Sunday, September 16, 2012

Follow-Up on "Are Winn-Dixie Gluten Free Products Safe"

A couple of weeks ago, I told you about Carlos from Winn-Dixie contacting me with an extensive list of their Private Label gluten free products and a lot of other information. I promised you I would check into the safety of their products. And, I did.

I called the home office listed on the Winn-Dixie website. Tiffany in customer service answered the phone. I explained the list Carlos had sent me and that I had a couple of questions. She in turn had several questions of her own, such as "Who are you with?", "What type of survey are you conducting?" and so forth. I explained that I was an advocate for the gluten free community and that before I could endorse or recommend their products to my followers, I needed more information.

Here are the questions I asked Tiffany:
1.     Are your gluten free products manufactured in a dedicated facility? Stored in a dedicated warehouse or transported only with gluten free products?
2.     If not, what steps are taken to prevent cross contamination?
3.     Do the products contained a “Produced in . . .” statement?

First, I had to explain just what I was asking. The fact that she did not know what the term dedicated facility meant did not inspire confidence. She said the list meant there was no gluten in any of the products on the list.

After a little gentle pressing, she said the gluten free products were made in their regular facility. She did not know what steps, if any, were taken to prevent cross contamination from the production of food items containing gluten. And, she did not know that food produced in facilities that also produce any of the eight recognized allergens, a “Produced in . . .” statement should be on the food label.

Interestingly, Carlos contacted me again with an offer to send coupons for me to try their products for my support of their Private Label Gluten Free items. I sent a response back, basically asking him the same questions I asked Tiffany. I have not received a response.

So, back to the original question: Are the Winn-Dixie Private Label Gluten Free products safe? I still do not know and may never know. What I do know is that until I have some explanation of the measures Winn-Dixie has in place to prevent cross contamination, I will continue to forgo shopping in their stores.

You will have to make the decision for your family. 

Author: Dr. Jacquelyn P. Horne
Copyright: 2012

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