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Frances03

The Chex Issue

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I'm annoyed. I could have SWORN I heard/read/was told that they had a gluten free facility for the gluten free chex!! I just called them after reading the other thread on here about cinnamon chex. I get so tired of reading the same thing over and over, I decided to just find out for myself what the heck is going on, I really dont see how someone could get wheat chex in their cinnamon chex, etc! Well, the person I just spoke to told me they do NOT have a gluten free facility! In fact they are just like any other company that "cleans their lines well" before they run the gluten free chex, and they test them for gluten. But how often do they test them?? Do they test every batch?? Do they allow a certain amount of gluten and still call it "gluten free"??? Well, I asked that last question, and the girl said she had never heard of that, but she would research it and call me back. I swear if they call and tell me they allow a certain amount of gluten in those darn chex, I'm never buying a damn box again!!! And I have 4 boxes here right now! I was about to make chex mix! I think we should all start writing letters telling them we want a gluten free facility for chex!

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I JUST CALLED THEM AND THEY SAID IT WAS A GLUTEN FREE FACILITY?

I am calling again now... I want to tell them what you just told me.

I will tell you what they say in a minute...

--> She (Peggy) is checking on the person who I first spoke with...

--> I am now on hold... She is pulling up my file...

--> She is now telling me how sorry she feels for me, about my symptoms I got from the cereal...

--> Wow, she is actually telling me the truth. That they do not know if anyone has called in... and the previous woman had told me that no one had called.

--> She said she doesn't know anything about the facilities, and is forwarding the report again...

Not any help. But, she is alot nicer. She said they will call back with more information.

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"Ashley" just called me back, TWICE, she told me they do test the product after EACH batch, and that the product is 100% gluten free, they don't allow any ppm under that label. But, she did tell me it is not a gluten free facility, so, if someone told you it IS, something is going on!! I was almost sure I had called chex once before and was told it was a gluten free facility, but I could be wrong about that.

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Well, I know that I am having my worst symptoms in a while after eating the 'gluten-free' Chex...

So, they can stick it up they're gluten free factories, customer service know-nothing, should be fired for lying to a moooooody Celiac and have they're tounge tied for a month's, nostril!

Yes, I am a little moody and P.O'd right now!

Hmm, is it okay to rant and rave like a lunatic on here? Oh, this is a Celiac forum. It wouldn't be normal without ranting and raving sometimes... lol

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Hmm, is it okay to rant and rave like a leuniatic on here?

Yes, it's okay, but only if you spell it right! LUNATIC. just kidding- ;)

so, did they tell YOU it was a gluten free facility??? I am annoyed with you.

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Yes, it's okay, but only if you spell it right! LUNATIC. just kidding- ;)

so, did they tell YOU it was a gluten free facility??? I am annoyed with you.

HAHA! Yes, I noticed that and fixed my rant-spelling...

And the woman I spoke to the first time told ME it was a gluten-free facility... Then Peggy, the next woman, told me she has nooooo idea!

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

I am annoyed with you. You showed me what I misspelt... You should be thrown into a pan of gluten-free lasagna.. A large pan. Yes, I said gluten-free... Cause I don't want your Celiac ghost to come back in a gluten rage and kick my... tushy. HAHA, No, I am not really annoyed with you! :P

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HAHA! Yes, I noticed that and fixed my rant-spelling...

And the woman I spoke to the first time told ME it was a gluten-free facility... Then Peggy, the next woman, told me she has nooooo idea!

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

I am annoyed with you. You showed me what I misspelt... You should be thrown into a pan of gluten-free lasagna.. A large pan. Yes, I said gluten-free... Cause I don't want your Celiac ghost to come back in a gluten rage and kick my... tushy. HAHA, No, I am not really annoyed with you! :P

Yep, the Ashley I spoke with had no idea about my questions either. Makes me wonder if the answers I got today are even the truth! She said she spoke with her supervisor about the how ofthen they check the batches question and she had to call me back with that answer, and call me back again with the answer to the ppm question, so I'm hoping I got the truth today. But I still think a lot more of us need to call and bug them and report what they are told too. mmmmm, now I want lasagna!!!

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I'd never seen "mfr'd in a gluten free facility" on a box of gluten-free chex, but I think it's a good idea to get more info before coming to a quick conclusion.

I was under the impression the FDA standard for gluten free labeling is 20 ppm (20 mg/Kg)--perhaps moderators here are more familiar with the current status of FDA's "gluten free" labeling requirements. IMHO 20 or even 10 ppm is too high for very sensitive celiacs. I had read the FDA is working on determining a more reasonable gluten-free ceiling.

http://www.fda.gov/Food/LabelingNutrition/...n/ucm077926.htm

http://www.csaceliacs.org/FDADefinitionofG...reeLabeling.php

I'm not sure which gluten assay General Mills uses, but ELISA assays should be good down to lower than 1ppm. If they are properly batch testing for an acceptable threshold, the CHEX product shouldn't necessarily have to be mfr'd in a gluten-free facility. http://www.tepnel.com/elisa-gluten-assay-kit.asp

Perhaps it would be better to speak with a process engineer or chemist @ g mills. Customer service reps often just read from a script. Creating a panic where folks are "inaccurately" afraid to buy certain gluten-free products could hurt us if mfr's think we're just a bunch of hotheads. ;)

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mmmmm, now I want lasagna!!!

MMmmm, lasagna! Dang, now I need to go to the store! I'll email you some :P

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Rant away....I'm still royally pissed off at Chex, lol. For months, I could not figure out what the heck was wrong with me or my dd. It got to where I couldn't tolerate any food without feeling queasy or having terrible heartburn, along with fun GI issues. My daughter was throwing tantrums, having headaches, sleeping right after school for the whole night, etc.

I want those 6 months back! Just kidding...I know there are worse things and we are fine now. I just feel like I was scammed. I think self regulating for gluten content is a bunch of crap, they are out there to make $$$, I don't think for one second they really care about the Celiac community.

Yep, still pissed. Feel free to ignore my rant too, lol.

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I think self regulating for gluten content is a bunch of crap

I agree that a better gluten-free labeling standard needs to be implemented by the FDA. This is where changes need to be made.

I'm currently dealing with cc issues, perhaps from Quaker Rice cakes myself, but not completely sure yet. I have been fine with Chex, but noticed my local grocer has Chocolate Chex, some boxes are labeled gluten-free, while other boxes are not, according to the ingredient list. Perhaps old stock mixed in?

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Make sure you email them about your problems with Chex. If they do not hear from us they won't know there is a problem.

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I have been so sick for the last couple of weeks.. the chex have been the one thing that I thought was safe.. I have eliminated everything else. We , as a group, need to figure this out.

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I do believe there is a group here that reacts to Chex. Make sure you write to Chex to tell them about the problem you are having with Chex. The company, if they receive enough reports will look into the problem.

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The idea that "they don't allow any ppm under that label" may simply refer to the likely guidelines on what gluten free means - which is tests gluten free to 20ppm.

Get angry at "could possibly have 1ppm" gluten all you like, but it is NOT economically feasible to test for less than that. If you want to pay $30/box for cereal, and have a couple thousand other folks who will do the same, maybe. But it's an impossible business case. Heck, even if you have a completely gluten free kitchen (you NEVER let anyone bring ANY gluten into your house, and they wash and change clothes when they enter), you couldn't actually prove 0ppm either - because a true 0 can't be tested for.

ANY new food you try should be suspect until you know that you are good with that food - regardless of any labeling. It's never sufficient to say "well, it says 'gluten free' on the label, so that can't be what's making me sick".

I agree that it would be nice if we could get a straight story from GM on the facility issue, but I wonder if they only have one facility? Could they not have multiple ones, and some are dedicated, others are not, and hence your answer depends on where you live?

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I just emailed GM to request more details on their CHEX manufacturing and testing. I'll post when I recieve a reply.

Tarnalberry is correct--currently, a "gluten-free" label does not mean "zero gluten", but some arbitrary level. The FDA proposed "20 ppm or less" in 2007, and there is no current official standard yet. Many with celiac disease are more sensitive than this standard, so it should be lowered.

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Hi and thanks to all who called or emailed the makers of gluten-free Chex. I don't feel any better after 7 weeks of strict adherence to a gluten-free diet, except for the time I used the wrong bag of marshmallows when making "gluten-free" rice crispy bars and was off for two days. I never eat cereal for breakfast but do use it when I want a sweet snack. When I went gluten-free I gave up my favorite Cheerios and switched to the gluten-free flavors of rice Chex. I thought I was so lucky to have found a gluten-free substitute I really liked. I don't have any idea when/if I get glutened so I have been eating Chex for 7 weeks. Now I am angry if there is enough wheat in it that I really haven't yet been gluten-free! Maybe that

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Calling and demanding they give us a gluten-free facility seems a little presumptuous. Yeah, it would be nice, but they aren't making Chex only for Celiacs and if it is cost-prohibitive - which opening a separate facility seems like it would be - most companies won't do it.

Just because something says gluten-free doesn't mean it always, 100% of the time, is. Only whole, naturally gluten-free products can be depended upon.

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At least one manufacturer (I forget who) added a wheat containing ingredient *BACK* to their cereal, partially because they didn't want to deal with people thinking it was gluten/wheat free on ingredients, but was actually made on shared lines that left many people sick.

If you want to really minimize your risk of contamination, you have to avoid processed foods for a while (they've got plenty of other things that could bother you, anyway), AND have your house entirely gluten free. I'm always surprised when people say "oh, I have a totally shared kitchen, but won't consider anything that's not from a dedicated facility" - any food you make in your kitchen (if it's shared) is a shared facility. If you're sensitive enough that shared facilities (not even shared lines/equipment, just buildings) is a problem, then why would you risk it in your own kitchen?

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I understand that we always take a risk with any processed food.....and I accept that. I'm not going to raise a stink over it, and I'm happy that other people can eat them without a problem. I wouldn't want them to lose a new food b/c I'm super sensitive.

I don't have a problem with companies who have products that do not contain any gluten ingredients, but I react to it anyway. I take a chance, if my body doesn't agree so be it. But if a company markets an item to be gluten free, it should be. If they had just taken the barley malt out, not made such a big stink of being gluten free....I wouldn't have taken the chance. There are alot of cereals like that, Trix, Fruity Pebbles, etc....I don't eat them b/c I know there is probable cc.

There really needs to be some sort of standard for this.....can any company slap a gluten free label on their product and not be held accountable no matter how much gluten is in it? Does this just mean we are screwed and have to make absolutely everything from scratch? There are standards for Kosher labeling, although I know this is a much bigger community than Celiac.

I guess that's what has me all huffy, I feel like the new gluten free trend has turned us into marketing ploys and made eating even harder.

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as has been noted - it's true there isn't a US regulation yet (there are in other countries), but it's in the works. it's really slow, but I'd rather Glutino be able to say gluten free on their products, rather than wait until the FDA finishes whatever bureaucratic nightmare they have before there is a regulation. definitely still worth writing the company, of course. (I have indeed seen that at least at my store, the rice chex no longer says gluten free, even though it has no gluten ingredients.)

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I understand that we always take a risk with any processed food.....and I accept that. I'm not going to raise a stink over it, and I'm happy that other people can eat them without a problem. I wouldn't want them to lose a new food b/c I'm super sensitive.

I don't have a problem with companies who have products that do not contain any gluten ingredients, but I react to it anyway. I take a chance, if my body doesn't agree so be it. But if a company markets an item to be gluten free, it should be. If they had just taken the barley malt out, not made such a big stink of being gluten free....I wouldn't have taken the chance. There are alot of cereals like that, Trix, Fruity Pebbles, etc....I don't eat them b/c I know there is probable cc.

There really needs to be some sort of standard for this.....can any company slap a gluten free label on their product and not be held accountable no matter how much gluten is in it? Does this just mean we are screwed and have to make absolutely everything from scratch? There are standards for Kosher labeling, although I know this is a much bigger community than Celiac.

I guess that's what has me all huffy, I feel like the new gluten free trend has turned us into marketing ploys and made eating even harder.

I hear you and agree there needs to be a good standard for celiacs. Right now, there isn't an established standard for "gluten free". The FDA proposed "20 ppm or less" (in 2007), but they haven't yet set a real standard--that is still under review.

Numerous companies that use/used a "gluten free" label (and batch test product with gluten assays) are only going on what the FDA recommended in 2007. People with celiac disease (especially those who are very sensitive) need to be aware of this, so they can make good choices in selecting what they eat. Eventually, the FDA will set a real standard for folks with celiac disease. Hopefully lower than 20 mg/Kg, to accomodate those that are very sensitive. ;)

Yeah, the last couple boxes of Chex I purchased no longer say "gluten free", but there's nothing on the ingredient list to raise an eyebrow.

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I eat the Chex and haven't had a problem. I am pretty darn sensitive to gluten too. It will be interesting to see how they respond to the off color Chex question.

We have had threads before where people have discussed the transport of grains from the field to the grain silos. Then via truck to the manufacturer. If the same trucks are used and the same silos are used for all grains then there is a possibility of contamination that way.

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I have not tried the product so I cannot comment . . . but for those of you who feel you have issues with the product . . . has anyone tried to contact the media to report it? Maybe a bit of investigative journalism is in order here? If enough people have had problems, it might do wonders in opening people's eyes as to the importance of proper testing, labeling.

Of course, there should be a number of people who really have had problems who are willing to ban together on this.

Just a thought.

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I've been eating gluten-free Chex every day for as long as they've been available. Before that, I ate Rice chex, not labeled as gluten-free, but not containing any gluten ingredients on the label. Not once have I been glutened.

I don't really know what to say, except maybe some very sensitive individuals might never be able to safely eat mass produced food products. It seems unfair, given how much the "normal/average" Celiacs are forced to sacrifice, that the extremely sensitive Celiacs must give up even more.

I would suggest you guys give up Chex for a while and see if your health improves to a completely normal gluten-free state, ie. no adverse symptoms of any kind. Then maybe you can confidently place blame on, or rule out, Chex as the culprit.

best regards, lm

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