I have Celiac Disease and I’ve got it bad. Cross contamination is a real issue for me and I am sure there are so many other celiac’s or people with gluten intolerance who have the same problem. Getting “glutened” is not just an inconvenience for me – it is painful, dangerous and consumes my daily life for up to a month after. My house is gluten free even though my husband and son could easily eat gluten.
For a while after my diagnoses we were running ‘two kitchens’ – had our own food and separated it as much as we could. Now that my daughter also has celiac disease as well as my brother (he doesn’t live with us but is over often) our kitchen is gluten free. If my husband feels like having a sandwich, a real one, he buys a loaf of bread and leaves it at work. If it does come into our house for a very special occasion ( a very special pizza party) we have so many precautions we go through in order to keep the house safe from the gluten crumb.
With all the precautions that I take at home in order to stay safe, I really wish the same could be said for some gluten free claiming companies. The Food and Drug Administration by law requires food manufactures to list possible allergens from the top 8 most common allergens. While this this a very important law – it does not cover celiac disease individuals as “gluten” is not one of the top 8 – just wheat. Diligent ingredient reading must still be done to cover the other grains that attack the intestine of celiac suffers.This also doesn’t cover any small print needed for a product that was produced on a rye line or barley …
Here is where my rant comes in. For peanut allergy suffers – no company would put the ‘peanut free’ label or wording on their product unless that product was a dedicated peanut free facility (see Nestle, Dare, Kraft etc…) – the same is not true for some companies that put the “Gluten Free” labeling on their packaging. Granted celiac disease suffers are not going to go into anaphylactic shock right there on the spot, but any gluten contamination is life threatening. Why is it that companies feel it is safe to put in big letters “gluten free” on the front of their package only to have in small print “produced in a facility that contains wheat”. I am glad they at least put that little print on there – but I wish there was some FDA Law for Gluten and the “Gluten Free” Label.
What are your thoughts on the Gluten Free Label and cross contamination? Is cross contamination an issue for you?