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Conflicting Information On Labels

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I have seen a fair number of products that are prominently labeled gluten-free, but which also say they are processed in a plant that also processes wheat. In one instance, when I contacted the company, I got a convoluted answer that failed to clarify whether the product was actually safe. How does one make sense of the apparent inconsistency?

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in the US, there is no legal definition for gluten-free. There is no law that they have to tell you that other things are made in the same facility or on the same machines.

As an example: Below is an explanation of how Rudis keeps the gluten & gluten-free bread separate. Some places have separate lines, some just clean between batches. The only way to know if it's an issue is to ask.

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I have seen a fair number of products that are prominently labeled gluten-free, but which also say they are processed in a plant that also processes wheat. In one instance, when I contacted the company, I got a convoluted answer that failed to clarify whether the product was actually safe. How does one make sense of the apparent inconsistency?

It's not really inconsistent. It's covering their bottoms.

In the US there is no legal standing for declaring a product gluten free. It is strictly voluntary.

What they are saying is that there is no gluten in the ingredients, but they manufacture other gluten containing products at that facility, thus a minimal change for cross contamination. Manufacturing lines are thoroughly cleaned between product changes. Some, super sensitives may react.

It's generally not something I'm concerned about.

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I agree. The danger lies in the level of sensitivity of the individual, and this is something you only learn by experience.

I am fairly sensitive, but generally do not have problems with stuff manufactured in the same facility as gluten. I do steer clear if it is on the same macines.

Trial and error seems to be the only way to clarify this.

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If in Canada, I would suggest alerting the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. My understanding is that such labelling would be considered inconsistent with the spirit of the new labelling requirements.

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ElseB, you are misinformed about the new regulations. Like the current regulations, they do not address contamination issues:

"These amendments will not apply to food allergens or gluten that may be present in the prepackaged product as a result of cross-contamination. The cross-contamination of prepackaged foods with food allergens or gluten are unique issues which are beyond the scope of this regulatory initiative." Click for source from CFIA.

That said, the OP is in the US.

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I hate all the games these companies play when they use their labels. It seems misleading and unfair. So I echo your frustration.

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