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If you even look at the packaging of the waffles in their freezer, despite the large lettering on the front of the box, they most likely at least admit, at the end of the list of ingredients, that the product is "made on equipment shared with wheat."

The official explanation, (I've called to ask), is that they are legally allowed to call the product "gluten free" if there are less than 20 parts per million of gluten in the product. I understand that this is acceptable for many, as level of toleration varies for us. This is the same answer I got from Van's and one of the other companies that produces "gluten free" waffles. Not for me. I have to be worse than "Monk" about this.

Trader Joes gluten free rolls and bread may have been produced in a gluten free facility, but it is shipped and shelved with the wheat stuff, and somehow it seems to have become contaminated -- at my favorite shop, Organic Food Depot, (organicfooddepot.com if you want to see if one is near you), there is a separate freezer for the gluten free products, and they are very careful not to store, shelve, or ship gluten free products with the wheat. Bread wrappers tend to be thin.

General Mills products, (5 flavors of Chex, so long as the words "gluten free" appear over the word "Chex" on the front of the box), are produced in a gluten free facility. I've called the number on the box and have been assured that while not all rice and corn chex are gluten free, General Mills will never put the words "gluten free" on a product that was not produced in a gluten free facilty.

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Assuming you are the U.S., there are in fact no rules at all yet as to what can and can't be called gluten-free. Manufacturers most certainly are NOT required to make it in a wheat-free facility. There's no maximum parts per million yet, although the FDA most likely WILL set that at 20. AND, the FDA rules probably will NOT require that a product be made in a dedicated facility to be called gluten-free, just as there's no such requirement for other allergens.

So, the reality is that right now, as long as you don't actually purposely add gluten to a product, you can call it gluten-free. So if Trader Joe's product doesn't have wheat, rye or barley as part of the ingredients, it's considered gluten-free. And if they actually test it to below 20 ppm, they're doing a heck of a lot more than other manufacturers are right now.

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