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Back To Nature- Bad Customer Service!

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Please be wary of the company Back to Nature. We bought Rice Thins from them at Target two days ago and my son had an anaphylactic reaction. It most likely was the milk/cheese in them but my allergist also advised me to call them to clarify what their "natural flavor" was exactly. When I called yesterday it took a 20 minute CYA run around and being transferred twice to tell me that they were on the eastern time and therefore closed. This morning it again took about 20 minutes for them to tell me that they don't know and they will have to call me back by Friday. I was nothing but polite- they on the other hand were on the defensive the whole time. By the end of the conversation I even said "I am not looking to sue you guys- I just want to know what my son may be allergic to so that we can avoid it." They were NO help and wasted 40 minutes of my time.

I wanted to share to warn people here. It seems fishy to me when a company can't divulge their ingredients. I will never buy their products again.


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Report them to the FDA. They should start an investigation. KEEP THE BOX, keep the evidence. Somebody may need samples to test. The FDA will make them issue a recall for that batch, for undisclosed allergen ingredients that can cause severe reactions, if it turns out that is what happened. That is what they were afraid of, all companies keep production records of just what ingredients went into each batch lot, and you can be sure they are scrambling around right now trying to figure it out themselves and not let this get into the news cycle.

Manufacturers of food products now use sources of ingredients from many countries, and as we found out from the great scandalous pet food recall of 2007, the companies who sell the raw ingredients to the manufacturers may be getting imports from sources that are not carefull about quality control, or even worse, deliberately are selling altered and mislabeled, contaminated products. This does not mean that this company did this, it means there IS a chance they have no idea whatsoever what is really in those crackers because they used mislabeled or contaminated ingredients.

The words "natural flavoring" always give me the shudders unless it says "consisting of...". Another thing most people do not realize is that because of differences in language, the Chinese may use the word "gluten" interchangeably to mean the protein from wheat, OR from corn or from rice... "gluten" to some of the wholesalers is the high protein part of the grain product after they grain has had the starch processed out. Because China is now a large source of manufactered raw ingredients, this should create caution in how we read labels and what we should expect our government import inspectors to be looking out for.

Not trying to scare anybody, just trying to help get those crackers off the shelves if there is a widespread problem. If you search on the FDA's site, they have a page where they list all the ongoing recalls of things and you would be amazed at how many things do get recalled.

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Should research more before posting, Back to Nature crackers in the Sesame Ginger Rice Thins flavor ARE being recalled.



Only Sesame Ginger Rice Thins Crackers with a "Best When Used By" date of 22FEB2008 are impacted

Madison, WI (December 10, 2007)

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I think that the recall is why they are giving me the run around and trying to cover their backsides.

We didn't have that exact flavor involved in the recall- the flavor we had did list milk on the label. I chose to give it to my son because his only reaction in the past to milk was a mild rash. I chose that cracker because it was the only gluten-free snack I could find that wasn't filled with nasty chemicals and it was always okay in the past for him to have a little milk. Obviously that changed....but I need to know what that "natural flavoring" is. Without that info I can't know if his milk allergy has gotten severe or if he is allergic to something else now.

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The 'we will call you back' isn't always a runaround from the folks you get on the phone. Often the folks on the phone can't tell you much, because they really don't know. I make a lot of calls on products before I use them. Usually I will get a response back from them on the safely but first they do need to contact the folks that handle the actual manufacture of the food or their resident chemists. This happens most often for me with topicals like shampoos etc, I have an actual allergy to soy so I need them to check more than just the gluten and I trust the response that is researched much more than the instant yes or no that I would get from a phone rep.

It sounds like this company is having some problems at the moment and with your son's reaction they are going to really want to make sure they give you a correct answer. I hope they get back to you soon. I would also keep that package and contact the FDA whether or not they respond.

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I have to agree with Raven on this one, they probably want to give you a correct answer considering the circumstances...A lot of companies you call have people who may not have the answers we are looking for. Usually they give these people a book with the "most common" questions. It is very frustrating but I would rather have someone tell me they do not know then tell it is safe just to get me off the phone.

Hope you get your answer soon.

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