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Question About Cross Contamination

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Ok, I have another question about labeling issues. There are products out there that have no gluten ingredients and are not labeled gluten free. In allergen information, it mentions that it was manufactured with other products containing nuts, corn, etc. But gluten/wheat is not mentioned. Does that mean that the product is safe? I mean, if the company offers this information about cross allergens, wouldn't they include wheat in their list if it was an issue? I know that this is voluntary information in the US, but if they go out of their way to mention other cross allergens besides wheat, then does that mean that only the allergens they actually list are a problem? Or could they be withholding information? I know that "gluten" is not considered to be one of the 8 allergens (wheat is). So I guess they could still be processed with products containing barley or rye. Sigh. It's such a conundrum. Thoughts?

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I believe that current law DOES require that they inform you about whether or not the product is processed on equipment or in a factory where wheat is also processed. Anyone out there know otherwise?

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Hmm. I just answered a similar question about "naturally gluten free."

Simple one-ingredient products can not usually be claimed to be "gluten-free." Label rules prohibit that unless it is a distinguishing factor that makes that product different from other typical similar products. Plain fruits, meats, and vegetables that are always gluten-free can not be advertised or labeled as gluten-free.

Food manufacturers in Canada and the USA are required to comply with "Good Manufacturing Practices" which entail thorough washing of any shared equipment

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well, in the cases I'm thinking of, there are 2 ingredients: sugar and dried cherries. And some of these other products in question have more than one ingredient, too. This is a totally different question than the one I asked about "naturally gluten free". This question is not about the number of ingredients in a product. It's about whether a product that does not identify itself as gluten free yet has no gluten ingredients and DOES mention CC with other allergens (besides gluten) is gluten free. It's a confusing post, and I hope I've made myself clear.

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Okay, to restate the label rule:

For a product to be labeled gluten-free, that must be a distinguishing factor that makes that specific product different from other similar products. This is typically not the case with single-ingredient foods.

If there are no instances of canned green beans with salt added that actually have a gluten ingredient, then it would be misleading to be label your brand of canned green beans with salt added as gluten-free.

These rules refer to intentionally included ingredients.

The possibility of contamination is a whole different question.

Disclosure of shared equipment or facilities is voluntary. In Canada, a "may contain" statement is permitted when, despite Good Manufacturing Practices, there remains an unavoidable risk of contamination. An example would be a bakery where it is impossible to fully contain airborne wheat flour.

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My DH can't handle dried fruit (tested with raisins and two gluten-free muesli). What the ACTUAL problem is I don't know but I am planning to test brands and possibility of sals intolerance. Dried fruit is high on sals.

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what is sals?

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I believe that current law DOES require that they inform you about whether or not the product is processed on equipment or in a factory where wheat is also processed. Anyone out there know otherwise?

Not in the U.S. that I know of.

richard

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I believe that current law DOES require that they inform you about whether or not the product is processed on equipment or in a factory where wheat is also processed. Anyone out there know otherwise?

In the US, shared facility and equipment labeling is voluntary. Read items 16-18.

http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/GuidanceDocuments/FoodLabelingNutrition/ucm059116.htm

Okay, to restate the label rule:

For a product to be labeled gluten-free, that must be a distinguishing factor that makes that specific product different from other similar products. This is typically not the case with single-ingredient foods.

If there are no instances of canned green beans with salt added that actually have a gluten ingredient, then it would be misleading to be label your brand of canned green beans with salt added as gluten-free.

Perhaps in Canada. In the US, "gluten-free" has no legal meaning. The proposed legislation would make it illegal to label naturally gluten-free foods but until that passes you can put a gluten-free sticker on a bag of potatoes or a banana. It's probably only a matter of time until it starts happening too.

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I would normally say putting a sticker on a fruit or veggie is overkill but after hearing what my FIL thinks contains gluten (like potatoes), it may not be too nuts.

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My DH can't handle dried fruit (tested with raisins and two gluten-free muesli). What the ACTUAL problem is I don't know but I am planning to test brands and possibility of sals intolerance. Dried fruit is high on sals.

_____

Likely somewhere during the handling/manufacturing/processing the dried fruit has been either run down a line with some powdered grain product to reduce stickiness or with some vegetable oil to reduce stickiness, and that stuff was the thing that had the cross contamination. It (dried fruit) can also sometimes have sulfites, such as they use in amber yellow, er, golden colored raisins, apricots, papaya, etc. There are some brands that don't do this but you may end up having to make your own cereal mixes.

Try eating some fresh grapes, and see what happens. You can also try eating fresh cranberry (with sugar!) if you want to test it out that way.

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I do not get sick if I get eat gluten so it's very hard for me to tell whether I'm having a bad reaction. However, I do have Celiac Disease and all my blood tests have showed elevated antibodies, even up to a month ago. I had an endoscopy 2 weeks ago and still waiting to hear the results although I heard that I've been making some progress. The only way I can tell if I'm really sick is if I start losing lots of weight fast and/or if I am so tired I can barely keep awake.

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