Shared Equipment is NOT Gluten Free

shared equipment

A few days ago I wrote a blog post titled “Dear Bart & Judy: Your Cookies Aren’t Gluten-Free“. The essence of the post was that they labeled their cookies gluten-free and then added “May contain wheat” on the back of the package because they use shared equipment.

I received an email from Bart yesterday that read as follows.

Just so you know, our cookies ARE gluten-free. We actually went to the extent of developing our own flour after finding issues with the commercially available GF flours. We are not a certified gluten-free facility BUT all of our equipment is stainless steel and thoroughly washed down prior to gluten-free runs including our mixer.

We are a small, very personal company competing with some very large companies who take very little interest and care less as to what they say or do or say they do or lead people to believe. We do not attempt to flavor the truth with 500 word disclaimers. Nor do we have an ad agency or legal team telling us exactly what to say and how to say it.

Personally, I have been driven to develop our GF cookies because I have a personal interest as my son suffers from Crohn’s Disease.

So, although I respect your blog, it is very unfair of you to call us out, hold us in contempt or to subject us to the ridicule as you did.

There is absolutely nothing hidden with our product and frankly if anyone ever faces a life or death situation, I would rather err on the side of ridiculous caution with our allergen notice rather than parse my words with a 150 word a disclaimer similar to Mike and Mary’s on our next print run. Maybe it’s because I’m an engineer, not a marketer.

Bottom line, if you or anybody has an issue about what we do or say or anything else, we appreciate it if they simply give us a call or drop us an email, we are more than happy to accommodate any suggestions; however to treat this particular situation in a damaging way that you did is not right and uncalled for. Pick on some of the larger companies that are falling over themselves to ride the gluten-free wave with no moral commitment to the issue.


Thanks for your email Bart. Believe me when I say this…I root for the little guy like you wouldn’t believe. In this day and age of mega-everything, I would much rather give my business to the small companies than to the big behemoths.

But when it comes to my health, I will go with whoever keeps me safer. Every. Single. Time.

And the fact is, by using one mixer for all of your cookie batches, there is just way to much risk involved.

I am not trying to ridicule you Bart and I do indeed take on the big companies riding the gluten-free wave. I’ve called out Udi’s and Dominos, among many others.

But here’s the fact: I feel like crap way too much of the time. And frankly, I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.

But if I can get one company to change the way they produce their “gluten-free cookies” to make sure they are completely safe for celiacs to eat, then I can take my afternoon naps feeling good about myself.

I want everyone to watch the following video of the dangers of shared equipment. Do you really thing simply washing the equipment gets rid of all of the hidden gluten?? Think again.

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56 thoughts on “Shared Equipment is NOT Gluten Free”

  1. That is so disgusting I want to puke! No wonder I feel like shit ALL the time instead of getting better over these last 5 years since my diagnosis and strict adherence to my GF diet!!!! OMG!

      1. I’m late to the party here, but as I studied in Vancouver for a year I ate that crap thinking it was GF. No wonder I dropped to 50kg (I’m 5.9″) and was pretty much on the death bed. Never again processed foods. Luckily there is pills and vaccines coming in the near future that will make life for us a lot easier! They are working hard on it here in Norway

  2. Bart, I will NEVER buy your cookies. You need to educate yourself on cross contamination issues w/shared equipment, etc. Please continue to make your so call called GF cookies for your son, but please do not try to market your product to a gluten free community and to people with celiac disease. We cannot and will not risk eating food on shared equipment with wheat (gluten).
    Lori Bjork

  3. One of the first things that anyone who knows anything in telling you how to cope with celiac is to strip your kitchen of anything in the past that has had gluten touch it and get rid of it. Gluten is an annoyingly sticky substance and you can get cross-contaminated very VERY easily. Washing shared equipment may take care of a lot of it, but the only way I will trust anything made on shared equipment is if they have tested it – and they talk about their ELISA results demonstrating how many ppm that there are in their products AND those ppm measurements are low (under 15ppm).

    I’m all about mom and pop places – I’m a regular supporter of the gluten free bakery about 15 miles away from where I live that is a completely dedicated facility. But, especially if you can’t afford the sample-batch testing and the dedicated equipment, please don’t try to do both GF and non-GF. It’s a dietary Russian roulette.

  4. With you dude!
    My response to bart:
    Dear Bart,
    Thank you for the engineering logic based rant on how “may contain wheat” shouldn’t affect my health. In simple terms YOU ARE WRONG, not a little bit… but wheels falling off, buildings collapsing, poisoning your child & me WRONG.

    Having worked in food service too many years I personally know how many dozens of times I have hand washed hobart equipment, run it through the commercial washer 3-4 times (when it would fit) & STILL had little bits of dough weirdness that dried on the equipment. While I respect that your opinion is this is safe for your child with chrones, the reality is its DEADLY to me & others with celiac that a gluten free diet is actually designed for. So please, before you whine about Gluten Dude calling out your little cash cow by pointing out large companies that care nothing about cross contamination for a buck…park your band wagon float & turn in your horn!! You actually are poisoning me & mine for a dollar.
    There are commercial kitchens that are dedicated gluten free I’m sure would rent a few hours to help another gluten free start up with this serious issue. In the meantime if even a single crumb of “regular dough” anything is left on equipment you now are violating federal law calling it gluten free. Dude has even linked the law that went into effect 2 weeks ago you may have missed. Enjoy!

  5. AWESOME! – I work in marketing and there are 2 things I hate. Companies that get defensive when responding to people in public places. Second foods that are not 100% clearly labeled when it comes to allergies/intolerances.

    1- I will refuse to go to a hotel, restaurant or use a product for someone that responds to a customer with and it’s snarky or gives them flack for their opinion or how something is handled. There is no reason for it, and I’ll spend my hard earned money else where.

    2 – Not having clear 100% defined labels. My mother is a huge offender for this, and I know she’s not the only one! If the label on the front say “GLUTEN FREE” she assumes it’s safe for me. Or she’ll read the ingredients and it doesn’t say Wheat, Rye or Barley” in it, she feels it’s safe. Then I point out “made on shared equipment…” Then her and my dad eat it, to avoid my ‘demon let loose in the house, can’t get near the bathroom’ reactions. Really this stuff needs to be pointed out right on the front of the package. Even if you are a small place, buy a 2nd mixer! They don’t realize how sick some people can still get, because they don’t get sick, and they don’t know the feeling of ruining a vacation from CC, I hate paying $$$ to lay in the hotel while others go have fun!

  6. What I posted on their Facebook: While I never would have purchased your gluten free cookies because they are made on shared equipment, I have to say that your response to Gluten Dude’s post was extremely disappointing. You had a real chance to take what he said to heart and fix what you are doing wrong, but instead took offense and responded like a petulant child. Those of us in the gluten free community are MORE than willing to support small business, but not when that small business plays games with our health. A product made without gluten ingredients is NOT the same thing as a gluten free product. The a fact that you use shared equipment ensures that most of us who are gluten free for health reasons will avoid your cookies like the plague. Unfortunately, when people are new to gluten free or buying for someone who is gluten free, they don’t always read carefully or know the dangers of shared equipment an that can result in disaster. Please rethink your labeling. Our health depends on it. And I posted a link to the shared equipment video.

    1. francyne dufault

      Oh. My. Goodness! I totally agree with you! After reading the response, and knowing I cannot take a chance of cross-contamination, I watched the video. And. I. Was. Grossed. Out. Not just because of the cross-contamination, but the dirt of it! Period! I enjoy factory made gluten-free products every now and again, but 90% of my food is made at home. Maybe now, it will be 100%. As you felt, so do I: Yuck!

      1. I wholeheartedly AGREE!!!! I had no idea that the machinery was so disgusting and nearly vomiting inducing. I try hard to eat fresh food and food that I prepare myself in my GF kitchen but every so often I do allow myself a treat from one of the companies that produce true GF food but I might think about that vid the next time and just eat at home. I have to say too that I was really hesitant to watch the vid because that company is on my list of Approved GF That Tastes Like Food Companies. So glad that they take our lives seriously.

  7. In response to the poster who said she still feels bad, a couple of things–go back to your doctor, or find one you trust.

    There are multiple complications of celiac and general intestinal inflammation that can keep you sick; microscopic colitis, regular colitis,diverticulitis, variations on Crohn’s disease, and even some of the variants of ulcerative colitis. Some of these things are only treatable with steroidal anti-inflammatories like Budesonide and antibiotics.

    The other thing to remember is that this is an inflammatory condition. For some people, things like red meat and nightshade vegetables will keep your inflammation markers high (and that will show up in your gut.) For others, preservatives, and sugar are part of their inflammatory process.

    Finally, cosmetics can gluten you, as well as things like soy sauce, lentils, and anything that says it’s made in a shared facility.

    Elimination diets, rechecking ingredients, and going back to your doctor are all helpful. This is too difficult to figure out on your own.

    1. Lisa you left out my personal demons: candida, insulin resistance & a fancy word that means my body doesn’t handle electrolytes/salt correctly so I must salt/mineral suppliment to stop taking on water like the titanic even though I’m always thirsty.

  8. I am ready to give up ALL processed food.
    That video really had me thinking. I have enjoyed products from Kinnikinnick, Udi’s, Rudi’s, etc in the past, but wish that the video had shown what the equipment looked like after cleaning. The fact that it doesn’t show the “clean” equipment makes me think that viewing it would make us all rethink processed foods.

  9. I agree with folks being upset. I want dedicated facilities with no sharing, etc. However, I must point out that there are certified gluten-free products that are also made on shared equipment. Many of them. They come from both major companies and small companies. Like this company, the equipment is cleaned after being used for gluten-full products. If the product is certified gluten free by an independent certification organization like the Gluten-Free Certification Organization, they check out that the processes the company follows are consistent and yield a gluten-free product. But the inspection organization is not there all the time. They pretty much leave and don’t return once the certification is given. They can do spot inspections and grab a product off a shelf and test it, but I don’t think that happens very often. Per my understanding, after the initial certification and the GFCO stamp is given, the company is on its own to continue to adhere to strict processes and test to ensure their products are indeed gf. Most companies do not go through an independent certification organization when they say their products are gf. Usually they are testing with the R5 Elisa test, but the company itself is doing the testing, which is sort of like the fox watching the hen house IMO. They are not necessarily testing every product to ensure it is gf. Haven’t we all heard about recalls of “gf” products from companies because they turned out not to be gf? Even with all the inspections, etc., unless only gluten-free products are made by a company, in a dedicated facility, and all ingredients are clearly gf, there still is room for error and concern. Would I buy these “gf” cookies from this company? No, but I did want to point out that what he is doing is not very different from many other companies that produce “gf’ products that most folks are eating daily. And I think that’s why many folks continue to get gluten on an ongoing basis when they eat “gf” products. Last, but not least, when we’re eating out and ordering from a gf menu (or not), we’re eating food that was prepare on shared equipment. Many of us ask that the equipment be cleaned or that our entrée be cooked in a separate skillet, etc., but most of the time we don’t really know if that is being done. Thanks GD for raising the concern so we can talk about what is really happening behind the scenes with all different “gf” products/foods.


    1. Bart even replied to today’s blog post but the only thing he kept mentioning was his flour. I just don’t think it registered that our beef is not his ingredients, but his manufacturing process.

      1. You’re probably right on Bart, GD, but I just wanted folk to know if they’re buying gf products, they’re likely to be eating products that are made on shared equipment. The statement from manufacturers is voluntary, and even when products are certified gf by an independent organization like GFCO they can still contain gluten. The Gluten Free Watchdog tests “gf” products (and now mainstream products that *should* be gf) on an ongoing basis and some GFCO-certified products have turned up to contain gluten. When the FDA was initially collecting data for the gf ruling a few years back, the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network shared the results of a study they did in regard to peanuts in products that showed “made on shared equipment” and “made in a shared facility.” Their results showed that although folks were more likely to purchase products with the latter wording thinking they were safer because of the wording on the label (which was again voluntary), the reality was that more products contained peanuts that were in that group than products that said shared equipment. I’m not trying to muddy the waters here. I’m just saying that if we’re buying “gf” products, the reality of what we are buying and eating is anything but clear.

  10. During the five years I have been gluten free, I have been scrupulously careful, but others in the family just don’t get it. I have been served things that I was assured were gluten free, only to discover after I have gotten sick, that the packaging said made on shared equipment. The longer I am gluten free, the worse the reactions are, so I just don’t take anyone’s word for it. If packaging indicates that it was made on shared equipment, I won’t consume it, and I certainly won’t buy it. I always read the packaging, and I think it is disingenuous for someone to claim an item as gluten free and play with our health this way. I thank you for calling them out. People that get so shirty and defensive put my back up. Snooks to you Bart and Judy. Even if you finally do get it right in the future, most of us will remember this a and avoid your products like the plague.

  11. Bottom line Gluten Dude, if its made on shared equipment, it goes right back on the shelf. Cross contamination is REAL and maybe Ms. Paltrow would love this. Maybe they can put her picture on the label and lots of stupid, vacuous people will buy that shit! Nothing is maligned as much as people with CD. We demand respect and safe food. Enough said.

  12. I’m sure someone will say that this is silly, but here is why I will never let my mixers be used for gluten baking and why I simply replaced them when I went gluten free. When you work with flour, it gets into the air, this isn’t up for debate or anything, it is a simple fact. Mixers commonly have an air intake, which means they also have a place where they blow air out. Drop flour into the mixing bowl, it puffs up in the air, and some goes into the air intake. Clean the mixer and switch to gluten free baking. Flip the mixer on and you’re blowing gluten out the back. Thanks, pass. Shared equipment when working with flour simply is not safe, especially when working with equipment with nooks, crannies and anything with an air intake and exhaust.

  13. Gluten dude you ROCK!!!!
    As a small GF business I go the extra mile literally, i drive an hour and fifteen minutes each way to the dedicated facility I am able to bake it. if i did not find these wonderful people who rent there kitchen to me i would not be producing anything. it costs me a lot more in time and $$$ but i know that the products i am putting out are 100%safe.

    it really gets under my skin that I know some people who produce in shared facilities and they don’t tell anyone anything. Totally not cool. When i have asked the stores that sell the products they say they have been told they were made in a dedicated facility.

    and people wonder why they still feel like S&^T!!! no pun intended.

    even ELSIA testing sometimes is not a guarantee, they recently recalled Applegate Farms GF chicken nuggets because they were not GF there was a big snafu somewhere and they are a certified GF producer, what a joke.
    I used to buy there sausages because they were GF but have not since i heard of the last recall.

    personally i don’t each anything that is from a shared kitchen when it comes to processed foods and i only eat in places that i know are safe.

    I also don’t really eat much processed foods, ate way too much when i was a kid and into my 20’s. Now it’s only REAL FOOD for me. i would rather go with out food that feel the way i used too.

  14. What makes me crazy (er) is when companies like this pull out the whine that they are doing the best they can on tight finances, and how dare folks not understand the plight of the little guy.

    Bart, sorry. No one has your family tied up in a Russian bomb silo, threatening to off the western seaboard by Sunday if you don’t sell the cookies. (best to read that in the bad accent ala Natasha and Boris) You, yourself, personally, of your own free will – chose to go into the GF market. YOU, yourself, personally decided you wanted to be a part of that goldrush.

    Which means I don’t have to cut you any slack. There is no sliding scale for ‘trying your best without blowing your profit line’. If you don’t want to make truly GF items, if doing so is too expensive for you to manage and both make a profit AND make it appealing to your consumers – and yes, we all know how expensive it can be, trust me, I had my biweekly moment of hyperventilation at the register when the grocery total came up, so it hits ALL our pockets – don’t make them. In the immortal words of the great Yoda “Do, or Do Not. There is no Try.” (I married a star wars geek, it’s not my fault. When he had us walk into the reception after under a lightsabor arch, my fate was sealed). Do what has to be done to make them actually GF or go back to making ‘normal’ cookies. I’m not paying extra for something that boils down to “don’t be mean, pay me more money because I tried” when I could spend the cash and make what I need myself, tastier, and without making myself violently ill.

    And at the risk of being a complete bitch (thanks to being glutened by a stupid mixup AND a double ear infection I feel like road kill at the moment and that makes me cranky) – pull on your big boy trousers and stop stomping your feet while whining. Go get a job where you can work for someone else if being a business owner is so hard and unfair. But stop whining. No one really cares or is sympathetic.

  15. First of all GFD….did you test thier cookies before you ripped them a new one? All stainless steel can be washed and decontaminated in a (normal) kitchen. That includes the breadmaker folks……I am a very careful cook, my DH is celiac for 3 years. I did not run out and buy a brand new kitchenaid mixer, nor did I run out and purchase a brand new breadmaker….maybe my stuff is cleaner that the average person’s, maybe I have a little OCD when it comes to getting things clean. But to me, being super clean is normal. All of my husbands test are in the normal range. He is no longer sick. If you are going to be this scrutinizing….then don’t buy your bread in a grocery store, or your flour, or your cookies, or any other things, unless they are in glass. There are crumbs all over the place GFD….and they have a bakery with regular flour floating all over the store. Watchout.. You might get it on your clothes…..have you addressed this with yourself?

  16. I just had a reaction this week after opening a new bottle of ketchup. It’s from a small company and says gluten free on the bottle. All the ingredients are gf (and organic) and it’s awesome ketchup. In fact, this is the second time I’ve used this product, and with the first bottle I was fine. This is the disappointing response I got from the manufacturer: “There is a potential for the ketchup to run on the same manufacturing lines as products that contain gluten, however, we have a strict allergen policy which eliminates the chance of cross contamination.” They also confirmed the source of the vinegar was cane sugar.

    I would add the word “virtually” in front of “eliminates” on their statement. I genuinely believe this is a good company and it’s altogether possible they’re under 20ppm, as I react to lower amounts. The point is, no matter how hard you try, if your equipment is shared, there is the potential for cross contamination. You can never guarantee it’s safe. Amounts will vary from batch to batch – that’s the nature of cc.

    My fault for not checking first. I will go back to Heinz.

  17. I’m learning so much from Gluten Dude and this community. Thank you all.

    The whole process of strictly adhering to a GF diet is so incredibly tiresome. I long for the days back when my body didn’t go ballistic from trace amounts of gluten. We just have to keep educating folks about what gluten F-R-E-E actually, really, truly means. What part of that four letter word do they not understand???? At least there are more foods labeled as made in shared facilities.

    I’m in marketing too and it is ludicrous to call something “gluten free” that “may contain wheat.” Huh???

    Like I said, I’m still in learning mode.


  18. I wish there was a ‘like’ button for people’s responses!!! So many true statements have been made here.
    I hope Bart reads all of this. I don’t think that for one second you were wrong in your original post or in this one. People truly don’t understand what it’s like to live with Celiac Disease, as is evidenced by his cavalier attitude. It’s good that you post stuff like this because it just makes it more clear for all of us to avoid those products.
    Thanks, but no thanks, Bart!! Good luck to you!

  19. I agree that GF means that the process has to be gluten free…..Bart, “may contain wheat” is NOT gluten free. My real point is that the proof should be in the testing of the food, and be no more than 5ppm; for some, that may be too much. But, GFD– if you want to go on rampage, (with me), than address the bakeries in the grocery stores. Almost all, have their bakeries right next to the fruit and produce department. I think that all “in store” bakeries should have to be shielded from the rest of the store, complete with negative pressure airflow. So there should be glass or steel walls, with negative pressure airflow in the preparation and baking areas of all grocery stores which have bakeries. And I would like to see the FDA testing all fruits and vegetables for gluten. It is a food afterall.

  20. Can I just say that if I was a company, no matter how large or small, I would never ever respond to any of my customers in that tone? I get that they are peeved and sticking up for themselves but rule number one- always make the customer happy, ALWAYS! And that starts with being polite. I know that’s not the whole point of this but their response makes me not want to try them. I would be afarid of what kind of response I would get if there was an emergency, could you imagine?

  21. I read the package… If it says anything about shared equipment down it goes, right back on the shelf. I’m grateful to whoever is putting those little words on the package, it’s a definate no-no for me or any celiac in order to remain safe & antibody free!!

    Perhaps Bart needs to know how long it takes a body to heal after a glutening?? Or what it might feel like after a glutening… Maybe if he spent 72 hours locked in a outhouse on a 115* day in the Louisana swamp… While he had the norovirus & food poisioning & 75 mosquito bites, with bodyaches from falling off a cliff… All at the same time… He might rethink his baking for celiacs! No, that’s not being mean, it’s how I feel for the first 3+ days after being “accidentally glutened”…

    Thanks for sharing the video, I hope it’s an eye opener to many people!

    And if you’re reading this post Bart… It’s not GlutenDude posting that would keep me from buying your product, it’s the sharing of equipment, I learn the hard way when I wasn’t getting better after my dx. Now, I only by products that are made in a dedicated gluten free enviorment, and then I’m selective with that too!

  22. There response was very rude! And what scares me is that he thinks it is safe for us if they wash down there machines!Deff not safe! Point blank he could have delt with the matter much better!

  23. The fact that Bart and company still don’t get what the issue is here – GFD pointed out that they are still going on about how their flour is GF – only further proves the point. It’s not about what you’re putting in the food, it’s about what *gets in* the food that you are not adding in yourself. Shared equipment is not GF, a facility with G in it is not safe, and CC is poison to us. When a business reacts as defensively as Bart’s did to the comments from its target audience, there is something wrong with the picture. A company that was truly interested in providing a safe product would welcome the feedback and use it as an opportunity for an open discussion of the issue. It would feel confident enough to take on criticism head-on and throw open the doors for whatever comes. Bart’s reacted in the opposite way.

    It’s to the point where I really don’t trust anyone and any company with my health. 98% of what I eat is just fresh fruit and veg I prepare myself at home in my entirely GF kitchen. 1.9% is dried lentils/legumes from *dedicated* companies that I sprout or cook myself. Haven’t eaten out in almost 3 years, haven’t dared to eat prepared food from a so-called GF company, even if they are “certified.” Tried it, been bitten and glutened so severely, would never do it again.

    Anything I do have to buy “packaged” like the dried beans or nuts is from a dedicated GF facility. And contrary to what Bart and his cohorts say, these are from 3 or 4 *small businesses* – family run in most cases – that I have meticulously researched and know and that have personal stakes in making sure that they are absolutely dedicated facilities with no G or other allergens in the place. If there is G in the facility at all, anywhere, I’ll put the item right back on the shelf. The labeling, processing, and packaging practices for companies is just so bad and so opaque there is no way to be sure what’s going on. As a previous poster said, it’s Russian roulette with one’s health – a game I refuse to play.

    Yes, it’s frustrating. Yes, it makes me scream from the anger and misrepresentation of companies and people who just don’t get the impact of what they are trying to pull on people with real health needs. At this point, all I can do is put shoes on my own feet and protect myself. No one else will, after all. A sad state of affairs, but there it is.

  24. I don’t think that Celiacs are their target audience at all, even though Bart implied so. It’s the GF trendsters among the total cookie eating population that they’re after; hence the hasty development of the GF flour and GF varietal to slot in with their main line. After being on GD center stage for a day or three, this business is now primed and ready to learn all about the new testing requirements, cross-contacts & contaminations, and what not. An interesting test case. What will they do? In theory, they could do almost nothing and get by for some time…but who knows, maybe a semi-dedicated GF kitchen (area, or pieces of equipment at least) at Bart & Judy’s could result. There’ll probably be improvement; but I’d assume not (ever) enough for the pragmatically paranoid Celiac. And maybe they’ll figure out precisely what they are selling, and to whom they should be selling it. Ride that GF wave, while you still can. Or, take a look at your moral code and bring it up to date.

    1. Based on the fact that he stated that he was in this for his son, who has a serious condition but not one that is as seriously impacted by gluten as celiac, I would agree that he isn’t in this for the celiacs. A little CC here and there isn’t going to make a difference to someone with Crohn’s, when to us it is the bane of our existence. At any rate, in a year he’ll be in a position forced to verify that his cookies are gluten free or stop labeling them as such. Either way, the problem solves itself. (Assuming that we aren’t calling every company about shared lines/equipment which still won’t be a required disclosure on packages. Fail.)

  25. Adalaide,

    Your comment about Crohn’s is not correct at all. (A little CC here and there isn’t going to make a difference to someone with Crohn’s, when to us it is the bane of our existence) Crohn’s is an auto-immune disorder, just like celiac. Usually when someone has Crohn’s that’s not al they have.

    I have Crohn’s and also have over 50+ food allergies some are more serious then others. at least 10 of which i have a very severe reaction to that include both wheat and gluten. I might not get the S*^T’s for hours or days but i suffer in ways just as bad maybe sometimes worse when i am exposed to any amount of wheat or gluten or any of the other 10 foods that do it to me. And for me it last from 1 to 3 weeks until i return to somewhat normal.

    I am not condoning what bart is doing in fact It really bothers me. I have a Dedicated GF Baking Company in the SF bay area. and like I said in a previous post

    “As a small GF business I go the extra mile literally, i drive an hour and fifteen minutes each way to the dedicated facility I am able to bake it. if i did not find these wonderful people who rent there kitchen to me i would not be producing anything. it costs me a lot more in time and $$$ but i know that the products i am putting out are 100%safe.

    it really gets under my skin that I know some people who produce in shared facilities and they don’t tell anyone anything. Totally not cool. When i have asked the stores that sell the products they say they have been told they were made in a dedicated facility.”

    I say all this because this was a post about producing GF product on a shared line and the fact that they are not really gluten free.

    I don’t think you, me or anyone for that matter really knows the full extent of how auto immune exactly attacks our bodies, if they really did they would have a cure.

    All I know is that Bart is not producing anything I would EVER eat. even if it were the last cookie( or even food )on earth!!! I’d rather die than feel the way i felt for years before finding out i had Crohn’s and all these food allergies.

    Sorry if my post seemed a bit harsh but people don’t really understand how bad Crohn’s can be. it’s important to remember We are all on this journey together, no matter what auto immune disorder any of us have

    Let’s stay focused on the real issue. BART is not producing a truly GF product, as well as a lot of others out there.

    1. I do understand the seriousness of Crohn’s. I have an uncle with it. Not everyone with it chooses to, or even needs to treat it with one particular type of diet, and not everyone with it has additional health issues like you do. Just as not everyone with celiac has all of the additional health issues I do. I was commenting on someone suffering only from Crohn’s, without additional complications. Just as often people make comments about the safety or general health implications of things for celiacs based on only celiac without making assumptions about the varied and myriad additional health complications we can each individually suffer. Sure, a little CC could be life threatening for someone with food allergies, but that is a whole different animal from what I mentioned.

  26. What upsets me is the approach taken in Bart’s reply. There is no need to get defensive. I’m sure none of us are against Mom and Pop shops. We are, however, against getting sick. If I were to buy these cookies and get sick, for one, I would NEVER buy them again, and for two, I would more likely than not resort to social media to inform my (several) celiac friends against the cookies. These cookies are just fine for g-free fad dieters…but for us with celiac or gluten sensitivity, they will cause us to be ill for days, if not weeks. That’s what’s not okay. I would like to think that those in charge of producing “gluten-free” goods would go to the extent of either being POSITIVE that they are gluten-free, or not wasting the time. I do appreciate that they were labelled as processed on shared equipment, but it’s still a no-go, however cranky this seems to make him.

    As posted before me, it’s NOT the flour we have a problem with. If you make your own GF flour, GREAT!! Find a separate, GF facility and market that all you wish. It’s the shared equipment that we have a problem with, and also the attitude in Bart’s reply.

  27. The tact absolutely has her on the defensive. However, who says big companies aren’t made up of PEOPLE, too? Caring is not-sharing in this case. Big or small, companies can rise to a higher standard, remain profitable, and have a great time providing safe products.

  28. Be very careful with Trader Joe’s gluten free products. Read the fine prints and you fine many of Trader Joe’s gluten free products are manufactured on equipment that also processes wheat. I stop using the gluten free products from Trader Joe’s and my symptoms are well under control now days.

  29. Hello Everyone,

    Thank you so much for the information. I am continuously improving my health through eliminating gluten from my diet. My entire life is explained by gluten intolerance, and I only just found out at 28 years old.

    I write because I both met and fell in love with my husband working at Trader Joe’s in Manhattan. We no longer work for the company, but still shop the stores here in the city. Unfortunately, even will my attention to ingredients, I was still feeling the side effects of gluten while eating Trader Joe’s food.

    As a past employee, I had access to detailed contact information, and this is what I found. As with most companies, Trader Joe’s says, “They only have to include information about the product being processed in a facility that also processes wheat if the level of gluten in the food is over a certain amount (20 ppm).” I will be eliminating many of my favorite products, but some I will try to keep.

    For those of you who also have sentiments towards TJ’s, I have something special to share. You can only call this phone number if your an employee, but, I’m going to pass it out. They will tell you if the vendor’s facility also processes wheat. You must provide the product name or number (under the bar code.)

    Please use this number sparingly. And only for questions about specific product. They are just the messengers.

    If they ask, say you work for store 542 at 72nd and Broadway in NYC. 1-626-599-3817 or you can message through their website, which they also suggested.

    All the Best,


    1. Liz, great piece of info here and I almost applied to the TJs on broadway and 72nd.

      Funny enough I think I am JUST finding out I’m gluten interact or maybe even celiac disease because a lot of crazy stuff has been going on with my body. I’ve suffered from IBS for 9 yrs but when I started getting these weird attacks I knew something was wrong.

      Last week I ate seitan and holy cow about 45 mins later I started getting pains under my breast vibe area which eventually Wrked it’s way down to lower abdomen, I began salivating and feeling nauseous and like I had to poop. I left where I was hopped on the subway and went home. I ended up curling up on my couch in the fetal position with a pillow for 4 hrs until it finally started going away. My gut (no pun intended) tells me it’s gluten even though I do not know for sure.

      The weird thing is I have eaten gluten since then and have not keeled over in pain but it did happen last night after eating pad Thai and again those pains cause me to leave where I was run home and I got in bed.

      Just before I started writing this post and while I am right now I started to get those abdominal pains again. I had quinoa this morning and before writing this I had put some of TRADER JOES Everyday Seasoning in a cucumber and tomato salad. I ate a some tomato with the seasoning and about 5 mins later I got those abdominal pains. It says, “made on shared equipment with wheat and soy” so I’m thinking that may be it.

      This is nuts and I’m become fb very upset about this. I have no idea what’s safe for me to eat.

      Help! Having a tough time with food in general and now feeling gluten is bad for me too what the hell do I eat?

      1. Jen,

        I totally understand. It’s so weird to have a body that does not like gluten. But, there is a ton of great food you can eat, just not so much in restaurants. And please, be very careful even if a restaurant advertises as gluten free. Some have gluten-less foods and some are official with designated areas for gluten-free prep and gluten-free cookware. Mostly, please cook at home and save yourself the sick time.

        First, pick up a few good books on the subject. I recommend “Living Gluten Free For Dummies” – saved my life and also taught my mom how to keep me healthy when I visit her. She was so well informed after reading this book, she literally put me at ease for the first time in months! “Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet” is an extreme recommendation. This lays out the diet process for healing your gut. “Gluten-Free Girl: How I Found the Food That Loves Me Back…And How You Can Too” is a guilty pleasure read. This book was mostly encouraging to me. As I started learning more about how to stay healthy, this book motivated me and helped me feel like I could eat and be happy. There are many other great books out there, but be careful and do your research ahead of time. There are also a lot of not-so-great books on the subject by inexperienced authors (trying to make a buck.) Read reviews.

        When I was just starting to go gluten-free, I would still eat at local Thai, Indian, Japanese and Korean restaurants. Unfortunately, after doing much research online and listening to what my body tells me, I stopped. There is no guarantee a restaurant will know how to prepare your food properly. And when I get glutened, it messes with my mind. I become extremely depressed and contemplate, ya know…. not so good things. Fortunately, my life is awesome and I can recognize self destructive thoughts as outside the rage of norm for my lifestyle. Thus finally finding out through blood work and exams by my doctor that I am gluten intolerant. Best information I ever found out. It has been 6 months, and a rocky road, but I’m feeling much better. I also feel like I could do better.

        Cooking everything at home has made the biggest shift in my health. Eliminating sugar, all grains, cacao, starches and corn would help me even more… but one step at a time! Gluten hides in everything, and if you are supper sensitive like myself, even grain alcohol in my liquid herbal Echinacea supplement will set off a reaction. This is why eating out is so difficult. There is rice vinegar in sushi that contains gluten, yes rice vinegar is mixed with grain vinegar (wheat). Thai food has soy sauce (glutened.) Korean food is riddled with gluten. Indian food has gluten. You have to be soooo careful! Eating out is truly a special treat for me now, and only special restaurants get my patronage.

        New York is and is not a great place to be gluten free. I starve on the streets sometimes because there is no where for me to eat. But being hungry is better than being sick! Grocery stores are my best friend. They always have banana’s (your new go to) and some form of gluten free chips, beverages, fruit, avocados, etc. Grab what is fresh from the earth and stuff your face! Yum!

        Also, It took me about a month to clean every nook and craney of my kitchen. This made a HUGE difference in my health. I also replaced all my plastic and wood kitchen ware, bout all gluten free spices and herbs, new spice shakers, new pepper mill, and cleaned the fridge. It takes a lot of work, but once you get over the first hill, everything becomes easier. I am still fine tuning my diet because I feel low energy by 5 of each day. I want to have max energy to do everything I want to in life! So healthy food is the way to go.

        All the best,
        Much Love,
        Eat on!

  30. Greetings,

    First, thank you Gluten Free Dude for this blog/ website! Been gluten-free for over 5 years now and counting. And, still learning each and every day (and, thank you for the resources, by the way. Especially the “list of gluten free medications”).

    Addressing this article – no surprise, no surprise! *rolls eyes* It is excellent to have some ‘live’ footage to prove suspicions (based on intuition) that shared equipment, is indeed, a no-go.

    To anyone reading (oh, and thank you Lizz for the detailed post) , from personal experience, cooking from scratch and at home is an absolute to avoid cross-contamination. The catch – consistency and 100% of the TIME – not even one screw up. Yes, this means no GF bakeries or eating out! Also, going raw (if you can handle the transition and are up for the challenge) will be beneficial, as well. Any one fighting this non-sense, combating villi destruction, what have you cannot risk re-exposure. While there is no clear answer, it is *expected* that gluten anti-bodies can stay in the body for 3-6 months! Is that gluten-free bagel really worth the potential risk of re-exposure after ALL your hard work and diligence?

    Also, much to this author’s dismay, in the former neck of the woods, the author once met a man who manufactured GF pizza crusts and sold em’ to local restaurants around town. We go to talking, and guess what – he’s not even gluten free himself! *rolls eyes* Just a business man out to make buck. It was disappointing, because at the time, it was thought a true connection had been made with someone who *gets it* But LIES, LIES, LIES. The moral: some owners of GF bakeries may not be gluten-free (and only be catering to what is thought to be some ‘trend’). Seriously, *gag* Capitalizing on those who experience immense gastrointestinal pain and suffering is downright soulless and heartless.

    What Lizz mentioned about scrubbing down the kitchen, is way worth it. The caveat to this is to hope to the gods you have a respectful house-mate and/or children if you are not living solo.

    That’s about all for now. If anyone happens to have lists and/or resources they came up with on their own (from trial and error) please feel free to leave a comment. Perhaps we can private message?

    Thanks again, Gluten Free Dude!

    In Health,

    Shape Shifter

  31. I’m not celiac, but I’m allergic to wheat. My reactions are within seconds to about 15 minutes, and I’m allergic by touch. And shared equipment is a big deal. I have reactions to a candy bars on shared equipment. I’m so bad that I have reactions from oats, rice, corn and soybeans because they are on shared farm equipment. Farmers use the same columbine to harvest and the same grain elevation for storing wheat as well as rice, oats, corn, and soybeans. I believe that wheat is the first corp to be harvest in the season. So I have to I buy my soy and rice products for companies that get the products out of Asia, and I grow my own corn. This way I don’t have any reactions from cross-contamination.

    For real safety, it would be nice if they had gluten-free farms as well as gluten-free facilities.

  32. Please PLEASE everyone add Enjoy Life products to your ‘unsafe’ list. After a year of terrible problems, and with their new packaging changes, I just found out that Plentils are SHARED FACILITY.
    And other products they sell like chocolate chips now have weasel words on them too…. ‘Nut free facility with a certified gf process’… right. Who knows what you’re actually doing now… SHAME!!

    1. Hey there. Can you please share where you got your info from. This definitely concerns me (and surprises me) so I need to make sure I have my facts right. Thanks.

      1. It comes directly from their own website and their own packaging. For example, Enjoy Life Plentils now say shared facility on the bag… they still bury it on the website but you can see on their FAQ
        “Are all Enjoy Life products made in a certified gluten-free facility? All Enjoy Life products are certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization. Our Jeffersonville bakery is a dedicated gluten free facility. The Lentil Chips are produced in a facility that contains gluten, and are made using a certified gluten free process. A validated allergen cleaning process is performed on the equipment along with allergen testing. ”

        Read the reviews online of other Celiacs accusing them of poisoning them
        Look at the response from Enjoy Life to a negative review on there, which says “Nothing has changed in the way we produce our Lentil Chips, but when we changed our packaging, we decided to add additional clarity to the label.”

        Now tell me you trust anything else they make. Do you want to eat chocolate chips that say “Nut free facility with a certified gf process”? funny how they don’t say GF facility?

        You don’t have to take my word for it… look at their packaging in the store and what they put online.

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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