Gluten Free Labeling

I wrote the other day about the Nabisco brand rice cracker I’d found. Although the label said gluten free – and I could find no gluten ingredients – the label did not say the product was made in a gluten free facility. So, I wrote to them to ask about it. It only took a couple of days, so for that I’m pleased.

It’s a good answer, because it explains for us how to approach Nabisco product labeling:

“We understand that consumers with gluten sensitivity are concerned about the potential carryover of gluten between products that are manufactured on shared equipment.

Most of our production lines are designed to be convertible to other products. If a product is made on shared equipment, every reasonable precaution, including stringent cleaning and sanitation practices, is taken to prevent cross-contact with the eight major allergens (eggs, fish,shellfish, milk, peanuts, soy, tree nuts and wheat).

When contact with one of these allergens is unavoidable, then the product is labeled appropriately with a cross-contact statement.

There are some products that put the information on the packaging itself – a practice I believe is the better one, both for the consumer and the manufacturer. Perhaps Nabisco will move in that direction.

By the way, in trying to find out where to send my request, I discovered that Nabisco is now a part of the Mondelez Internation food conglomeration. They seem to have a monopoly on the snack market. As a matter of fact, if you put nabisco.com into your browser’s address bard, you’ll end up at www.snackworks.com. Not much there for gluten free consumers, though. They don’t yet even have the rice crackers listed. Just a little aside about what’s happening in the corporate food world.

You still always need to be diligent about your label reading, but now you know the code for Nabisco.