Let’s talk about corporate gluten free labelling.

Companies have finally started publishing information about allergens in their products. They will typically list their products and then have a big spreadsheet telling you what allergens are in each product. They normally list the top 8 allergens. Some go farther and list additional allergens, but they will mostly list the top 8 – milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (such as almonds, cashews, walnuts), fish (such as bass, cod, flounder), shellfish (such as crab, lobster, shrimp), soy and our favorite wheat. Note that wheat is not the only gluten containing grain – barley and rye also contain gluten.

Anyway, today many bloggers picked up on Starbucks updated allergen list and published a bunch of articles regarding the gluten free drinks. AWESOME, right? Except, the true risk of cross contamination is great at Starbucks just as it is everywhere. My question is why are people willing to ignore these cross contamination warnings when it comes to Starbucks, but not with Chick Fil A or Zaxby’s or anywhere else?

I’m not sure. The risk of cross contamination is great anywhere – even Starbucks. I think people think its only coffee or that they need the special treat. I’m not sure. But it is infuriating when discussing eating at restaurants with these allergen warnings, people freak out when it comes to their food, but not their coffee? Or won’t eat something that might not be certified gluten free but is labelled gluten free.

I just think that we all need to be careful all the time. Even when drinking your favorite cup of coffee there is room to be safe. So, think about that cup of coffee the next time you get glutened from an unknown source.

Also, don’t depend on blogs to get your information about what is safe and what is not, try to find the source information so that you can make a decision for yourself. When looking for the allergen information, do the search looking for “allergen guide” to the particular restaurant.

I’m picking on Starbucks, because I don’t drink coffee. Note that all companies these days are putting disclaimers on all of their allergen statements. And I just want everyone to think about this in a different way.

Also, we all make our choices about what is safe and what is not. Sometimes we get it right and sometimes we get it wrong. I’m not saying that you should or should not drink Starbucks coffee, but it is a place where gluten may be sneaking in that you had not thought of before.

Here is Starbucks allergen information.

Here is Chick fil A and Zaxbys is here.

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