Does that come with a magnifying glass? OR Finding hidden allergens


I am always on the lookout for new products.  I have a feed on my facebook page that always shows new gluten free products.  I clicked on one the other day for Mi-Del gluten free pie crusts.  What a great idea, I thought.  Gluten free pie crust and I don’t get along.

I looked all over their website for ingredient information but could not find any, just a short description of “what’s in and what’s out”.    I was unable to click on the picture to enlarge the ingredients listing.  This is the actual size:

 

mi-del-ginger-snap-crust

Could you read that?

 

 

Their products are available on Amazon.com, so I clicked over there and I was able to  enlarge the picture to show the ingredients:

mi-del-ginger-crust-ingred

As you can see, there is a lot more than rice flour, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, molasses and vanilla.  Why don’t they list ingredients or enable the picture to be enlarged?   I should not need to go to a different website to find ingredients.  They should be clearly displayed next to a product, and much more specific than “what’s out”.

This is a pet peeve of mine.  If you are going to make gluten free items, you need to be aware of other potential allergens and make sure that they are clearly stated.  I realize that gluten is the “big” allergen of the moment, but most of us that are gluten free have other food issues.

These are also produced in a factory that not only produces milk and soy, but wheat as well.  In their FAQ , a question was asked about their gluten free cookies:

How can the MI-DEL Gluten-Free Cookies be considered gluten-free when the package label states that the product is processed in a facility that handles wheat? Is this product safe for a person with Celiac Disease?


Their reply was as follows:

A – Yes, MI-DEL Gluten-Free Cookies are safe for a person with Celiac Disease. The bakery that makes MI-DEL Gluten-Free Cookies adheres to the Codex Alimentarius standard – the international gluten-free food standard for manufacturers.
 MI-DEL gluten-free products are routinely tested  using the ELISA method to ensure there is less than 20 parts per million gluten.  Utilizing ELISA methodology, product samples are tested at the beginning, middle, and end of each production run. Every batch of gluten-free flour blend is also tested prior to mixing.

I applaud Mi-Del for their rigorous testing, but if I had celiac disease, I am not sure I would trust it.  They test product samples, not the entire product.  There is a strong possibility of cross contamination here.

I try to avoid foods that are processed on the same equipment, or in the same facility as nuts for that reason, as I am allergic.

Is the pie crust processed in a separate area that only processes milk and soy?  They state in the ingredient information that the cookies are processed in an area that processes wheat, peanuts, tree nuts and milk.  Also, their cookies are listed under a separate gluten free section that has ingredient information, yet their gluten free pie crusts are listed under pie crusts, with no ingredient information.

Companies that produce gluten and allergen free foods must make sure that allergen information is available for ALL items and that it is easy to locate and read.  Most of all, they need to stop being misleading.  Someone’s life could be on the line.

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