Costco that are either certified gluten free or are not manufactured in a facility that lists wheat.  I used to buy organic walnuts that were processed with other nuts only.  Not any more.  Now Kirkland is processing nuts with wheat and Other known allergens.  My solution?  I crack walnuts by hand!  I have a freezer full of unhulled walnuts.   I guess I am extra careful, because my last glutening caused me to be sick for three months (antibodies raised and verified by my GI).  

Can you tell me the exact product?  I have not seen a gluten free label on nuts that includes  the disclaimer that it is made in a facility that processes wheat.  


Non-functioning Gall bladder Removal Surgery 2005

Diagnosed via Blood Test and Endoscopy: March 2013

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis -- Stable 2014

Anemia -- Resolved

Fractures (vertebrae): June 2013

Osteopenia/osteoporosis -- June 2013

Allergies and Food Intolerances

Diabetes -- January 2014

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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I bake with blanched almond flour 2 times a week.  I have tried all the brands I can find, including Honeyville. When I used Honeyville, years ago, I don't believe it had the shared equipment warning?  If it did, I missed it!   I do not (knowingly) use anything with a shared equipment warning.  I agree shared facility can sometimes be OK.   I have never seen a certified gluten free product that also had a shared equipment warning.  

I prefer nuts.com for almond flour, nuts, dried fruit, etc.  These items are certified gluten free and not made on shared equipment.  The flour (and probably the other stuff?) is made in a shared facility but in a dedicated area.  This info is all specified on their website; so you can get the absolutely correct (and up-to-date) info directly from the manufacturer

From testing all the certified gluten free almond flour I could find, I prefer the nuts.com flour by far.  It is more moist and tastes better to me.  Happy Baking!!!

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Thank you for your replies!  Cyclinglady, I wasn't clear about the Costco (Kirkland) nuts. They do NOT say gluten-free, but I was wondering how two items that both had the shared warnings might be certified differently - the flour is gluten-free and the nuts aren't (because nuts are inherently gluten-free but obviously can get contaminated -- frustrating!!). 

It sounds like the flour is probably processed in a facility that cleans their equipment and thus certifies that it's gluten-free - but it also sounds like that at least for now, until my body is 'normalized,' I should probably stay away from anything with the 'processed in a facility that processes wheat' label.  That does make it extra frustrating that you can't even just trust something labeled gluten-free!

Thanks manasota for the nuts.com advice - I will check them out!  I am thankful that I'm getting diagnosed in a time where there is so much more information available to me than even just ten years ago.

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57 minutes ago, anyana said:

Thank you for your replies!  Cyclinglady, I wasn't clear about the Costco (Kirkland) nuts. They do NOT say gluten-free, but I was wondering how two items that both had the shared warnings might be certified differently - the flour is gluten-free and the nuts aren't (because nuts are inherently gluten-free but obviously can get contaminated -- frustrating!!). 

It sounds like the flour is probably processed in a facility that cleans their equipment and thus certifies that it's gluten-free - but it also sounds like that at least for now, until my body is 'normalized,' I should probably stay away from anything with the 'processed in a facility that processes wheat' label.  That does make it extra frustrating that you can't even just trust something labeled gluten-free!

Thanks manasota for the nuts.com advice - I will check them out!  I am thankful that I'm getting diagnosed in a time where there is so much more information available to me than even just ten years ago.

Costco and Kirkland are rip-offs.   Shop Rite by me has ten times as much Gluten free products as Costco.  Costco is geared to selling bulk products to the general public, not to special needs buyers.  Costco also does not produce anything, they buy from other manufacturers who put a Kirkland label on the product.  Thus you are better off buying a brand name that can really certify what is in the product.  All Costco cares about is cheap, not quality.  So never shop in Costco, and never eat the free samples because they do not care about you.

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I have to disagree with you about Costco being a rip off.  I shop there at least twice a week, since I am cooking three meals a day for my family.  Granted, bulk purchasing might not be prudent for one person, but it is wonderful for a family or group of friends.  Almost every retail food store offers private label selections and Shop Rite is one of them.  Costco can offer some certified gluten free foods under their Kirkland label because they are large national chain.  Consumer Reports rates this store as being number one in terms of quality and savings.  They do carry non-Kirkland certified gluten-free brands as well.  

If you want to compare apples to apples, then compare Costco to Sam's Club.  Both are warehouse stores and are not the typical grocery store.  

As far as free samples,  even though the sample product might be gluten free (natural or not), there is a risk of cross contamination.  I pass every time.  I  am not willing to risk it.  Weeks of being ill for a free chip?    Disappointing?  Yes.  But that is the life of a celiac.  It could be worse.  


Non-functioning Gall bladder Removal Surgery 2005

Diagnosed via Blood Test and Endoscopy: March 2013

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis -- Stable 2014

Anemia -- Resolved

Fractures (vertebrae): June 2013

Osteopenia/osteoporosis -- June 2013

Allergies and Food Intolerances

Diabetes -- January 2014

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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3 hours ago, cyclinglady said:

I have to disagree with you about Costco being a rip off.  I shop there at least twice a week, since I am cooking three meals a day for my family.  Granted, bulk purchasing might not be prudent for one person, but it is wonderful for a family or group of friends.  Almost every retail food store offers private label selections and Shop Rite is one of them.  Costco can offer some certified gluten free foods under their Kirkland label because they are large national chain.  Consumer Reports rates this store as being number one in terms of quality and savings.  They do carry non-Kirkland certified gluten-free brands as well.  

If you want to compare apples to apples, then compare Costco to Sam's Club.  Both are warehouse stores and are not the typical grocery store.  

As far as free samples,  even though the sample product might be gluten free (natural or not), there is a risk of cross contamination.  I pass every time.  I  am not willing to risk it.  Weeks of being ill for a free chip?    Disappointing?  Yes.  But that is the life of a celiac.  It could be worse.  

Shop Rite prices are far cheaper than Costco.  You have to check prices per pound or quart as the bulk products are packaged differently.  Then you have to add money to your order because you have to pay to shop there.  Costco also has less than half the selection of a typical mega supermarket.  Been there done that, it's a waste.  Shop Rite also has far more gluten free products than does Costco.  Does your Costco have an entire gluten free isle?  I doubt it.  Kirkland also is just a name put on labels by any fly by night packager, the quality assurance there is nada.

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I do love my Costco, if only for paper goods and Ziploc baggies (and Kind bars!). :) 

Thanks for the info. We don't have a ShopRite here (Colorado) but do have lots of other natural goods stores (that probably jack up the prices sky high!). 

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Hi anyana,

I'm in Colorado too!  

Anyway...I have the Honeyville blanched almond flour and it doesn't have that warning on the label.  I wonder if something has changed.  I've emailed them to see and will let you know  what I hear.  If they are manufacturing on shared equipment I won't be using it and I'll need to find another almond flour.


January 2014-Celiac

August 2014- Hashimoto's

"You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice."

Bob Marley

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H, all!  I'm newly diagnosed since June of this year and I am so happy to see this discussion, always learning something new. 

Since I'm a newby to going gluten free, I also looked for "gluten free" on labels, but now I am learning that that is the company's claim, meeting FDA standards, which means testing less than 20 parts per million.  I've read conflicting articles that 20ppm is ok for celiacs, but mostly that it is not good enough.  So now I look for the gluten-free in the circle (http://www.gfco.org/), which means it meets their stricter standards, and they are an outside validation of the product, not just the company's.

I've been so paranoid and careful about everything I put in or on my body, but TOTALLY did not even consider the Costco / Kirkland nuts.  Maybe because they are a whole food, I didn't think about possible contamination during the processing to shell those nuts.  Anyway, lesson learned.  I do plan to make a major purchase today from nuts.com.

But I have many big bags of shelled nuts from Costco.  Does anyone know...can you perhaps dunk the shelled nuts in a big bowl of water, RINSE them off  and let them dry out perhaps in a very low oven???  Would those then be safe?  It's what I dreamed last night when considering my dilemma of all those bags of Costco nuts in my freezer.  =:oO

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I'll be interested to hear what others think but I'm guessing we can't wash them clean. :( Bummer for me too because I have three bags of Kirkland nuts sitting around too!

Funny, your post gave me visions of loading all the nuts into the dishwasher and cleaning them that way...i'm not sure why but it was funny to think of. ;) 

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4 hours ago, Beverage said:

H, all!  I'm newly diagnosed since June of this year and I am so happy to see this discussion, always learning something new. 

Since I'm a newby to going gluten free, I also looked for "gluten free" on labels, but now I am learning that that is the company's claim, meeting FDA standards, which means testing less than 20 parts per million.  I've read conflicting articles that 20ppm is ok for celiacs, but mostly that it is not good enough.  So now I look for the gluten-free in the circle (http://www.gfco.org/), which means it meets their stricter standards, and they are an outside validation of the product, not just the company's.

I've been so paranoid and careful about everything I put in or on my body, but TOTALLY did not even consider the Costco / Kirkland nuts.  Maybe because they are a whole food, I didn't think about possible contamination during the processing to shell those nuts.  Anyway, lesson learned.  I do plan to make a major purchase today from nuts.com.

But I have many big bags of shelled nuts from Costco.  Does anyone know...can you perhaps dunk the shelled nuts in a big bowl of water, RINSE them off  and let them dry out perhaps in a very low oven???  Would those then be safe?  It's what I dreamed last night when considering my dilemma of all those bags of Costco nuts in my freezer.  =:oO

What does the bag say?  Is there any mention that it is made in a facilty with wheat or just other nuts?  I would give away the bag if it is processed in a facilty where wheat is stated on the package.   Chances are they are made on the same line as flavored nuts.  Some of the nuts offered at Costco are safe.  You have to read the label.

Washing?  $20 or get sick.....$20 or get sick.....give them away!  The risk is too great in my opinion.  

 


Non-functioning Gall bladder Removal Surgery 2005

Diagnosed via Blood Test and Endoscopy: March 2013

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis -- Stable 2014

Anemia -- Resolved

Fractures (vertebrae): June 2013

Osteopenia/osteoporosis -- June 2013

Allergies and Food Intolerances

Diabetes -- January 2014

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4 hours ago, Beverage said:

H, all!  I'm newly diagnosed since June of this year and I am so happy to see this discussion, always learning something new. 

Since I'm a newby to going gluten free, I also looked for "gluten free" on labels, but now I am learning that that is the company's claim, meeting FDA standards, which means testing less than 20 parts per million.  I've read conflicting articles that 20ppm is ok for celiacs, but mostly that it is not good enough.  So now I look for the gluten-free in the circle (http://www.gfco.org/), which means it meets their stricter standards, and they are an outside validation of the product, not just the company's.

I've been so paranoid and careful about everything I put in or on my body, but TOTALLY did not even consider the Costco / Kirkland nuts.  Maybe because they are a whole food, I didn't think about possible contamination during the processing to shell those nuts.  Anyway, lesson learned.  I do plan to make a major purchase today from nuts.com.

But I have many big bags of shelled nuts from Costco.  Does anyone know...can you perhaps dunk the shelled nuts in a big bowl of water, RINSE them off  and let them dry out perhaps in a very low oven???  Would those then be safe?  It's what I dreamed last night when considering my dilemma of all those bags of Costco nuts in my freezer.  =:oO

For the VAST majority of Celiac's, 20ppm is completely safe.  There are many scare-mongers out there who think it is not but I doubt that the medical profession or the Celiac Disease organizations that offer so much important information for us would say it is safe if it was not.  Studies have been done to see what level can be consumed and not initiate the autoimmune response and 20 ppm was it.  Besides, just because something is labeled as possibly having up to 20 ppm in it, does not mean there is.  It just cannot be over that amount.

You also do not have to worry about gluten absorbing through the skin because the molecule is too large.  For most people with celiac disease, the only thing you have to screen is hand lotion and lipstick, for obvious reasons.  This has owrked very well for me over the last 11 years and I am a pretty sensitive, diagnosed Celiac.  I have healed just fine.

I do use nuts.com because it so easy and the quality of their product is far above and beyond what you get at most stores with popular brands.  You can even get unsalted versions, which is good for me.  With regards to eating from shared facilities vs. shared lines, I do eat some products, with no problems, from shared facilities but do not use products from shared lines.  Unless they batch test them and it comes up consistently under 20ppm, I would rather not take the chance. But I have had some success with shared facilities.

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34 minutes ago, gilligan said:

I am no means an expert, but I eat many things labeled as processed in the same facility.  It's been stated on this forum a few times that "processed in the same facility isn't much different than "sharing your kitchen with other gluten eaters." 

I agree.  I eat corn tortillas made in the same facilty as wheat tortillas but the lines are not shared. The OP can call to verify as each Costco has different products and suppliers in many cases.  

I do not eat any foods that are made in a shared facility with wheat unless I have called and am satisfied with their response regarding separate lines or cleaning policies or folks here have recommended a brand.  


Non-functioning Gall bladder Removal Surgery 2005

Diagnosed via Blood Test and Endoscopy: March 2013

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis -- Stable 2014

Anemia -- Resolved

Fractures (vertebrae): June 2013

Osteopenia/osteoporosis -- June 2013

Allergies and Food Intolerances

Diabetes -- January 2014

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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Here is the response from Honeyville...based on this I will continge to use their flour.  I've not had any issues with it...

Thank you for contacting us. I apologize that we did not get back to you on this. As of right now, our almond flour is certified gluten free. There was one batch that was used in equipment that had processed wheat, those are the bags that have a sticker on them. The FDA considers a product gluten free when they pass a test of 20 per million. Here at Honeyville, we know we have customer with severe Celiac and want to make sure our almond flour is for sure gluten free. We test our flour at 5 parts per million, which is way more than the FDA requires. Our flour will not leave our facility unless they are certified and tested positive for gluten free.

 

We put the sticker still to be honest on what is going on. New company policy now states that our almond flour will be processed in their own area with designated machines. The bags are still safe since the test was negative for gluten.

 

If you have any further questions please let us know.

 

Best Regards,

 

Noe Rincon

Customer Service - ECommerce

Honeyville, Inc

Office: (888) 810-3212 Ext 1059

 

 

Hope this helps!:)


January 2014-Celiac

August 2014- Hashimoto's

"You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice."

Bob Marley

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Great to know!  ?. Thanks!  


Non-functioning Gall bladder Removal Surgery 2005

Diagnosed via Blood Test and Endoscopy: March 2013

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis -- Stable 2014

Anemia -- Resolved

Fractures (vertebrae): June 2013

Osteopenia/osteoporosis -- June 2013

Allergies and Food Intolerances

Diabetes -- January 2014

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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You're very welcome!  I'm excited because I've been wanting to bake a couple of things, but was holding off until I heard back.  Let the baking begin!


January 2014-Celiac

August 2014- Hashimoto's

"You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice."

Bob Marley

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Indeed, let the baking begin. Witness my first attempt at gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. I'm a very good baker, so it will take a long time for me to adjust everything I know about baking - and get used to failures. :wacko:

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It does take some adjustment!  And being at high altitide is an additional challenge.  What flour did you use?  I've had good luck using Better Batter flour as a 1 for 1 substitute for all purpose flour.  I've also made ElanasPantry  chocolate chip cookies using the Honeyville almond flour and they turned out great.


January 2014-Celiac

August 2014- Hashimoto's

"You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice."

Bob Marley

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I used Cup4Cup for most of it (and sugar cookies were fantastic with that last week) - but I needed 3/4 cup King Arthur gluten-free Bread Flour, and I couldn't find it locally, so I substituted Bob's Red Mill Baking Flour. Guessing that was my downfall. :(

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I'm sorry that happened.  You will get it figured out for sure.  I've not had luck with Bobs.  There is definitely some trial and error in the gluten free baking.


January 2014-Celiac

August 2014- Hashimoto's

"You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice."

Bob Marley

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