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Do you guys buy from bulk food bins at all? The nuts, dried fruit, and M&Ms are so much cheaper... I'm scared that they use flour to stop stuff from sticking, or that the bins get switched around (like a bin that used to contain flour is now filled with almonds). Does anybody have bad experience with bulk food bins?

Oh, and I asked the store manager at two places and they both looked at me like I was crazy for being so cautious.

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Well I haven't ever had a bad experience but that's because I don't do it . . . I wouldn't trust it, but that's my opinion

Oh, and I asked the store manager at two places and they both looked at me like I was crazy for being so cautious.

Ummmm . . . I don't think you're crazy.

You might look into a Sam's Club or a Costco. You can buy large bags of nuts for much much cheaper than the grocery store. Pretty sure they've got large bags of M&M's too :P

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Oh . . . If it was a bin of something that was prewrapped . . . like Jolly Ranchers . . . then I would be OK with it . . . but I don't think that was what you were going for. ;)

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I don't trust them either...

It didn't help that one of the guys that works at Whole Foods told me there is NO WAY he'd eat anything out of the bulk, and he has no food problems. Something to do with the general public and their habits.... ick!! :ph34r: But he said if he had celiac, or food allergies, he definitely would stay away.

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I also wouldn't touch anything from a bulk bin. Just not worth the risk...

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It depends on what it is. I used to buy the bulk nuts, but after I learned of my almond allergy, I quit doing that. I did once buy some bulk gluten-free pasta but was then afraid to use it and tossed it out. I have bought bulk beans and popcorn, but not for some time. Reason being, I can get fresher and cheaper stuff at my health food store. I do still buy some candies for my daughter from the bulk bins. Mainly wrapped stuff but some jelly candy as well. I figure those things are far enough away from the gluten containing things they are okay.

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Do you guys buy from bulk food bins at all? The nuts, dried fruit, and M&Ms are so much cheaper... I'm scared that they use flour to stop stuff from sticking, or that the bins get switched around (like a bin that used to contain flour is now filled with almonds). Does anybody have bad experience with bulk food bins?

Oh, and I asked the store manager at two places and they both looked at me like I was crazy for being so cautious.

I wouldn't trust the bulk bins at all but I'm having a hard time finding gluten free dried beans for soups. So many of the packaged dried beans/peas are labelled as produced in a mixed production facility I'm scared to try any of them.

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Some foods you can only find (at a reasonable cost) in bulk bins. Around here, yellow corn grits are one such food (seriously YUMMY! and gluten-free).

I would go have a heart to heart with the manager. See if you can schedule some time to talk with him. Bring a short article about the dangers of cross-contamination. Ask if it's possible for you to buy the food BEFORE it's added to the bulk bins, or if amounts could be set aside for you, or if you could just order bulk quanities (so they order 2 boxes of nuts instead of 1, and you buy 1).

Another possibility is to get together with other like minded gluten-free folks in your area and form a cooperative, and use United Foods or a similar company to deliver.

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