The “New” Gluten Free Marketplace is Dangerous for Celiac

I have a whole host of bandwagon hopping to do in the next week or so… stay tuned, you may learn something new. 🙂

The New Gluten Free Section at Safeway

Market of Choice

Fred Meyer

What’s wrong with these pictures?  For those who merely have a gluten intolerance, probably nothing…

But for those of us who have Celiac disease, these shelves are very dangerous.   Look closely at the box of Gluten Free King Arthur Flour found on the shelves at Fred Meyer (Kroger family of stores)… notice the fine dusting of white flour all over the box?  Notice the bags of flour next to the box?  Are you willing to risk your health by picking that ox up and dusting it off?  If that box is contaminated with regular flour (and we know bags of flour are notoriously leaky), simply picking up the box could make you sick… how sick depends on your threshold.

I visit these three local stores several times a week, this has been noted every time I am there so it wasn’t a one time occurrence.   I have to be exceptionally careful when purchasing gluten free products to make sure I don’t select anything within a couple feet of the flour bags.

The big question is, why are stores and merchandisers aware of this huge health threat?  We must educate them.  I am sending letters off to the corporate headquarters of all these stores as well as to the local store managers (which I intend to hand the letter to in person and walk them through the safety risks).

It’s a pretty simple solution… do not place gluten free products next to regular baking products… have a separate area in a row that doesn’t contain free flowing flour.

I don’t worry too much about boxes of cereal or even crackers or bagged bread, these items generally don’t spew their contents all over.  Although, for those of us who are seeking gluten free items, it is nice to find all the gluten free replacements for regular items in one place.  I don’t like having to search a store to find pancake mix in one aisle, bread flour in another, and pretzels across the store.  I like to know where to find the foods we need, with all the options laid out before me.

Celiac and gluten intolerant people don’t normally go wandering down the baking aisle in an effort to discover a new gluten free item… especially newly diagnosed people, the last thing they want is to drool over what they can no longer have.  A person who can have regular Bisquick isn’t going to take note of the gluten free box sitting next to it and say, “oh, neat, let me pay $4.00 more for something I don’t need”.

For me, I know better than to pick up those flour dusted packages… my concern lies for people who may not be aware of the dangers of cross contamination… that nifty package of coconut flour may be your ticket to a long stay in the bathroom.

Next time you are at the grocery store, take a gander through the aisles to see where gluten free items are lurking.  Take note, take pictures, talk to the store manager, send photos and letters to corporate kindly explaining why this isn’t acceptable.  If you have a story to share, please link up in the comments!

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About PolkaDotMommy

Wife to a teacher extraordinaire... Mama to Five littles... Conservative Catholic Christian with a Strong Environmentalist Mentality... Respecting Life... Living for our Savior... Learning to trust God in all things.
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