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Gluten Free Health Market? I Don't Think So......

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I have a favorite store here in Lincoln, NE that has a health market which carries an amazing array of gluten free products. I do 90% of my shopping there. At the end of the aisle that is dedicated to gluten free products is (are you ready for this?) a flour grinding station! Since I have never really needed anything from that end of the aisle, I never really gave this any thought. However, today there was a six pack of Redbridge beer on one of the shelves next to the flour mill and I thought, 'Oh, I haven't had beer in a long time. I think I'll get some". So I bought it and brought it home. I was going to put it away when I noticed a fine powder all over the bottles and realized, no that's not dust, it's flour! Hello! The bells went off so I picked up the phone and called the store to speak with the woman in charge of the health market. Her excuse was that while this was an issue they were aware of, there was really nothing they could do about it because the flour mill is located there due to where the electricity is located. I said, "Are you kidding me? You mean to tell me that with 5 other aisles dedicated to the health market, you couldn't locate the gluten-free foods in another aisle? I proceeded to tell her that if I had not paid attention to this I could have become very sick just by eating food from my hand after handling the packaging. I told her you cannot sell gluten-free products and have people getting sick off of something on the outside of the package. This will destroy their trust in brands and products when in truth it has nothing to do with the product but with the store's irresponsible way of handling the product. She said she was sorry and that she would report my call and that hopefully my call would be what was needed for the management to make a change. I said, 'While your at it, mention that I will not be buying anymore gluten-free products from your store until they do fix this and I will be sure to mention it to all of my celiac friends as well.

I cannot believe that people are so ignorant. And really? Out of the tons of people that shop in that food aisle, am I really the only one who ever complained about or noticed this issue. Probably not but how many people have become ill and thought that there was cross contamination IN the product when it was actually ON the product.

I believe my next call will be to the management and I may even e-mail the corporate office. Buyer Beware Indeed!

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Go for it! I hope you get the store changed. It's lunacy to put the gluten-free food next to a flour grinding station.

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Wow. That tops my local stores locating gluten-free baked goods in a frozen case with frozen gluten goods. In the bakery next to the area where they bake stuff...when there's a gluten-free section somewhere else (so I'd never look for that stuff in the bakery).

And I assume you aren't the first one to complain since "they are aware of the problem".

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Please do call the corporate office, or better yet, write a good letter and Cc all the relevant parties. This is simply a case of people not understanding the ramifications. You will be saving many people from sing glutened needlessly!

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That was supposed to say BEING glutened. On an iPhone here...

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At first I thought the flour grinding machine was for gluten free flours, and I was impressed. :huh:

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Thought I would post a copy of the e-mail I just sent to the stores corporate offices: As a courtesy I am making you aware of a health hazard present in the health market at your XXXXXXXXXXX. I have Celiac disease, as do many members of my family and we buy 90% of our gluten free products in your stores. Today I purchased a 6 pack of Redbridge beer which was on a shelf in your health market section located right next to your flour grinding mill. When I got it home, I found that it was covered in flour dust. If I had not recognized this right away, I could have drank the beer or eaten food without washing my hands which would have caused me to ingest gluten and become very ill. I called the store to bring this to the attention of your dietician and she stated that they were aware of the problem but there was nothing they could do because the flour equipment is placed where there is electricity available. Given that you have at least 5 other aisles in your health market, it would certainly seem prudent to put the gluten free foods in another aisle. As it is, there are many people who have probably become ill from cross contamination from products that they may have trusted for years not because of what was in it but because of what was on the package and now believe they are no longer safe simply because of the lack of responsibility in your marketing practices. As I said, I am contacting you as a courtesy. I also plan to contact Schar and many other brands who's products you carry to advise them of your practices. I will no longer do my shopping in any of your stores until this policy is changed, nor will my family or my other Celiac contacts. I belong to a website on which there is a forum with a very large following and they were appalled by this situation. While I did not mention the name of your store, I am thinking that it might be wise to do so for public safety to our Celiac community. I would hope that in light of the potential health risk this practice poses, that you will correct this immediately.

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Proof that sometime the squeaky wheel does get the grease. This is the email I returned to the corporate office this morning after receiving a call from the store manager: Thank you so much for your prompt response to this issue. I just received a call from Phil at the (store name). He was very concerned and kind. As he stated and as I have found in most circumstances, most people who do not have gluten problems would never see the danger in placing the flour mill close to closed containers of food. Cross contamination is a phrase that most of the general public has never heard of let alone considered. Because I do not often pick up things from that end of the aisle, honestly, it never really occurred to me either.

My intent in contacting you was never to cause trouble for someone at the store, be it the dietician or the manager and I hope that that will not be the case here. My point in contacting you was simply to point out a health hazard with hope that my information would help change this. Phil has promised me that it will be taken care of within the week which makes me very happy because I love shopping at (store name). I live 1/2 mile from another grocery store and still drive the extra distance for my shopping because the store is so clean and the employees are so friendly and helpful. As I told Phil, I would rather shop in your health market for my gluten free products over the other health food stores here in Lincoln because of the extensive selection of quality products.

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I love HyVee, too. They have a great selection of gluten-free stuff. More than WF. One of ours had that flour grinding right next to gluten-free when I first went gluten-free. Shortly after I started going there, they remodeled that section & moved it away from the gluten-free stuff.

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I love HyVee, too. They have a great selection of gluten-free stuff. More than WF. One of ours had that flour grinding right next to gluten-free when I first went gluten-free. Shortly after I started going there, they remodeled that section & moved it away from the gluten-free stuff.

I also love their produce and meats, which are always really fresh. They really are a great place to shop so I am pleased that they will be making changes.

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Thanks for posting this. It was also a good reminder for me to start off with the approach that someone probably just needs to be educated about CC issues, before getting too annoyed about it. Let us know when it's fixed!

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I also love their produce and meats, which are always really fresh. They really are a great place to shop so I am pleased that they will be making changes.

I have found that the employees seem very happy to be there. That's important for a customer. They have more pride in thier work. I have found they are willing to work with you. The dietitians like to hear about new products they can order & try.

Ours have the cutest young men working in produce..... Just an added benefit. :)

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It's wonderful that you noticed the problem. Your attentiveness may have saved you and a lot of other people from getting sick?

I congratulate you on your approach to the problem and the way you worded your concern.

I'm very happy to know that they took the issue seriously enough to fix the problem. One person truly can make a difference. :D

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It's wonderful that you noticed the problem. Your attentiveness may have saved you and a lot of other people from getting sick?

I congratulate you on your approach to the problem and the way you worded your concern.

I'm very happy to know that they took the issue seriously enough to fix the problem. One person truly can make a difference. :D

Thank you.

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Yay! I'm so glad you spoke up and they were immidiatel responsive to the problem. Not only have you kept other celiacs safe, you have educated a whole store full of employees!

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I'm so glad they turned out to be concerned and responsive!

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Just and update on this situation. I got this message from the dietician from Hy-vee today:

Roxanne,

Just wanted to let you know that we have completed the moving of the flour grinders from the gluten-free aisle. At Hy-Vee we strive to make your life easier, healthier and happier.

Marcia

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