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Miss Emily

Question About Gluten Free Meat

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I live in a small town in Michigan, so we do not have a Whole Foods or any other natural foods super store. And, the health food stores we do have do not carry meats :( So, my question is this. How do I find 100% gluten free meat? I buy my ground beef at Meijer, it is called Naturewell Natural Beef. However, I have a gluten reaction every time I eat it. I know that where they package the meat at the deli there are many other gluten sources around. Could my meat be getting contaminated from the machine they use to prepare and grind the meat? Also, it is in a window displayed with glutenous meats. I am planning to call the compnay as I see they have a website now to ask if their meats are gluten free. For chicken I eat Tyson 100% Natural Chicken. Also makes me ill. I feel s lost about this! If anyone has some advice on how to purchase readily available, reasonably priced, gluten free meat, please help! Also, if someone can educate me about what the cross contamination and contamination issues are with processed meat that would be great. What do I need to be concerned about, what don't I? Thanks!

PS. I only buy brands that are hormone/antibiotic free, but some companies say "free" others say "none added" etc. is there a difference?

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Hi Miss Emily,

Can you get your meats from the slaughter house? I'm also from a small town in Michigan, on the Lake Huron side. I buy my meats at a fruit market that has a butcher counter but if I didn't have that trusted resource I would call around and find a slaughter house. We have several small ones in our area. One in Standish and another in Pinconning but I'm sure you'll find something closer to your home.

Hope you are feeling better soon! :)

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The FDA requires that all forms of gluten (to include wheat, rye, barley and malt) must be listed as an ingredient if added. If you see just meat, that's all it is. Gluten should not be a concern with plain meat at the grocery store, just read the labels.

Perhaps you are experiencing a delayed reation to something else. Reaction time can vary as you progress through the diet. Or a food diary may be helpful to pin point a specific issue.

If you are new to the diet, ANY food, gluten free or not, can be an issue until some healing has taken place.

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The FDA requires that all forms of gluten (to include wheat, rye, barley and malt) must be listed as an ingredient if added. If you see just meat, that's all it is. Gluten should not be a concern with plain meat at the grocery store, just read the labels.

Perhaps you are experiencing a delayed reation to something else. Reaction time can vary as you progress through the diet. Or a food diary may be helpful to pin point a specific issue.

If you are new to the diet, ANY food, gluten free or not, can be an issue until some healing has taken place.

I went on the FDA website (link:http://www.fda.gov/Food/LabelingNutrition/FoodAllergensLabeling/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/ucm106187.htm)

I could only find information pertaining to allergen labeling for wheat. Not for barley, rye or oats. [Or gluten for that matter, accept for regulations on the term "gluten free."] Do you have a link to your information so I can read it too? Thanks!

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However, I have a gluten reaction every time I eat it. I know that where they package the meat at the deli there are many other gluten sources around.

I think the reason is in that sentence. I had the same problem with a small grocer where I used to do all my shopping. What you may need to do is find a major store that has it's meat dept seperate from the deli. If I have to get my meats at this store I go for the ones that come prepackaged from the maker. In a pinch they sell some of the Hormel precooked meats that are AuJus. Hormel marks those gluten free on the package. That same small store will have things like prepackaged Perdue raw chicken also. For other raw plain meats I go to a larger chain that is near me.

I should mention I had the same CC issues in that store with cut up fruit and veggies. I had many mystery glutenings my first year gluten-free until I walked into the back room where they package the produce. They had a big wooden cutting block there for the fruits and veggies and it was lunch time. The employees were all gathered around that block and using it as a table while they ate their sandwiches. Mystery solved. I still buy some fruits and fresh veggies there but I buy them whole and wash them really well before I use them..

Also the USDA covers the regs for raw meats. They require that if grain is added it must be disclosed. This stems from a period years ago when companies would add 'fillers' like grains to raw meats to cut costs. However they do not require flavorings or broths to list ingredients and barley is often used in a broth. Your also right about the FDA regs, wheat needs to be disclosed but other gluten ingredients do not. When they are used as a flavoring agent there is no regulation at this time that requires disclosure. That is why we need to call companies whenever we see the words 'natural flavors'.

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I went on the FDA website (link:http://www.fda.gov/Food/LabelingNutrition/FoodAllergensLabeling/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/ucm106187.htm)

I could only find information pertaining to allergen labeling for wheat. Not for barley, rye or oats. [Or gluten for that matter, accept for regulations on the term "gluten free."] Do you have a link to your information so I can read it too? Thanks!

Here is an interesting articles with the USDA guidelines:

http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Legislati...or-meat-poultry

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/AN191

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Help/FAQs_Flavorings/index.asp

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Thank you for the links. The articles were very helpful. However, just to clear up, the FDA does NOT regulate the allergen information for Barley, Rye, or Oats. They do regulate Wheat however because it is a "top" allergen. Therefore, just because a product does not state "contains wheat" that does not mean that the product is free of gluten ingredients. I have heard consumers say, "Well, the FDA says its mandatory to list top allergens and it doesn't say WHEAT, so it's safe!." I wanted to make a point to mention that many people beleive that gluten, barley, rye or oats will be listed if it is in a product, but this is not true. The FDA only regulates gluten labeling regarding wheat based ingredients.

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Also the USDA covers the regs for raw meats. They require that if grain is added it must be disclosed. This stems from a period years ago when companies would add 'fillers' like grains to raw meats to cut costs. However they do not require flavorings or broths to list ingredients and barley is often used in a broth. Your also right about the FDA regs, wheat needs to be disclosed but other gluten ingredients do not. When they are used as a flavoring agent there is no regulation at this time that requires disclosure. That is why we need to call companies whenever we see the words 'natural flavors'.

Thank you. Your thoughts were very helpful. I too think it is partly a cross contamination issue, as my grocer sells breaded meat items along side the ground beef and other items. Thank you too for clarifying the USDA regulations for raw meats. It is difficult to find meat where I live that does not have added ingredients such as flavorings and broths. I will have to find company information and a fresh butcher willing to answer my questions!

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Also the USDA covers the regs for raw meats. They require that if grain is added it must be disclosed. .

Yes, so all raw meat without broth should not contain gluten, unless disclosed. USDA is the governing agency.

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"However they do not require flavorings or broths to list ingredients and barley is often used in a broth."

I'm curious where you heard this. When I called the USDA a few years back I was told that ANY wheat, rye or barley -- including in any broth or flavoring -- had to be listed. Anything that adds nutritional value, which means all grains, must by law be listed.

And in fact I have yet to find meat with "broth" or "flavoring" that has gluten. I don't find that barley is "often" used in broth at all. Do you know of specific meats where this is true?

richard

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If they're making meatloaf and wearing the same gloves to process meat after that (slice, arrange, package) they're possibly contaminating all of the meat in their butcher shop.

Wash your steaks before cooking them? Just a suggestion.

Might you also be allergic to meat? I'm allergic to beef (which I didn't know until recently). It gives me a terrible stomach ache. It is just one of the things I though was normal my whole life.

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"However they do not require flavorings or broths to list ingredients and barley is often used in a broth."

I'm curious where you heard this. When I called the USDA a few years back I was told that ANY wheat, rye or barley -- including in any broth or flavoring -- had to be listed. Anything that adds nutritional value, which means all grains, must by law be listed.

And in fact I have yet to find meat with "broth" or "flavoring" that has gluten. I don't find that barley is "often" used in broth at all. Do you know of specific meats where this is true?

richard

http://www.celiac.com/articles/21672/1/Tip...ason/Page1.html

"A gluten-free holiday dinner starts with a gluten-free turkey. Believe it or not some brands of turkey do contain additives that are not gluten-free"

The following is from the USDA and pertains to meats and poultry and differ from the regs for other nonmeat processed foods.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FactSheets/Additi...ducts/index.asp

Substances such as spices and spice extractives may be declared as "natural flavors," "flavors," or "natural flavoring" on meat and poultry labels without naming each one. This is because they are used primarily for their flavor contribution and not their nutritional contribution.

One the same page arther down

MODIFIED FOOD STARCH - starch that has been chemically altered to improve its thickening properties. Before the starch is modified, it is separated from the protein through isolation techniques; therefore, the source of the starch used is not required on the label. Note- This applies only to meat and poultry products

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But in any case, if anything is added, there will be a clear indication on the label. So if the label just says "turkey," as an example, then nothing has been added.

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"Substances such as spices and spice extractives may be declared as "natural flavors," "flavors," or "natural flavoring" on meat and poultry labels without naming each one. This is because they are used primarily for their flavor contribution and not their nutritional contribution."

If you read more you'll discover, however, that grain most definitely are NOT considered spices or spice extracts for labeling purposes. It's VERY clear that the USDA says grains add nutritional vale and therefore must absolutely be listed. That's the sole determining factor. I have been told flat out several times by the USDA that grain must be listed. I specifically asked about wheat, rye and barley.

Two FAQs from the USDA:

"What substances or ingredients can be listed as "natural flavor," "flavor," or "flavorings" rather than by a specific common or usual name?

Ingredients such as ginger, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, celery powder, and garlic oil may be listed as one of the three categories mentioned above. They may be designated as "natural flavors" because they are substances used chiefly for flavor. They do not make a nutritional contribution, are not derived from an animal species, and there are no health concerns linked to them."

"Can hydrolyzed animal or vegetable protein be identified as "natural flavoring" on the label?

No. FSIS regulation requires that animal or vegetable proteins must be specifically identified in the ingredient statement on the labels. The source of the protein must also be disclosed. On the label, you will read "hydrolyzed wheat protein" or "hydrolyzed milk protein," not just hydrolyzed protein.:

"A gluten-free holiday dinner starts with a gluten-free turkey. Believe it or not some brands of turkey do contain additives that are not gluten-free"

I'll have to respectfully disagree with Scott on this one. The only non-gluten-free turkey I've ever found was pre-stuffed. In the past I've asked for people to list the non-gluten-free turkeys they've found and the answer has always been silence. People used to claim that Butterball wasn't gluten-free, but they were confusing the separately wrapped gravy packet with gluten in the turkey.

Anyway, the USDA would still require the grain be listed. AS always, read the ingredients.

richard

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"Substances such as spices and spice extractives may be declared as "natural flavors," "flavors," or "natural flavoring" on meat and poultry labels without naming each one. This is because they are used primarily for their flavor contribution and not their nutritional contribution."

If you read more you'll discover, however, that grain most definitely are NOT considered spices or spice extracts for labeling purposes. It's VERY clear that the USDA says grains add nutritional vale and therefore must absolutely be listed. That's the sole determining factor. I have been told flat out several times by the USDA that grain must be listed. I specifically asked about wheat, rye and barley.

Two FAQs from the USDA:

"What substances or ingredients can be listed as "natural flavor," "flavor," or "flavorings" rather than by a specific common or usual name?

Ingredients such as ginger, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, celery powder, and garlic oil may be listed as one of the three categories mentioned above. They may be designated as "natural flavors" because they are substances used chiefly for flavor. They do not make a nutritional contribution, are not derived from an animal species, and there are no health concerns linked to them."

"Can hydrolyzed animal or vegetable protein be identified as "natural flavoring" on the label?

No. FSIS regulation requires that animal or vegetable proteins must be specifically identified in the ingredient statement on the labels. The source of the protein must also be disclosed. On the label, you will read "hydrolyzed wheat protein" or "hydrolyzed milk protein," not just hydrolyzed protein.:

"A gluten-free holiday dinner starts with a gluten-free turkey. Believe it or not some brands of turkey do contain additives that are not gluten-free"

I'll have to respectfully disagree with Scott on this one. The only non-gluten-free turkey I've ever found was pre-stuffed. In the past I've asked for people to list the non-gluten-free turkeys they've found and the answer has always been silence. People used to claim that Butterball wasn't gluten-free, but they were confusing the separately wrapped gravy packet with gluten in the turkey.

Anyway, the USDA would still require the grain be listed. AS always, read the ingredients.

richard

Barley malt is not considered a grain, it is considered a natural flavoring. In addition modified food starch does not have to have the source listed in meat products. Are most chickens and meats with broth added safe, yes, are all of them? No.

If modified food starch is added the source does not have to be listed so it is safest to check. This debate has been going on between the two of us for quite some time. I am always asked to provide sources. How about you show some sources of poultry that declare that all their products are safe? Perdue for example has a list of gluten free chicken products. If all their products were gluten free they would simply state that fact.

When in doubt of a product we need to check to be safe until all gluten ingredients are required by law to be stated on packaging and this applies to all foods at this time.

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Maybe someone could write the USDA and get a clarification statement.

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In addition modified food starch does not have to have the source listed in meat products.

But, it will be listed as modified food starch. And barley malt, if "hidden," will still be listed as natural flavor.

If no additional ingredients are listed, then there are none present, and in that case the product is 100% meat and thus without doubt gluten-free.

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If no additional ingredients are listed, then there are none present, and in that case the product is 100% meat and thus without doubt gluten-free.

On this we agree.

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:unsure: - What makes me wonder on beef - if the cows are grain fed and not free range - would the grain they eat affect their systems thereby passing on the gluten protein into their meat ?? :unsure:

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:unsure: - What makes me wonder on beef - if the cows are grain fed and not free range - would the grain they eat affect their systems thereby passing on the gluten protein into their meat ?? :unsure:

No, it would not.

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"Barley malt is not considered a grain, it is considered a natural flavoring."

Please explain where this came from. Barley is a grain. Period. The USDA says ANY grain must be listed. Period. Barley malt is NOT considered a flavoring. Barley is a grain; malting it does not make it not a grain.

You alleged in an earlier post that barley is frequently used in natural flavors etc. I've never seen that and asked you to name some specific products where you've found this. I'm still waiting for SPECIFIC products. Not a general statement, but actual products that would help all of us avoid these products. PLEASE help us.

Have you ever called the USDA yourself? I have several times.

richard

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"Perdue for example has a list of gluten free chicken products. If all their products were gluten free they would simply state that fact."

Oh good golly, of course they don't say that because some of their products DO have gluten. And the gluten is clearly listed.

richard

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:unsure: - What makes me wonder on beef - if the cows are grain fed and not free range - would the grain they eat affect their systems thereby passing on the gluten protein into their meat ?? :unsure:

Absolutely not.

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Maybe someone could write the USDA and get a clarification statement.

I admit it's been perhaps 2 years since I've talked to them, but every conversation has confirmed the grain must be listed. Perhaps that's changed, but I'm not going there again.

richard

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Wow, I hadn't realized this issue was so hotly contested. I stopped buying meat at the big chain grocery store because the butcher was cheaper and willing to answer my questions. I found that there is dairy or soy in all the lunch meats carried at either store so I gave up and started eating peanut butter on apple slices for lunch. Even the rotisserie chicken that I use to buy for supper when I had to work late had soy in it. And I haven't found a broth yet that doesn't have something from the celery and carrots family.

The next time I'm in to the butchers I will be asking if the staff have a breakroom separate from the meat processing kitchen, about wooden cutting boards and about precautions taken to avoid cross contamination from the stuffed poultry they make for holidays.

Thanks for the lively conversation. We learn more when we respectfully question ourselves and each other.

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