Grocery stores: please do not place gluten-free flour below or next to wheat flour on store shelves
NOTE: A pdf of the letter is available at this link GFWDStoreLetter2018Update
Thank you to the Gluten Free Watchdog subscriber for sharing the attached photo.
It has recently come to our attention at Gluten Free Watchdog, LLC that gluten-free flour is being placed below or next to wheat-based flour on store shelves. This may not seem like much of an issue. However, when wheat-based food “leaks” as is often the case with bags of flour it is a health hazard. Wheat flour ends up raining down on packages of gluten-free flour, coating them. This is a serious issue for folks who have celiac disease or a wheat allergy. The flour then gets on hands and can end up in the mouth. This is especially dangerous for children who may not wash their hands as much as they should.
We understand that manufacturers sometimes pay a premium for shelf space. But now that you know the health risks associated with your practices, we are confident that changes will be made in product placement. Ideally gluten-free foods should be placed together in their own section of the store. We understand that this is not always possible. At the very least please store gluten-free products on shelves above wheat-based products. Doing so will help decrease the risk for your customers with celiac disease and wheat allergies.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
Tricia Thompson, MS, RD
Founder, Gluten Free Watchdog, LLC