May Contain Statements for Wheat: Part TwoTricia Thompson
LiveGFree Cheescake Sampler made by the Atlanta Cheesecake Company and sold by Aldi caused a bit of a ruckus last week. This cheesecake sampler is labeled gluten-free and certified gluten-free by GFCO. It includes the may contain statement, “May contain traces of… wheat.” While this product is not improperly labeled, Aldi decided to remove the cheesecake from store shelves due to the confusion caused by this choice of words. Please watch the video to learn why this product is not misbranded.
Tricia, I know that you’re sharing the truth on this situation and labeling in general but, respectfully, the situation is ridiculous. I’ve been gf since 2003. Then we had to call manufacturers to inquire on processes and determine if a product was safe for us. Here we are 13 years later, we have tons of “certified gluten free” products, we have the gluten-free labeling rule, and we still can’t determine if a product is safe for us. We have to call and make our best guess? That’s simply unacceptable. Things were supposed to get easier for us. They have not gotten easier. We have more and more products labeled “gluten free” and no real idea if we can safely eat them because of conflicting information, failure of manufacturers to ensure each and every product is gluten free, and failure of the FDA to act on products that don’t follow the gf labeling rule as well as the FDA’s allowance of lot mean testing. And, as I commented on your FB post, I did have a reaction to this cheesecake when I tried it last year. Again, the current state of labeling of gf products simply does not get the job done.
Shirley, many people share your frustration. My efforts to explain the truth about precautionary labeling (may contain statements) should not be misinterpreted as an endorsement of these statements. The FDA must move to regulate may contain statements. It has been years since FALCPA became law and there appears to be no movement on the part of the agency to do anything. One of the best ways to bring about change is to first educate those who are the most impacted by the lack of change. These are the facts: Precautionary labeling is voluntary and unregulated; some manufacturers use these statements and others do not; if you are holding two products in your hands at the grocery store and both appear to be gluten-free based on ingredients and one has a may contain statement for wheat and the other does not, and you choose the product without the may contain statement you may in fact be choosing the product with more contamination (some of this data has been published and more will come); products labeled gluten-free must contain less than 20 ppm gluten from both ingredients and cross-contact; FALCPA applies to ingredients only and not cross-contact; etc. The bottom line is that these statements must mean something–they must be regulated and uniform. Currently, these statements mean very little. You and others who advocate so wonderfully in the gluten-free community must run with this information. Spread the word about what these statements mean and do not mean. Educate so that when we have the data in published form we can approach FDA en masse to make change.
I had company bring over the atlanta cheesecake company sampler It said gluten free on the top of the cover Under ingredients it said it was processes in a facility that used wheat So what does that mean? Do you eat it or not I have Celiac disease and don’t take this lightly I really wanted to enjoy this with my family I took a small piece The next day I woke up with excruciating stomach pain I knew right away what it was. It was the only possible reason I just don’t know what to do anymore As far as I’m concerned it was not gluten free
Hi Patricia, I’m sorry to hear you were ill. Allergen advisory statements can be very confusing. Here is some additional information https://www.glutenfreewatchdog.org/news/ten-fast-facts-about-allergen-advisory-statements-for-wheat-gluten-free-foods/