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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes
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alucard4545

Conagra Foods

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So recently I emailed ConAgra foods only to find out whether their Reddi wip cream is gluten free. The email response I got back was even more than I had asked for, giving a list of their products that DO NOT contain gluten, how nice of them! Here's the response:

Thank you for your email concerning our Reddi-wip Whipped Topping.

We understand how important it is for people who have been medically diagnosed with gluten sensitivity to obtain accurate information about our food to help plan their meals and diets. And we continue to look for ways to meet the dietary needs of our consumers.

Since wheat is a major food allergen, if it is used in the product it would be listed in the contains statement following the ingredients list. The flour used in many of our products is wheat flour and you should avoid these products if you have gluten sensitivities. If any ingredient in the product includes rye or barley, it will be listed in parentheses immediately following the ingredient. Oats do not contain gluten, but they frequently have been exposed to wheat or barley and are not recommended for celiac patients. If Natural Flavors, Artificial Flavors, or Spices listed in the ingredients list contain wheat, rye or barley, these ingredients would be listed in parenthesis immediately following the ingredient. Some fermented or distilled products such as vinegar may be derived from wheat. Most of the vinegar in our products is distilled and through the distilling process protein gluten is removed.

Products That Do Not Contain Gluten*

Category/Brand/Items

-Cocoa: Swiss Miss all varieties

-Hebrew National: all items except Franks in a Blanket

-Wesson oils: all varieties

-Peter Pan Peanut Butter: all varieties

-Popcorn: Act II microwave, Orville Redenbacher jar and microwave excluding Crunch n Munch or Poppycock)

-Pudding: Swiss Miss & Snack Pack, excludes those containing Tapioca

-Spreads: Parkay, Blue Bonnet, Fleischmann's and Move Over Butter

-David Seeds: all varieties

-Tomato Sauces: Hunt's tomato paste and sauces excluding pasta sauces

-Tomatoes: Hunt's all varieties

-Ketchup: Hunt's all varieties

-Reddi-Wip: all varieties

-Egg Beaters: all varieties

*These items have been identified as not containing gluten. They are not currently routinely testing to affirm they contain less than 20ppm gluten for a

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Since wheat is a major food allergen, if it is used in the product it would be listed in the contains statement following the ingredients list. The flour used in many of our products is wheat flour and you should avoid these products if you have gluten sensitivities. If any ingredient in the product includes rye or barley, it will be listed in parentheses immediately following the ingredient. Oats do not contain gluten, but they frequently have been exposed to wheat or barley and are not recommended for celiac patients. If Natural Flavors, Artificial Flavors, or Spices listed in the ingredients list contain wheat, rye or barley, these ingredients would be listed in parenthesis immediately following the ingredient. Some fermented or distilled products such as vinegar may be derived from wheat. Most of the vinegar in our products is distilled and through the distilling process protein gluten is removed.

Thank you for posting. Read the paragraph that I quoted carefully, because hidden in it is the best possible message a person with celiac disease can ever get from a food manufacturer: Gluten grains will always be named in the ingredients if they are present in the product. Many other companies have a similar disclosure policy. Kraft, General Mills and Unilever are on that list. Among those four alone, there is a gigantic selection of products where we can just read the label and know.

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Gluten grains will always be named in the ingredients if they are present in the product. Many other companies have a similar disclosure policy. Kraft, General Mills and Unilever are on that list.

It's always nice when a company is going out of their way to add that extra information in for our benefit!

A short note to add on for any more sensitive celiacs or those with more severe allergies to wheat/rye/barley (really doesn't matter much for the average celiac, I don't think):

The company is not actually listing every ingredient that is derived from wheat, rye or barley. It is listing every ingredient that is derived from wheat, rye, or barley AND has above a certain level of gluten. If a product is derived from a gluten grain but is considered safe because of low/undetectable gluten content, such as a distilled vinegar, then the company will not list the source grain unless required by law (which I believe it usually is for wheat, at least here in the States). This was per a phone conversation with the company a couple months back.

Most of the time, this isn't an issue, but for those who seem to react to vinegars or hydrolyzed wheat products in the UK and such, this would be something to be aware of.

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It's always nice when a company is going out of their way to add that extra information in for our benefit!

A short note to add on for any more sensitive celiacs or those with more severe allergies to wheat/rye/barley (really doesn't matter much for the average celiac, I don't think):

The company is not actually listing every ingredient that is derived from wheat, rye or barley. It is listing every ingredient that is derived from wheat, rye, or barley AND has above a certain level of gluten. If a product is derived from a gluten grain but is considered safe because of low/undetectable gluten content, such as a distilled vinegar, then the company will not list the source grain unless required by law (which I believe it usually is for wheat, at least here in the States). This was per a phone conversation with the company a couple months back.

Most of the time, this isn't an issue, but for those who seem to react to vinegars or hydrolyzed wheat products in the UK and such, this would be something to be aware of.

It sure can get tricky huh? I'm still new to all of this being a recently diagnosed celiac. I suppose I'm safe with the vinegar I use, I just use Krasdale distilled vinegars.

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Thank you for posting. Read the paragraph that I quoted carefully, because hidden in it is the best possible message a person with celiac disease can ever get from a food manufacturer: Gluten grains will always be named in the ingredients if they are present in the product. Many other companies have a similar disclosure policy. Kraft, General Mills and Unilever are on that list. Among those four alone, there is a gigantic selection of products where we can just read the label and know.

Yeah for sure, I am really grateful for the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act. But I still worry sometimes thinking that some companies might be quick to label Wheat, but not necessarily rye or barley, so it makes me think that those can slip through without being labeled. I guess it depends on the company though. I'm still learning.

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I'm still new to all of this being a recently diagnosed celiac. I suppose I'm safe with the vinegar I use, I just use Krasdale distilled vinegars.

I would guess that you likely are safe, yeah. Most of the time, celiacs are pretty safe with regular gluten-free stuff. :-)

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Oh, how I wish there were some companies out there who had a similar policy about lableing corn! I have called several companies, and while most of the people I talked to were fairly educated about gluten, they have no idea of the many ingredients corn can hide in, and when asked if there is corn in their "natural flavor", they simply don't know. :(

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Oh, how I wish there were some companies out there who had a similar policy about lableing corn! I have called several companies, and while most of the people I talked to were fairly educated about gluten, they have no idea of the many ingredients corn can hide in, and when asked if there is corn in their "natural flavor", they simply don't know. :(

Why are you concerned about corn? Corn is fine for celiacs to eat. Unless you have an allergy or something with corn?

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Why are you concerned about corn? Corn is fine for celiacs to eat. Unless you have an allergy or something with corn?

Like many Celiacs, I discovered that I have other food intolerances. It seems that once you give up gluten, any other intolerances you may have are no longer masked by the gluten symptoms. That's why it is reccommended that when you first start your diet you should only eat plain, while foods from the outside aisles of the grocery store. Avoid the common allergens at first, like soy, dairy, corn, nuts, nightshades, eggs. (Did I forget any?)

I started by eating meat, broccoli, cauliflower, rice, and Udi's bread. I started getting SO much better. Then I made some gluten free cornbread and started getting worse again. That tipped the scales, so that now even the tiniest amount of corn makes me sick. No more Udi's bread because it has cornstarch and xanthan gum. No more, almost ANYTHING, because it seems there is corn, HIDDEN corn, in almost everything.

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Like many Celiacs, I discovered that I have other food intolerances. It seems that once you give up gluten, any other intolerances you may have are no longer masked by the gluten symptoms. That's why it is reccommended that when you first start your diet you should only eat plain, while foods from the outside aisles of the grocery store. Avoid the common allergens at first, like soy, dairy, corn, nuts, nightshades, eggs. (Did I forget any?)

I started by eating meat, broccoli, cauliflower, rice, and Udi's bread. I started getting SO much better. Then I made some gluten free cornbread and started getting worse again. That tipped the scales, so that now even the tiniest amount of corn makes me sick. No more Udi's bread because it has cornstarch and xanthan gum. No more, almost ANYTHING, because it seems there is corn, HIDDEN corn, in almost everything.

Oh I see. Sorry to hear about that. It sucks when on top of being gluten free you have to worry about other sources or allergies as well.

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Here is a Canada-specific response from ConAgra:

Thank you for your email concerning gluten in our ConAgra Foods products.

The following gluten labeling information applies to all ConAgra products. To see which brands and products ConAgra has in Canada, we invite you to visit our Canadian web site at www.conagrafoods.ca. There you will see not only the brands and products we have available, but also nutritional information (including ingredients) and delicious recipes and meal ideas.

We understand how important it is for people who have been medically diagnosed with gluten sensitivity to obtain accurate information about our food to help plan their meals and diets. And we continue to look for ways to meet the dietary needs of our consumers.

Since wheat is a major food allergen, if it is used in the product it would be listed in the contains statement following the ingredients list. The flour used in many of our products is wheat flour and you should avoid these products if you have gluten sensitivities. If any ingredient in the product includes rye or barley, it will be listed in parentheses immediately following the ingredient. Oats do not contain gluten, but they frequently have been exposed to wheat or barley and are not recommended for celiac patients. If Natural Flavors, Artificial Flavors, or Spices listed in the ingredients list contain wheat, rye, barley, or oats these ingredients would be listed in parenthesis immediately following the ingredient. Some fermented or distilled products such as vinegar may be derived from wheat. Most of the vinegar in our products is distilled and through the distilling process protein gluten is removed.

For your convenience the below is a list of products that we carry that do not contain gluten:

Products That Do Not Contain Gluten*

Category/Brand/Items

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It's always nice when a company is going out of their way to add that extra information in for our benefit!

A short note to add on for any more sensitive celiacs or those with more severe allergies to wheat/rye/barley (really doesn't matter much for the average celiac, I don't think):

The company is not actually listing every ingredient that is derived from wheat, rye or barley. It is listing every ingredient that is derived from wheat, rye, or barley AND has above a certain level of gluten. If a product is derived from a gluten grain but is considered safe because of low/undetectable gluten content, such as a distilled vinegar, then the company will not list the source grain unless required by law (which I believe it usually is for wheat, at least here in the States). This was per a phone conversation with the company a couple months back.

Most of the time, this isn't an issue, but for those who seem to react to vinegars or hydrolyzed wheat products in the UK and such, this would be something to be aware of.

WELL...this post is a bit of a newbie overload and totally premature.

First step is to remove the gluten from your diet and it's always recommended to choose potato, rice, meats, fish, fresh veggies and fruit until things settle down a bit. Try to stay away from processed gluten free products, because you won't like it. Until you have healed, you can experiment on how those produces suit you.

Put some healing under your belt (literally) and branch out slowly and deliberately. And don't get too overwhelmed by the dialogue. After you're comfortable with the diet you can explore other options if it's just not working for you. I does take time and lots of patience.

ConAgra products will list ANY forms of gluten. You can always count on them. We love these companies. Along with Con Agra...Kraft will always list as well.

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The company is not actually listing every ingredient that is derived from wheat, rye or barley. It is listing every ingredient that is derived from wheat, rye, or barley AND has above a certain level of gluten. If a product is derived from a gluten grain but is considered safe because of low/undetectable gluten content, such as a distilled vinegar, then the company will not list the source grain unless required by law (which I believe it usually is for wheat, at least here in the States).

These companies are not testing to see if a wheat derived ingredient is below some magic number ( there is no legal number). That would be too expensive just so they don't have to list an ingredient as derived from gluten grain. It's not like it would give them millions more consumers. They are just saying that if an ingredient comes from a gluten grain, they will state it. Most vinegar in the US is not made from gluten unless it says " malt".

Let's not confuse new people. They can confuse themselves without our help. :D

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The single-word ingredient "vinegar" refers to distilled white vinegar, usually from apple cider. If wheat-derived, in the US under federal law the word "wheat" would have to appear on the label. Malt vinegar made from barley will appear on the label as "malt vinegar." It is not distilled, and contains gluten.

If you buy it in the US from a vendor in the US, then the label must comply with all US label rules, including FALCPA. Wheat can not legally be hidden in food sold in the United States.

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The company is not actually listing every ingredient that is derived from wheat, rye or barley. It is listing every ingredient that is derived from wheat, rye, or barley AND has above a certain level of gluten. If a product is derived from a gluten grain but is considered safe because of low/undetectable gluten content, such as a distilled vinegar, then the company will not list the source grain unless required by law (which I believe it usually is for wheat, at least here in the States). This was per a phone conversation with the company a couple months back.

You are making a broad accusation here. Several companies were mentioned above. Exactly which one did you talk to, and do you have a record of to whom you spoke and exactly what they said to you?

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I did not intend to be unclear in which company I mentioned, but would be happy to clarify that.

I spoke to Lisa, at Conagra.

She said that direct contact with wheat, rye, or barley will be listed, but not necessarily derivatives of wheat, rye, barley. She said that flavors that contain wheat, rye, or barley will be listed. Flavors that are derived from wheat, rye, barley will not necessarily be.

When I asked for clarification, she said that direct contact vs. simply derived depended on whether there was detectable gluten remaining(it had below a certain level of gluten, in other words). Also, the one caveat to this is that if it is required by law to list even the derived sources, they will do so. I believe I said that originally, though, so that probably doesn't need extra clarification.

And I honestly wasn't trying to make some sort of accusation. I was just trying to clarify their statement, as I think many of us interpret it as slightly different from what it seems to be, based on my discussion with Lisa. If you look, there actually isn't anything Lisa said that disagrees with what Conagra told alucard4545.

They told Alucard: Since wheat is a major food allergen, if it is used in the product it would be listed in the contains statement following the ingredients list.

Since that's part of US law, then that would be the exception Lisa mentioned to me.

They told Alucard: If any ingredient in the product includes rye or barley, it will be listed in parentheses immediately following the ingredient.

I would assume that 'includes,' in this case, would mean that it has detectable levels remaining. If a product tests negative for rye or barley, then they can honestly say that an ingredient doesn't include rye or barley, I imagine.

They told Alucard: If Natural Flavors, Artificial Flavors, or Spices listed in the ingredients list contain wheat, rye or barley, these ingredients would be listed in parenthesis immediately following the ingredient.

Again, the term 'contain' implies that there is some remaining. So if there is no detectable rye or barley, then a flavor or spice could not be said to contain it, legally, yes?

That's one of the reasons I posted the results of my conversation with Lisa, not because I was trying to say that their statement to Alucard was a lie, but that some aspects of their reply have details that we might not interpret the same way the company is.

But I can understand that it can be a bit too much for those new to the diet, too. Most celiacs probably don't have to worry about this level of caution. Sometimes, I admit, I get caught up in the details. Probably because they did end up mattering for me and if I'd known them earlier on, my health could have improved much faster. Doesn't mean that this is the case for everyone, of course.

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Shauna, Thank you for the clarification.

While the rationale makes sense, it does raise some new questions.

Is the "no detectable gluten" standard applied to the ingredient before the food is made? If so, once it is diluted as a result of being a small part of the final product, does it matter? If the flavor has no detectable gluten, and said flavor is less than 1% of the total ingredients, we are into parts per billion. You may ingest that much by inhaling through your mouth while walking near a bakery.

Is the "no detectable gluten" a reference to the final product? I really, REALLY, don't want to reignite the McDonalds fries debate. :(

And finally, what do ConAgra mean by "detectable gluten?" What test do they use and how sensitive is it? How many ppm in the ingredient? How many in the finished product?

All that said, as a diagnosed celiac who is not "super sensitive," but does react to exposure, I have trusted and will continue to trust ConAgra labels to warn me if a food is not suitable for me to consume. Your results may vary.

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