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Celiac.com 07/21/2010 - Naturally gluten-free foods have long held the assumption that they are supposed to be gluten-free. However, a new study has found that many naturally occurring gluten-free foods are in fact not gluten-free. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, and people with gluten sensitivities know to avoid those grains. However, a new study lead by celiac disease nutrition consultant, Tricia Thompson, proves that many naturally gluten-free grains, seeds and flours found in your local supermarket are definitely not gluten-free. Tricia and her team of researchers evaluated 22 naturally gluten-free seeds, flours and grains that were not labeled as being “gluten-free”. They tested the products using the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards for acceptable gluten levels of 20 parts contaminant per million parts product. Trish and her researchers found that 7 of the 22 products tested, would not pass the FDA standards, including millet grain and flour, buckwheat flour, and sorghum flour. Currently the FDA does not mandate that companies labeling their products as “gluten-free” actually test for acceptable gluten levels in their products. Although, under the new proposed FDA gluten-free regulations, the FDA would be able to inspect foods labeled “gluten-free” for validity of the gluten-free claim. Unfortunately the scope of this study is not vast enough to determine exactly which products to watch out for, but Tricia and her colleagues agree that more research is needed in this area. Meanwhile Tricia recommends that people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities only purchase grains, flours and seeds labeled as “gluten-free”, as these products are more likely to be tested for acceptable FDA levels of gluten. Source: Journal of the American Dietetic Association - Volume 110, Issue 6, Pages 937-940 (June 2010)
Celiac.com 01/18/2017 - Irish food manufacturer Largo, whose snack products include Tayto, has admitted it sold crisps contaminated with high amounts of gluten in a packages that were labeled "Gluten Free." The company has pleaded guilty to breaching food safety regulations. After buying a package of O'Donnell's mature Irish cheese and onion, gluten-free crisps for her 10-year-old son, a mother from Arklow, County Wicklow, reportedly noticed a reaction to the crisps when his ears began turning red. The mother complained to the company and the HSE subsequently brought a criminal case against the food manufacturer. Calling the case a "very serious matter," Judge Grainne Malone noted that the maximum penalty on indictment in the cases at the circuit court was a €500,000 fine and/or three years in prison. However, the judge agreed to the jurisdiction of the district court in the case. Giving evidence, HSE environmental health officer Caitriona Sheridan said that products to be labeled gluten-free were required to contain less than 20 parts-per-milligram gluten. The crisps targeted by the complaint tested at more than 700 ppm gluten. Lab tests on a second control sample of the product showed more than 100 ppm of gluten. Two other people have since filed complaints about high gluten in Largo's gluten-free products. The company responded by withdrawing two pallets of the products, which it said contained the incorrect crisps. Counsel for the company, Andrew Whelan, told the court the issue was identified as a malfunction in the line, and that Largo will now package gluten-fee products in a "totally segregated" production area. Read more at Barfblog.com,
Celiac.com 03/30/2015 - Researchers are calling for an overhaul of cleaning and decontamination procedures in the face of a study showing that three out of 20 flexible gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopes (15%) pose an infection risk, because they are contaminated with unacceptable levels of human biological matter. The researchers are part of the 3M Infection Prevention Division, which recently conducted an assessment of endoscopes at five major hospitals. For their study, the researchers analyzed 275 flexible duodenoscopes, gastroscopes, and colonoscopes and found that 30 percent, 24 percent, and 3 percent respectively harbored unacceptable levels of human biological matter. The results surprised the team, as 15% constitutes an "unexpectedly high number of endoscopes failing a cleanliness criterion," says Marco Bommarito, PhD, lead investigator and lead research specialist, 3M Infection Prevention Division; adding that, ideally, no endoscopes would fail a cleanliness rating. Because such endoscopes are used for routine screening, and are reused on different patients, sterilization is crucial to preventing infection. The 3M team presented their findings in an abstract at the 40th Annual Conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2008 guidelines for cleaning endoscopes, contaminated endoscopes are linked to more healthcare-associated outbreaks than to any other medical device. Even so, illnesses and reports of improperly cleaned endoscopes are on the rise at healthcare facilities across the country. In the face of their findings, the researchers concluded that "cleaning protocols for flexible endoscopes need improvement, such as guidelines tailored to the type of scope or identifying if there is a critical step missing in the manual cleaning process, and documented quality control measures." Source: Infectioncontroltoday.com
Celiac.com 02/04/2010 - Paul Seelig, the owner of the GreatSpecialty Products bread company in Durham, North Carolina, has beenarrested and is facing felony charges for intentionally deceivingconsumers by selling bread which he promoted as gluten free, whenevidence shows it was not. The North Carolina Department ofAgriculture and Consumer Services began investigating Seelig aftercomplaints flooded in regarding his breads that were sold at theNorth Carolina State Fair. An estimated 25 people have currentlyfiled complaints against Seelig. Customers complained of reactions tohis bread products ranging from rashes to vomiting & diarrhea. State agriculture officials sentsamples of Seelig's bread to a laboratory at the University ofNebraska (FDA facility), where test results confirmed the presence ofgluten in his products. Tests of Seelig's products showed that his“gluten free” breads actually contained more than 5,000 parts ofgluten per million; and for a product to be considered gluten free itmust be less than 20 parts per million. However, Seelig still refusesto cooperate with authorities and provide information about where hisbreads come from. Therefor, a Judge ruled that Seelig cannot sellanymore products until he cooperates with investigators. Seelig claims his breads have beenrigorously tested for gluten. According to his website-which was shutdown following a court order - it took two years of testing to makehis gluten free bread. He also claims that if there was really glutenin his products, hundreds of complaints would have been filed againsthim. Investigators say that Seelig is lyingabout his products, and at this point has not provided any evidenceto prove otherwise. In fact, the investigation revealed informationthat Seelig's company, was buying gluten containing bread productsfrom Tribecca Oven Company and repackaging the bread with gluten freelabels. Additionally, according to Brian Long of the agriculturedepartment, Seelig's company is run out of his house on Cardinal LakeDrive in Durham, North Carolina. Seelig is not new to the court system.In 2001, he spent 4 months in Nebraska prison for several counts offraud. For his current trial, Seelig has been using various stallingmethods in an attempt to delay his trial date, including, claimsthat he has H1N1, was quarantined due to staph infection, had cancertreatment and even a heart attack. Contrary to previous Judge rulings, recent reports indicate that thehearing has now been moved to 2/24/2010, and bail is set at $100,000due to his high flight risk. Sources: http://wake.mync.com/site/wake/news/story/47678/durham-bread-company-owner-arrested http://glutenfreeraleigh.blogspot.com/search/label/Great%20Speciality%20Products http://www.newsobserver.com/news/health_science/story/295478.html