Every once in a while there is something that really bothers me, this is my soapbox for today. My son is Gluten Free! We are used to eating gluten-free. We have learned to ask friends and family members to read the packages. We have alerted schools to ask before giving snacks. I read packages RELIGIOUSLY! But even occasionally I fail.
I bought a box of popsicles for my kids at the grocery store the other day. This is something I have done many many times in the past. It is summer and it is hot! The kids love having a cool treat. My husband walked into the kitchen to get them each a popsicle for dessert yesterday and then I see 3 sad faces go stomping by.
"What happened?", I asked.
"They have gluten!" my husband answered.
WHAT?! No! They are just popsicles. Fruit flavored colored water...HOW?! WHY?!
I picked up the box and sure enough! Wheat is all throughout the ingredients list, but no allergen warnings on the package at all! I have purchased these a million times in the past. I don't remember them having wheat in them before. How many times have I accidentally given my son gluten? I have to rethink everything! Teachers have called and asked me if he could have popsicles in the past....were they safe? Could this be why he has been not feeling well? This would explain so much! I felt horrible!
Then my guilt turned into anger.
Why would you put wheat in a Popsicle?
Why would a product marketed for children not clearly have allergens labeled?
If there was a change in the ingredients why wouldn't this be clearly marked on the packages with NEW FORMULA?
I have contacted Popsicle via their facebook page and my comment was quickly deleted. I took to popsicles website and their only allergen information says...
When any of the eight most common allergens (milk, eggs, fish, wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, soybeans and crustaceans) occur in any of our products they will be listed inside the ingredient statement in plain language. We do not use the terms "natural" or "artificial flavorings" to hide the existence of any allergens. We do not have dedicated production lines in our manufacturing facilities for products containing allergens. We have special handling procedures for all allergenic ingredients used in our manufacturing facilities.
So then I looked at the nutrition information on their website for the popsicles I purchased.
(Due to a computer issue all of my images for this post have been lost. Since this post was originally written in 2013, things have changed with some popsicle brand popsicles. PLEASE read the package very carefully before giving to anyone with gluten intolerance or celiac.)
Do you see wheat? Nope?! Me neither!
But when you pull that same package out of the freezer, this is the actual ingredients. I don't know about you but WHEAT isn't in bold....it doesn't stand out.....and I have no idea why it would be in "Corn Syrup", but there it is plain as day.
I understand that Popsicle can put anything they want in their product. I am just wanting others to know that even in products you think are safe, you should read the labels. Companies can change their ingredient list at any time, and you don't want to risk your families health.