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Hersheys Does Not Necessarily Disclose All Gluten

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I had been under the impression that Hershey's was like Kraft, and did not "hide" gluten, so that if the word "natural flavors" was used, and the words wheat, rye, barley, oats or malt were not, the product was safe. However, when I contacted them to double check the status of their sundae toppings, I was told that they did not know whether the natural flavors that they used in the toppings contained gluten. I emailed to confirm this, and this is what they sent back: "Thank you for contacting The Hershey Company. Your comments about our chocolate product are important.

Natural flavors are derived from natural sources which could have gluten. The Sundae Syrups you are referring to have not been tested to determine if they are gluten free. I am sorry, that is all the info we can provide you."

So, it seems that the words "natural flavors" on a Hershey's product might mean -- we don't know what's in it.

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The Sundae Syrups you are referring to have not been tested to determine if they are gluten free. I am sorry, that is all the info we can provide you.

Everybody sing, "CYA, CYA, CYA-A-A..."

This is an increasingly common disclaimer statement which means that they do not make all of the ingredients they use, and so they will not accept legal responsibility for them. Okay, so they will not legally guarantee the gluten-free status. That does not mean that there is any gluten present, it just means that they will not be responsible if a third party (their supplier) accidently introduces cross-contamination.

"The first thing we must do is kill all the lawyers" -- William Shakespeare

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Hershey has been having problems with inconsistent answers. But here's what Andrea Levario, Executive Director of the American Celiac Disease Alliance found out.

The Supervisor for Customer Relations returned the call. After discussing

the responses some individuals had received, she kindly responded to my

questions to put the record straight.

1. Question: In the past 3 years, has Hershey's ever used flour (wheat) on

its processing lines for Hershey's minatures?

Answer: No.

2. Question: Has Hershey's ever used flour on its processing lines?

Answer: No.

3. Question: Does Hershey's use malt in the chocolate for its minatures?

Answer: Only for Krackle minatures.

The new labeling law only addresses the top 8 allergens, and does not

include barley or rye.

4. Question: Some consumers have been told that if a product contains

barley or rye, Hershey's includes those under the heading of 'wheat.'

In other words, if a product is labeled for 'wheat' does that mean ONLY

wheat, or does it mean any of the grains wheat, rye, or barley."

Answer: Wheat means ONLY wheat.

5. Question: Regarding barley or rye - if a product were to contain barley

or rye, is it company policy to label for these ingredients?

Answer: Yes, barley is listed as 'malt.'

Based on her answers, I noted that the information provided by the customer

service representatives was inconsistent, and in some cases inaccurate,

leading to confusion. She understood and assured me they would work with

the representatives to provide consistent and accurate information.

This is Richard again. Unless I am misinterpreting, Hershey will always specifically identify wheat, any barley would be in malt and so listed, and hidden rye simply isn't a problem in any foods I know of. Based on this, I am comfortable simply reading their labels.

richard

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