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Michi8

Blue Diamond Growers Almond Nut-thins

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I'm trying to eat gluten free now. I'm stumbling a bit along the way...like today...I grabbed and ate a granola bar without thinking -- oops! But I'm trying.

So I bought a product to try: Almond Nut-Thins by Blue Diamond. They come in a few different flavours, and right on the front of the box it says, "Proud Sponsors of the Celiac Disease Foundation." Elsewhere on the box it lists more info on the Foundation along with a phone number and website address: 818-990-2354 www.celiac.org

Great! There are no gluten ingredients. They look good...and taste good! They're safe to eat, right?

Wrong! There is a paragraph I didn't originally notice stating: Produced in a facility that also makes products containing: pecans, hazelnuts, sesame and wheat.

What the heck are they doing "sponsoring" the Celiac Disease Foundation, but offering a product with a chance of cross contamination?!

Michelle :angry:

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FYI, 99% of food companies should be putting this on the label - 100% purely gluten free companies are rare...

I like that they are honest about it. At least you aware of the risk. Are you saying that only companies that are 100% gluten free should be able to donate to CDF? That doesn't make much sense. CDF needs as ,uch money as possible. I could care less if Wheat thins donated money to them.

BB

p.s. I have never gotten sick from the Nut Thins. I really like the Ranch!

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FYI, 99% of food companies should be putting this on the label - 100% purely gluten free companies are rare...

I like that they are honest about it. At least you aware of the risk. Are you saying that only companies that are 100% gluten free should be able to donate to CDF? That doesn't make much sense. CDF needs as ,uch money as possible. I could care less if Wheat thins donated money to them.

BB

p.s. I have never gotten sick from the Nut Thins. I really like the Ranch!

Do you think I'm saying only 100% gluten free companies can donate? Of course not! The clear advertising of that fact, though, implies that they are compliant with providing a product safe for a celiac diet. They don't have that label/advertisement on their products that are made with gluten-containing ingredients. The CYA statement about being processed in a facility that also produces wheat products makes this product unsafe due to cc.

Michelle

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I eat Nut Thins all the time and do not have any problems. I have purchased these at stores that only sell gluten free items. The fact that they are processed in a facility with wheat is not going to make me stop eating them, to me they are safe. I know a lot of celiacs who eat them with no problems too. This company is just protecting itself. Many companies do this, and it is nice to know what else they make but this is one company I do trust. Now Lays I do not and they seem safe from a label point of view.

In the end it all comes down to what you feel you want to do. They are very good with cheese!


~~~~Gluten Free since 9/2004~~~~~~

Friends may come and go but Sillies are Forever!!!!!!!

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They are very good! Plus a serving size is 16 crackers! I do understand it's all about personal acceptable risk too.

Consider, though, that as I am navigating the world of gluten free eating, I'm hearing the message that minute risks are unacceptable (cc risks of teflon cookware, plastic storage containers, makeups, etc.) yet eating a product that has been produced in a cc-risk facility is okay. That same type of CYA labelling is not an okay risk for someone who has a severe peanut allergy (ie a product produced with no nut ingredients, but made in a peanut producing facility) why is it an okay risk for celiac sufferers? If it's okay, then just how careful of cc do I really need to be to give this gluten free diet a real chance of working?

Michelle

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Just to present the flip side....

There are also a lot of Celiacs on this board that have had reactions to Nut Thins.

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Do you think I'm saying only 100% gluten free companies can donate? Of course not! The clear advertising of that fact, though, implies that they are compliant with providing a product safe for a celiac diet. They don't have that label/advertisement on their products that are made with gluten-containing ingredients. The CYA statement about being processed in a facility that also produces wheat products makes this product unsafe due to cc.

Michelle

The vast majority of kitchens represented on this board would then not be able to compliant with providing a product safe for a celiac diet, by those standards - because most people on here have *some* item of gluten allowed for the non-celiacs in the household, even if it's nothing more than a granola bar.

There are standard practices for maintaining cleanliness in production facilities, and standard practices for reducing contamination. Assuming they follow them, they are as safe as anyone who allows gluten into their house in any form.

Heck, the grocery store you buy your produce and meat from is a facility that also produces wheat products, and hence is unsafe. Saying that you can only label something as safe if it's never been in the same building as wheat is unrealistic and would make our food costs prohibitively expensive, even to the well-to-do. That they provide the label allows for informed decisions so that those unwilling to take the risk are aware that such a risk exists in the first place.


Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"

Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy

G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004

Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me

Bellevue, WA

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I had contacted Blue Diamond directly because I was concerned about the cross contamination issue. I was reassured by their response. Although I realize that this is a personal decision, I felt comfortable that they take the potential cross-contamination issues seriously and the fact that they test the product for gluten is an added bonus. This is a quote from their e-mail:

"The issue of producing products that are ‘wheat & gluten-free’ is proving to be a driving force for many food producers to change the way they are making their ‘wheat & gluten-free’ products, how they make that claim and how the products are labeled.

‘Wheat & gluten-free’ has been a term used universally to declare a product that has been produced with no added wheat or gluten ingredients, as safe for consumption by those afflicted with Celiac Disease. This did not mean; however, that the product was defined as having ‘zero’ gluten or wheat. The CODEX standard was set to be less than 20 ppm.

Blue Diamond Growers has been producing NUT-THINS Nut & Rice Crackers that have always been considered ‘wheat & gluten-free,’ and largely sought after by Celiac consumers. Blue Diamond has always made the crackers with the same ingredients – never adding any wheat or gluten; however, these crackers have also always been made in a facility that also produces wheat products. Production lines are aggressively cleaned to reduce risk of cross contamination and routine testing has always been done to adhere to that less than 20 ppm. Regardless of these efforts, this had posed objections within the Celiac community and due to the sensitivity of this issue, Blue Diamond had recently removed the “Wheat & Gluten-Free” labeling from the packaging.

The GOOD NEWS is that the testing that has been performed over the past 6 months has shown results of having no traces of any gluten proteins at all! If the tests continue with the same results over the next 3 months (a total of nine months of solid testing), then Blue Diamond will consider labeling the product as “Wheat & Gluten-Free” once more – and with the added confidence that the product is safe for consumption by those afflicted with Celiac Disease.

Blue Diamond recognizes the need for “Wheat & Gluten-free” products and is dedicated to providing a safe and healthy snack cracker alternative to its customers. Blue Diamond is also committed to improving processes to ensure high quality standards and customer satisfaction, and Future plans include producing these crackers on ‘dedicated lines.’ "

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Guest Kathy Ann

In my pre celiac days I really enjoyed these nut crackers. But I am disappointed with them for not being sensitive to those of us with dairy allergies on top of our gluten one. At the very tale end of their ingredients listing is milk solids. How necessary was that, do you suppose? But it makes all the difference in the world to those of us who can't find good crackers. I just wish more companies would think a little further outside the box and include people with other common allergies where possible.

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The vast majority of kitchens represented on this board would then not be able to compliant with providing a product safe for a celiac diet, by those standards - because most people on here have *some* item of gluten allowed for the non-celiacs in the household, even if it's nothing more than a granola bar.

So what of all the concern I read here about cc with washed cooking utensils, storage containers, personal products, etc? It seems that a good number of people are very concerned about (minute?) risks...is cc at the factory level not as big a concern? I'm having a hard time understanding how particular a celiac needs to be about how and where cc may happen.

There are standard practices for maintaining cleanliness in production facilities, and standard practices for reducing contamination. Assuming they follow them, they are as safe as anyone who allows gluten into their house in any form.

Is it safe to assume that companies follow those procedures properly? Again, as I mentioned further down in this thread, that assumption is not safe for someone who is avoiding other severe allergens (eg peanuts,) why would it different with celiac?

Heck, the grocery store you buy your produce and meat from is a facility that also produces wheat products, and hence is unsafe. Saying that you can only label something as safe if it's never been in the same building as wheat is unrealistic and would make our food costs prohibitively expensive, even to the well-to-do. That they provide the label allows for informed decisions so that those unwilling to take the risk are aware that such a risk exists in the first place.

I never said "that you can only label something as safe if it's never been in the same building as wheat." However, I am questioning issue of a product proudly displaying a celiac endorsement, while carrying a CYA label about cc on the flip side. That endorsement is misleading.

Michelle

I had contacted Blue Diamond directly because I was concerned about the cross contamination issue. I was reassured by their response. Although I realize that this is a personal decision, I felt comfortable that they take the potential cross-contamination issues seriously and the fact that they test the product for gluten is an added bonus. This is a quote from their e-mail:

"The issue of producing products that are

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Your post leads me to believe that you don't really understand what goes on in a factory. It isn't as though there are heaps of flour lying around, or that the lines are just getting lightly rinsed between runs. You have to remember that bacterial contamination and pest control are extremely important as well, and if for no other reason they will be extremely careful because of those things. There is something called a HACCP plan (http://ohioline.osu.edu/b901/index.html) that dictates the procedures that must be followed to ensure food safety (this includes allergen control, when applicable). This is followed very strictly. In most cases, allergens cannot even be stored in the same area as other products, and there are cleaning procedures that are meant not only to control bacterial contamination but allergens as well.

In the plant I work in, the cleaning process for a line takes 6 hours. EVERYTHING is cleaned and sanitized, right down to the hoppers that hold the glue for the cartons. Soy and dairy are segregated from each other and from other ingredients in the warehouse. Everyone in the plant, from the management to the caser operator, gets allergen awareness training annually.

If you are unsure of a company's policy when it comes to allergen control, you are free to call them and ask about their HACCP plan. That should tell you all you need to know.

I, for one, eat Nut Thins all the time without worry.


Carolyn

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. "

- Hunter S. Thompson

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That same type of CYA labelling is not an okay risk for someone who has a severe peanut allergy (ie a product produced with no nut ingredients, but made in a peanut producing facility) why is it an okay risk for celiac sufferers?

Probably because we aren't risking anaphylaxis and sudden death. That's just my thought.


Carolyn

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. "

- Hunter S. Thompson

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Carolyn,

I am glad to see your post. I never knew the sterlizing process so it was very informative. My fiance still eats wheat containing food, so there is always a potential for cc in my kitchen. We are very good about seperate areas, seperate utensils, so far there is not a problem. He is also a person who loves to clean and strives for perfection so that probably helps along the way.

It is good to have a CYA statement helping people make informed choices. Depending on the person and how the personally feel depends on if they eat that product. There have been brands who make gluten-free food (but are also making other health foods) that have had cc issues.

I was wondering why would they need milk in the nut thins?


~~~~Gluten Free since 9/2004~~~~~~

Friends may come and go but Sillies are Forever!!!!!!!

36_22_10[1].gif

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I have no idea about the milk. I would assume it has something to do with either texture or flavor.

And of course, I can only speak for the company that I work for, but they take it VERY seriously.

I have been glutened more times by my own family than I have by restaurants or commercial products. Quite frankly, I think I trust a commercial product more than something one of my parents made in their own kitchens (especially my dad, ack!). My husband has gotten better, but it was rough at first.


Carolyn

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. "

- Hunter S. Thompson

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It is good your company is so good about things like that. I eat the Wegmans brand all the time, they mark gluten free on their products but they still are produced in the same area. I have never had any problems and they were recognized by the Celiac Center at Columbia for their efforts to help patrons with Celiac Disease.

This store is very celiac friendly. I know it is not a strict 100% gluten free company but they are respectful. I pasted the link in case anyone wants to read it. Is is a year old.

http://www.wegmans.com/about/pressRoom/pre...lumbiaAward.asp


~~~~Gluten Free since 9/2004~~~~~~

Friends may come and go but Sillies are Forever!!!!!!!

36_22_10[1].gif

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Your post leads me to believe that you don't really understand what goes on in a factory. It isn't as though there are heaps of flour lying around, or that the lines are just getting lightly rinsed between runs. You have to remember that bacterial contamination and pest control are extremely important as well, and if for no other reason they will be extremely careful because of those things. There is something called a HACCP plan (http://ohioline.osu.edu/b901/index.html) that dictates the procedures that must be followed to ensure food safety (this includes allergen control, when applicable). This is followed very strictly. In most cases, allergens cannot even be stored in the same area as other products, and there are cleaning procedures that are meant not only to control bacterial contamination but allergens as well.

In the plant I work in, the cleaning process for a line takes 6 hours. EVERYTHING is cleaned and sanitized, right down to the hoppers that hold the glue for the cartons. Soy and dairy are segregated from each other and from other ingredients in the warehouse. Everyone in the plant, from the management to the caser operator, gets allergen awareness training annually.

If you are unsure of a company's policy when it comes to allergen control, you are free to call them and ask about their HACCP plan. That should tell you all you need to know.

I, for one, eat Nut Thins all the time without worry.

Why are you being so hostile about my questions? Please don't treat me as if I'm stupid. I've obviously stepped on a bunch of people's toes here, because I'm getting a lot of flack for bringing this up. So much for being a supportive and helpful environment. :(

Michelle

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Michelle :)

Please don't be upset--we all need to remember that *anyone* can react to *anything*. We all have different levels of tolerance, and just because something agrees with us, does not mean that's the case for everyone.

I appreciate someone sharing a positive or a negative experience with products. I am someone who is sensitive to minute amounts of gluten, and I like to compare notes, or use these comments to guage whether or not to buy certain products.

The same type of thing happened to me last year when a well-liked brand of potato chips glutened me. I was clearly in the minority on that one! :P I felt bad, too, but I realized that everyone was just giving their own opinions--which is good.

I'm sure no one intended to offend you ;)


Patti

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans"

"When people show you who they are, believe them"--Maya Angelou

"Bloom where you are planted"--Bev

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Michelle :)

Please don't be upset--we all need to remember that *anyone* can react to *anything*. We all have different levels of tolerance, and just because something agrees with us, does not mean that's the case for everyone.

I appreciate someone sharing a positive or a negative experience with products. I am someone who is sensitive to minute amounts of gluten, and I like to compare notes, or use these comments to guage whether or not to buy certain products.

The same type of thing happened to me last year when a well-liked brand of potato chips glutened me. I was clearly in the minority on that one! :P I felt bad, too, but I realized that everyone was just giving their own opinions--which is good.

I'm sure no one intended to offend you ;)

Thanks, jerseyangel.

I've come away from this thread feeling like if I don't know the answers already, then I'd better not be asking questions. I certainly didn't think that making a comment/rant (as many people around here do) about something that surprised me would result in such negative personal responses. From some of the posts, it sure seems to me that no one bothered to read what I was actually saying anyway. I'll be sure to not post on something like this again. I'll just stumble through figuring out how to safely eat gluten free on my own.

Michelle

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Why are you being so hostile about my questions? Please don't treat me as if I'm stupid. I've obviously stepped on a bunch of people's toes here, because I'm getting a lot of flack for bringing this up. So much for being a supportive and helpful environment. :(

Michelle

What makes you think I'm being hostile? You clearly don't know much about food manufacturing, and I was explaining to you in as much detail as possible without being overly technical. Not peppering all of my posts with smiley faces doesn't make me hostile.


Carolyn

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. "

- Hunter S. Thompson

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Also, for anyone interested, if a product bears an Orthodox Union marking or is otherwise marked as kosher, you can bet that cleaning and HACCP procedures are taken quite seriously. Companies putting these marks on their products are subject to regular and frequent inspection by a Rabbi (in our case, someone sent by the OU). Those guys mean business.


Carolyn

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. "

- Hunter S. Thompson

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What makes you think I'm being hostile? You clearly don't know much about food manufacturing, and I was explaining to you in as much detail as possible without being overly technical. Not peppering all of my posts with smiley faces doesn't make me hostile.

It's not the smiley faces. It's your tone. Where in my posts does it give you the impression that I think "heaps of flour" are lying around the factory anyway? The food manufacturing explanation itself was great...very informative. Still doesn't answer to me how careful I really need to be about cc though, and how seriously I need to take the CYA statements in terms of gluten.

I have had to deal with CYA statements for many years, due to my other allergies, and I know, based on what kind of reactions I have, what my level of comfort with risk for those allergens is...but I have clear-cut reactions to those foods too. I am only a week into gluten free now...and am making mistakes left and right...I don't know, at this point, what my level of acceptable risk is.

Michelle

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"Heaps of flour" is just a figure of speech. You needn't take things so literally. Feel free to interpret my tone however you like, I was just trying to help.


Carolyn

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. "

- Hunter S. Thompson

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For me this is a fine line. The CYA statements are necessary due to the general tendancy to sue in the US. We all have to figure out what level of risk is acceptable to us. When a product is making an effort to be supportive of the gluten-free community but protects themself with the CYA statement, that seems fair.

If the standard becomes no wheat ever in the facility, that will make gluten free products both completely safe and extremely rare. In this thread is a report that the Blue Diamond people have dropped the gluten-free label. While they might bring it back, they could just decide its not worth the cost.

If we (as a community) are overly demanding on the strictest definition of gluten-free we'll have fewer choices. If we are too accepting of cross-contamination, we will have fewer valid choices.

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My rule is that if it says manufactured in a place with wheat I will try it. If it says "may contain traces of wheat", I will not. I'm not sure if this is really the way it is, but I interpret the first as a CYA statement and that there is a remote chance of cc, and the second as a pretty good chance of cc. Only because I have had reactions from "a slight trace" and none that I know of from something manufactured in a place with wheat. If I started noticing gluten symptoms, I would review what I had been eating and those items would be the first suspects, but that hasn't happened yet.

I consider myself pretty strict and sensitive and so far (7 months gluten-free) this has worked for me.


Karen

gluten free 4/06

casein free 7/06

DQ1, DQ8

Daughter (11) gluten free 5/06, casein free 6/06

Daughter (9) gluten free 3/06, casein free 7/06, soy free, trying peanut free

vegetarian

gluten lite on and off since 1999

All dx'ed by Enterolab

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Also, for anyone interested, if a product bears an Orthodox Union marking or is otherwise marked as kosher, you can bet that cleaning and HACCP procedures are taken quite seriously. Companies putting these marks on their products are subject to regular and frequent inspection by a Rabbi (in our case, someone sent by the OU). Those guys mean business.

Perhaps we need to start a major religion just for Celiacs!

eleep


Erica

Inconclusive blood test results

Positive Enterolab results

Positive dietary results

gluten-free since 2/10/06

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