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#1 of 14 Old 04-26-2010, 10:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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While looking for safe flours for my son, I came across Arrowhead Mills. Their gluten-free flours do not have any warning about potential contamination with things like tree-nuts. When I contacted the company, I got this response:

Quote:
The Hain Celestial Group's labeling declares major allergens (peanuts, soybeans, milk, eggs, fish, crustaceans, tree nuts, and wheat) and we follow the U.S. FDA's regulations. We recognize the serious nature of the allergen issue and we strive to minimize risk.

Both major and minor ingredients of all products, as well as all processing procedures and equipment, are closely scrutinized and all potential allergen issues as determined by the Hain Celestial Group are declared on our labeling.
Sooo. Would you consider this to mean that no label = no trace contamination? Anyone else have experience with Arrowhead Mills aka Hain Celestial flours?

 Mom to one happy Senorcito (06/09) ... allergic to wheat, nuts, dairy, eggs, sesame, peas and soy.

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#2 of 14 Old 04-26-2010, 10:53 PM
 
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No I would not assume that w/that company (or any company and especially that one). The FDA only requires labeling when it is an actual ingredient. They don't have to label shared facility or shared equipment. When I called they would give me no information about whether they processed nuts on the same equipment with their products. They were far less than helpful and basically told me if I needed something that couldn't have nut trace don't use them.

Call and see if you get a better answer. I've never known anyone who did. They don't have a good reputation as being a food allergy friendly company to put it mildly.

I would not risk their products with my son.

Do you need sources of gluten free staples? I had to do that with my nut allergic son so I do have many. Anything in particular you need?

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#3 of 14 Old 04-26-2010, 11:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I figured as much. That quote was part of a larger e-mail that gave me the overall feeling they were trying to avoid answering the question directly. I will call, though, and see what sort of reponse I get.

I'm most in need of general baking flours and such. I use Bobs Mill flour for myself. I don't have related allergies (just shellfish), but I'm breastfeeding my allergic son so I have to be careful. He's almost a year old, so I'm trying to expand his food choices. With his birthday coming up, it would also be nice to bake him something. I'm just not all that optimistic about finding a safe flour source. He's definately allergic to wheat, peanuts, dairy, eggs, soy, coconut, and sesame seeds. He didn't test positve for tree nut allergies, but due to his peanut score being so high, the allergist wanted us to avoid all nuts.

 Mom to one happy Senorcito (06/09) ... allergic to wheat, nuts, dairy, eggs, sesame, peas and soy.

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#4 of 14 Old 04-27-2010, 12:03 AM
 
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They have been known to give conflicting or wrong information and among food allergy people there is a reputation for food reactions due to cross in their products. So I think they won't disclose their cleaning practices and so I assume they aren't safe. You could google Hain at kidswithfoodallergies board. It's enlightening and mirrors my (very frustrating) experience with them (and all their subsidiary companies like Arrowhead Mills particularly).

Rob Red Mills gluten free line (entire line) is produced on shared equipment with nuts. They told me their gluten free products (flours, starches, etc.) aren't safe for my nut and sesame allergic son. If you're avoiding nuts I would avoid those flours.

Sesame cross reacts with cashew and pistachio so there is reason to avoid those at least until he's older imo and can tell you whether he is reacting.

Ms. Roben's produces allergy safe flours and starches and other baking supplies. Cherrybrook kitchen gluten free mixes are, I'm pretty certain, safe with your son's allergies. I used them for my son's birthday cake soon after he was dx'd. You can make him a safe cake. I'm sure you can. Be careful with your oils when baking for him. Do you have trace safe oils? All of mine were crossed with nuts or sesame. Does your son tolerate ghee? My son did with a dairy allergy but I know not everyone does. If so Purity Farms is an allergen free ghee (ghee is derived from dairy but with all protein removed so some dairy allergic handle it fine). Bionaturae olive oil was safe when I called but I don't think olive oil sounds great in a cake. You could do apple sauce or something like that as a fat sub perhaps.

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#5 of 14 Old 04-27-2010, 12:23 AM
 
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You can grind your own rice flour. I purchased a coffee grinder that I only used for grinding rice. You can also grind your own oats for oat flour. If you can find safe rice or oats (and your child can tolerate) you can definitely make your own.

I know I made a peanut, treenut, soy, milk, egg, wheat free cupcake for my DD when she turned one. I have no experience avoiding coconut and sesame though. Lots of recipes out there once you find the safe ingredients.

Good Luck!

Homeschooling mama of four fantastic kids and wife to one great guy.
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#6 of 14 Old 04-27-2010, 12:44 AM
 
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A coffee grinder for rice flour! I hadn't ever thought of that (I've been saving for a grain mill). Lundenberg rice (not their cakes but their plan rices) are nut and sesame safe (and other allergen safe too I'm sure--it's just rice on the lines).

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#7 of 14 Old 04-29-2010, 10:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've decided, I'm not even going to bother contacting Arrowhead Mills. It sounds like a waste of time and energy. I'll look into Ms. Robens & Cherrybrook, though.

I actually already have a new coffee bean grinder for the purpose of grinding flour for my son! Problem was, I was trying to find stuff safe enough to grind in the thing. I already have Lundenberg brown rice,too, so that works out great! Tonight, I tested it out and made some rice flour. I mixed the flour with water, banana, and baking powder (gluten and nut free according to the label) and made pancakes. The boy loved them. He would have eaten the whole batch, but I wanted to hold back and see how his system handled them first. Hopefully, the kid isn't allergic to corn!

Considering my son broke out in hives immediately after touching milk (and scored 5 out of 6 on the RAST blood test), I don't want to try the ghee at the moment. We'll have to figure out something else.

The oil thing is something that's bothering me. My son seemed to react to some food I had cooked in canola oil, awhile back, and I realized it could be cross contaminated. Right now, I'm using a generic olive oil for everything which seems ok. I'm just at a loss as to how to cook without dairy or soy butter and without vegetable oils. Another thing that makes me nervous is spices. I've started an herb garden this spring, but it will take awhile for things to grow in. Are there completely safe spice sources out there?

Thanks for all the help so far

 Mom to one happy Senorcito (06/09) ... allergic to wheat, nuts, dairy, eggs, sesame, peas and soy.

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#8 of 14 Old 04-30-2010, 12:49 AM
 
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The only sesame safe spice company is McCormick. I called/did a lot of research on this. McCormick does process sesame on lines (they all do) but they treat it like an allergen and do extensive wet cleaning. The other companies don't.

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#9 of 14 Old 04-30-2010, 12:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again, for the quick response! Lucky enough, most of my spices are McCormick already.

 Mom to one happy Senorcito (06/09) ... allergic to wheat, nuts, dairy, eggs, sesame, peas and soy.

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#10 of 14 Old 04-30-2010, 04:43 PM
 
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I really like Twin Valley Mills sorghum (can get both the whole grains and finely milled flour (way better than Bob's sorghum flour) and nothing else processed but sorghum in their mill).

And Authentic Foods http://authenticfoods.com/ has no nuts or seeds run on same equip, their almond flour explanation:

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The almond flour is milled in a gluten free facility outside of my plant. The Almond is packaged on its own line preventing any contamination.
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#11 of 14 Old 05-31-2010, 12:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbgrace View Post
The only sesame safe spice company is McCormick. I called/did a lot of research on this. McCormick does process sesame on lines (they all do) but they treat it like an allergen and do extensive wet cleaning. The other companies don't.
What do you think of Frontier?

Quote:
What this means is that stringent processes are in place during product handling, processing and packaging which prevent allergen contamination in products that normally do not contain the big 8 allergens (milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans), sulfites as well as sesame seeds which the Canadian food inspection agency considers an allergen.
http://www.frontiercoop.com/company/...encontrol.html
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#12 of 14 Old 06-01-2010, 02:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JaneS View Post
I'm angry about frontier. I read that and used them and my son was reacting but I had no clue it was spices. I called the company just to make sure and they assured me it was safe and they were careful and on. Still off and on reactions. And so I emailed them.

I got a reply that (in bold, all caps) their products are not safe for my son or anyone with a sesame allergy. I was livid. I'd bought many things in the meanwhile and I had to get rid of all my spices. My son stopped reacting. I'm still angry about it.

I was later told that McCormick is the only wet clean place by someone who called to ask about cleaning procedures. I did not verify that myself. I may.

I wouldn't use them with allergies given the reply I got. I may contact them again for clarification because the website statement would lead a person to believe they are safe. It lead me that way. But their written reply to me was pretty adamant and specific. I don't get it. I originally intended to write them and request refunds for the products I had purchased after I was told they were safe on the phone and before I was told via email they were not safe. I won't do that now but I may contact them again to complain and ask for specific clarification. My house is clear of frontier/simply organic. I had big money in their products.

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#13 of 14 Old 04-11-2012, 07:48 PM
 
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My daughter (age 2, known food allergies include dairy, peanuts, almonds, egg, lentils, peas, garlic...) had a severe reaction (2 hours of heavy vomiting) to Arrowhead Mills Steel Cut Oatmeal in December 2012. Their labeling does not indicate any possibility of cross-contamination. I called later and was told (after a lot of dodging the question) that all of their products are produced on shared equipment with known allergens. I wish I had called before we tried it, but we're still fairly new at this. Lesson learned. Now I ALWAYS call. Bob's Red Mill was essentially the same story, although they did give me a detailed account of how the equipment is cleaned. 

Quaker assures no possibility of cross contamination.

I prefer organic, but so many organic products seem to be produced on shared equipment with the top allergens. It's become difficult to serve anything that isn't just fresh produce - which isn't the worst thing, but it would still be nice to have some other safe options.

It can be difficult to track down information. Lots of e-mailing and slow response time. I've learned not to make any assumptions. 

Thank you for posting this thread... I'm grateful for any insight... Going to try grinding my own flour (as recommended below)... 

 

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#14 of 14 Old 04-13-2012, 11:28 AM
 
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FWIW, Cross contamination and shared equipment statements are voluntary and do not have to be on anything at all.  I believe  AM is part of Haine's and they are notorious for being doggie about allergy information.  There are a lot of good companies out there who are reputable and have good practices.  Kids with Food allergies has a lot of parents with a lot of great information on products and companies (though they will always say CALL for your own allergy set because everyone varies).  Again some companies are better than others!  Turtle Mt. is really good about testing between batches and will tell you the process they use, others won't give you the time of day.

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