Monday, February 15, 2010

Letter From Walmart Regarding Great Value Brand Gluten Free Labeling

I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day! My daughter and I made these delicious milk chocolate-dipped strawberries! They were out of this world!!! I wish we had made more! We also made sushi, which were delicious, but not very pretty or picture-worthy. ;)
A few weeks ago, I bought a box of Great Value Brand Au Gratin Potatoes at Walmart. I had bought these before and never noticed that while the box clearly states "A Gluten Free Food", the allergy warning says "May contain wheat". I was perplexed. So, I emailed Walmart. Here is their response.
Thank you for your message.
Dear Valued Customer,
Thank you for your contacting us regarding our Great Value Au Gratin Potatoes. We recognize the importance of labeling gluten-free products appropriately and apologize for the confusion caused when a secondary allergen warning is placed on a product labeled "gluten-free." It has come to our attention that a small number of Great Value products contain both a gluten-free label and a statement indicating that the product "may contain traces of wheat.
"While the products contain no gluten or gluten derivatives as part of the ingredient list, they are processed in plants where products containing wheat are also processed. Although the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) allows a product to be labeled "gluten-free" if it contains less than 20 parts per million of prohibited grains, it is not our intention to confuse customers. To that end, we are reviewing labeling on all "naturally gluten free" products and will take appropriate remedial actions.
The health and safety of our customers is paramount. Should you have any concern about a "gluten-free" item purchased at Walmart, please return it to your local store for a full refund.
If you have any additional questions about the product you have purchased or if we can be of any further assistance, you may contact us by visiting www.walmartstores.com and clicking on the contact us link or by phone @ 1-877-505-2267. For future questions regarding product ingredients, nutritional facts, preparation instructions and more, click the grocery link at www.walmart.com.
Sincerely,
Miranda Wright
Great Value Customer Contact Team
I was very pleased with their response. Especially the fact that they are reviewing the gluten-free labeling and hopefully will clarify the cross-contamination information.
I have eaten several of Walmart's Great Value Brand items and haven't had a problem and now that I have clarification, will probably continue to do so.
Thanks, Walmart!

5 comments:

Amie said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I have been extremely ticked off with WalMart since the labeling change, when formerly GF products like APRICOT JAM changed to say "may contain wheat." I had to switch to name brands on many products. Now we may be able to save some money on this expensive diet again! THANK YOU.

Lisa said...

Hi Amie,

You are very welcome. I have noticed that Walmart has already started to change some of their labels. I'm glad that they are willing to review their labeling and make it more clear to the consumer what is really in their products. It is nice to be able to buy store brand gluten-free items at a more reasonable price!

Lisa

Anonymous said...

I am not celiac, but choose it, plus no sugar. So i do appreciate your post. I am in Canada and i dont beieve walmart here has gluten free anything, but will keep on looking.
thanks for the info

Kim said...

Love your strawberries!! They are beautiful :)I must make some of these and I want to try the little tuxedo strawberries.

Lisa said...

Hi Kim!

Thank you so much! They are fun to make and delicious to eat! This year for Valentine's Day, I dipped marshmallows in white chocolate that I colored pink. I pushed straws in them and they looked like roses. We are always dipping things in chocolate around here!!! LOL!

Lisa