Deciphering Labels

If you ask anyone who has a food allergy or sensitivity what the hardest part is and they will say that making sure what they eat doesn’t have the ingredient they are sensitive to in it. Thankfully, there are now labeling laws for the top 8 allergens (milk, eggs, shellfish, fish, soy, wheat, peanuts and tree nuts). Unfortunately for those who have Celiac or are sensitive to gluten, companies are not required to call out gluten on the label. Gluten can be hidden in natural flavors, spices, etc. There is a lot to be said for companies that won’t hide gluten in spices or natural flavors. I will gladly spend extra money to make sure that the product that I am eating is free of gluten and is easily verified over one that I have to call to verify or wonder about. Here is a list of companies that will clearly mark gluten on the labels:

These are companies that say they will clearly list gluten in the
ingredients. I have not included companies that are specifically GF or
smaller specialty companies. I know this list is not complete. Some of
these are actually subsidiaries of some of the others, but I have not tried
to sort that out.

When a company says it will clearly list gluten, you might still see things
like “modified food starch” or “natural flavor.” In this case, the suspect
ingredient does not have gluten if gluten is not plainly listed. I cannot
tell you about any policies regarding cross contamination.

Act II
Alexia
Aunt Nelly’s
Balance Oasis (Balance bars)
Ball Park
Baskin Robbins
Ben & Jerry
Betty Crocker
Blue Bunny
Breyers
Campbells
Cascadian Farms
Celestial Seasonings
Con Agra
Country Crock
Crunch & Munch
Edy’s
Egg Beater’s
Fiddle Faddle
Fleichman’s
General Mills
Good Humor
Green Giant
Gulden’s
Haagen Daz
Healthy Choice
Hebrew National
Hellman’s
Hershey~ Update (Just issued a new statement this year (2009); call per each item to verify GF status)
Hillshire Farms
Hormel
Hunt’s
Jiffy
Jiffy Pop
Jimmy Dean
Knorr
Kozy Shack
Kraft
La Choy
Libby’s
Lipton
Manwich
Marie Callender’s
Martha White
McCormick
Nabisco
Nestle
Old El Paso
Ortega
Orville Redenbacher
Pam
Parkay
Peter Pan
Pillsbury
Poppycock
Popsicle
Post
Progresso
Ranch Style
Reddi Whip
Ro*tel
Rosarita
Russell Stover
Sara Lee
Seneca Foods
Slim Jim
Stokely’s
Sunny Delight
Swiss Miss
T Marzetti
Tyson
Unilever
Van Camp’s
Wesson
Wishbone
Yoplait
Zatarain’s

For the first 6 months or so after I was gluten-free, I carried this list around with me every time I went to the store. I also had a huge notebook full of lists of individual foods that I could safely purchase and eat. I no longer need the notebook or lists. For the most part I can either remember the brands or stick with what I know. We also tend to buy very few processed foods so there really isn’t the issue of what is in it if it is a natural, whole food.

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48 Responses

  1. What about companies that specifically list “Gluten Free” like you said Walmart started doing with their Great Value stuff?

  2. Yeah, that is a whole other post. I didn’t want to make this overwhelming. :)

  3. [...] I compiled a very large 3-ring binder full of foods that were safe for me to eat. I had my list of companies that clearly label gluten, but what about store brands? I typically do all my shopping at Meijer, but occasionally will shop [...]

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