More Foreign Grain Found in Edison Grainery Lentils
November 14, 2017
We have received yet another complaint from a subscriber to Gluten Free Watchdog about Edison Grainery lentils containing foreign grain. This consumer found two grains in a two-cup random pour from a 5 pound bag of lentils labeled “verified gluten free”. She has not picked through the entire bag of lentils. More grain may be present.
A photo of the grains was sent to Seaton Smith of GF Harvest who is very well versed in identifying wheat, barley, rye, and oats. The two grains in the photo (posted with permission) appear to be wild oat (thin, darker grain) and barley (or possibly wheat). The grain that appears to be barley is very hard. An oat groat would be softer.
Due to the number of complaints we’ve received dating back to October 2016 about foreign grain in Edison Grainery lentils, including their French Green Lentils and Beluga Lentils it may be prudent to avoid lentils from this manufacturer at this time. This recommendation is not made lightly as we know how many folks in this community use Edison Grainery products. This recommendation pertains to their lentils only.
The current complaint pertains to a bag of lentils NOT certified by GFCO. According to GFCO, they have not certified Edison Grainery since the beginning of 2016. However, foreign grain has been found in both GFCO certified and not certified bags of Edison Grainery lentils. Edison Grainery now appears to be marking products as “verified gluten free.” Interestingly, as of this morning (11/15/17), neither the French Green Lentils nor Beluga Lentils are available for retail sale on the Edison Grainery website.
As a general reminder, under GIPSA standards (Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration), lentils are allowed to contain a certain percentage of foreign grain, including wheat, barley, and rye. As a precaution, please make sure to pick through dry lentils carefully and rinse them very thoroughly under running water.
Here is some evidence to support these recommendations:
- A bag of lentils purchased in the UK and containing foreign grain was sent by UK blogger Carly @gfreeb to senior research scientist Adrian Rogers for testing.
- Limited testing using the Gluten G12 ELISA was performed on the lentils. Results are shared with permission.
- A sample of lentils was ground “as is” from the bag and tested. Results were 7 ppm of gluten.
- A second sample of lentils was picked through and foreign material was removed before washing.
- The picked through sample of lentils was rinsed 3 times in distilled water and then ground. Results were below the lower limit of quantification of 4 ppm of gluten.
- The rinse water was also tested and a low level of gluten was detected.
Thank you to the consumer who reached out to Gluten Free Watchdog. The consumer reached out to Edison Grainery. At last report, the manufacturer had not yet responded.
Gluten Free Watchdog has previously reached out to Edison Grainery about this issue. Their statement is included below.
For more information see
The email below was received from Edison Grainery on December 14, 2016 and first posted on Gluten Free Watchdog the same day. It is posted in full and unedited by permission.
“Thanks for joining us at Edison Grainery. We are indeed concerned about each bag of ingredients that we sell. Being Celiac too, we are aligned in the effort to provide quality safe food. As with all every item – we send a sample to an independent lab for microbiological and gluten levels analysis. Our standard is <5ppms. Lot specific lab results are posted online to allow customers to make an well informed purchase – or not . Until January 20th – the target installation date of a state-of-the-art color sorter and cleaner is installed – all items from the vendor in question have been placed into our HOLD & Release program.
Managing our food safety hazards and assessing our risk is an on-going preoccupation for Edison Grain Inc. This obsession goes hand in hand with our commitment to provide high quality, healthy food to our customers. We manage our exposure by developing strict in-house policies and adhere to legal and regulatory requirements as well as specific standards set by internationally respected agencies.
Our systems are verified through a framework of internal and external audits and certification programs, HAPC certification thru NSF, Organic certification via OTCO and Kosher certification through Chicago Rabbinical Council (cRc) and we have consistently met their standards.
Edison Grain Inc. allocates the necessary funds to adapt to the ever increasing scope and complexity of food safety principles. As a small family operation, we realize and respect the relative cost of a stringent food safety program and its impact on our budget, earnings and business risk. We pledge to keep pace with the ever increasing compliance burden. Our commitment includes:
• Offering only premium certified Organic Products
• Offering products containing <10ppms of Gluten. Lot specific Certificate of Analysis verified by an independent ISO Laboratory are posted on both websites
• Meeting legal and regulatory compliance demands within national and international legal frameworks
• Maintaining certification and remaining in good standing with auditing agencies
• Keeping abreast of shifting legal, social, environmental and political events that impact the food industry on local, national and international levels
• Adhering to our rigorous Standards of Operation
Foundation of Our Food Safety Program is Hazard Analysis and Risk Assessment.
To determine risk and identify the need for control measures, we perform a hazard analysis on each ingredient and its condition in receiving, production, storing and shipping. To determine potential hazards we consult data from a variety of outside sources including legislation and regulatory guidelines (e.g., in identifying allergen and pathogen hazards), research and technical documents, recall and alert notifications (e.g. FDA/USDA/OTCO), general news and information outlets, and customer comments.
All Data is Reviewed and Analyzed during Our Validation Process.
Our control measures begin with vetting and approving our suppliers. In the ever increasing complexity of a verifiable food supply chain program, we pride ourselves in developing both professional and personal relationships with our suppliers. Recognizing the significant impact of globalization, we have added a Regulatory Compliance Officer to administer our Supplier Approval Program which includes obtaining, reviewing, assessing and keeping data current on vendors.
A hallmark of our control process is that every lot of every ingredient is submitted to an independent ISO/IEC Standard 17025:2005 certified lab for microbiological and gluten level testing. The results serve as our lot specific Certificate of Analysis (COA). We share product information and COAs with our customers on our websites: edisongrain.com and edisongrainery.com . Edison Grain’s control program continues throughout production, including measures such as metal detection and allergen control, and does not end until the product has shipped.
Of Paramount Concern is Sanitation.
Management’s real-time observations documents that proper equipment cleaning procedures have been followed. It is an essential requirement that the procedures be monitored and validated, and clearly documented as it actually occurs. Variations are noted on daily reports. Verification of our SSOP includes visual, ATP swabs and routine 3rd party examination. Our employees are trained in all SOP categories. Full records of all training are kept as part of our protocols.
Customer Satisfaction is our Guide Post.
Edison Grain Inc. would undertake strict food safety measures regardless of regulatory mandates or commercial standards. Simply put, it is the right thing to do. To build a business dedicated to selling organic, gluten free products (tested for <10ppms) without being equally committed to the safety of that food would not make sense for us or our customers. To that end, we have allocated significant financial resources and employed aggressive risk management measures to ensure food safety and quality.
In the first quarter of 2017, we are excited to add a state-of-the-art Optical Laser Color Sorter which will detect and remove defective product and foreign material.
We run a tight ship, and we are proud of it.
The Barnes Family”