Meridian Foods produced on same line ... - Gluten Free Guerr...

Gluten Free Guerrillas
9,254 members3,795 posts

Meridian Foods produced on same line as gluten ingredients

Hi. Just a bit of an alert for anyone who consumes Meridian nut butters, tahini and other products on basis of their GF assertions. They are produced on same line as barley malt product. I've attached the email from their consumer care who originally told me they test their products and they are safe. They do not actually test for gluten and assert GF simply on basis of ingredients (which we all know is a crock of the proverbial). The products are also listed (suprise suprise) on Ceoliac UK's safe list. Some of the products are labelled as GF, and some are not, but all are listed (apart from the barley malt product) on Meridian's website as GF.

27 Replies
oldestnewest

Thank you for this Mise. You’ve certainly been thorough in your research.

It’s a brand I often choose! I’ve not been affected, so not sure if I’ve just been lucky or am not as sensitive as I used to be.

1 like
Reply

Hi Penel. Yes, doing my research! Seems very random that Coeliac UK allow them on safe list when they don't even gluten test, never mind ask about gluten ingredients on same production line. Such a shame as it is a really nice range of products. Think I'm going the opposite direction into super sensitive.

1 like
Reply

Well done on your research.

I make my own nut butters which I find satisfying and they are so easy to make. I use a Cuisineart food processor which costs £125.

1 like
Reply

That sounds like quite a good investment. Yes, seems producing your own products from scratch is the safest bet all round. What brand of nuts are you using (I've found some brands not massively safe for cross contamination)?

Reply

It certainly is. I buy all my nuts from Grape Tree. I love homemade nut butter and it's so satisfying watching the nuts go from crumbs to nut butter in a fairly short space of time.

1 like
Reply

Life's small pleasures. Thanks for brand update.

Reply

Oh most definitely. I'm also carrying out research on the internet about gut biome etc; I ordered a gut biome test from Chuckling Goat and have now sent it off, I should hear about the results in about 4 to 5 weeks once they have cultered it etc and got the final results. I had food poisoning in November from rice and my tummy has been awful since. I have been to a Nutritionist and have been informed that I have a high sensitivity to oats, wheat, barley, rye and yeast and have a medium sensitivity to peas.

I see from reading online it can take 3 months for gluten to completely exit our systems, it's been about 4 weeks for me so far.

I'm also carrying out research on the internet for paraben free make up etc. Since turning Vegan last year I am more and more conscious on what I put into and on my body.

I would say from what you have said about you are also very interested in health a fair bit.

1 like
Reply

I'm laughing at the 'Chuckling Goat' - that's a great name! What will the test show you?

Interested in health only through circumstances rather than choice. The GF was the beginning of it really and being able to link diet to the random issues/symptoms I was having. Been to a dietician recently who has advised on avoiding chemical shampoos, body creams, etc. She also recommended bathing in epsom salts as body absorbs sulphur which helps gut repair (not sure how true that is). I think once you start to think of all the chemicals in our everyday lives, it's no wonder we get ill.

GF as a vegan must be interesting.

Reply

I know, it's certainly a funny name. I spoke to them yesterday as I wanted to check with them and they were really lovely. I've cut and paste the explanation from the website:

Essential Info

Find out what’s actually going on inside your gut with our Microbiome Test, and then learn how to repair the problem with our therapeutic-grade, award winning goats milk kefir, winner of the Best New Dairy Drink in the World, International Beverage Awards 2018.

You don’t need another one-size-fits-all diet. Instead, you need a personalised, science-based nutrition plan that tells you which foods you need to eat, to boost the health of your own gut microbiome.

Chuckling Goat, the UK’s #1 gut health experts and kefir manufacturers, now offer an easy-to-use Microbiome Test that you can take in the privacy of your own home.

Peek inside the mysterious world of your gut biome and learn how your gut diversity compares to the general population, as well as the level of protection you have against diseases like diabetes type 2, heart disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and obesity. Discover how well your gut bugs are processing fibre and synthesising essential vitamins.

But even better – every scientific finding is distilled into a list of practical, everyday food recommendations, so you can literally eat yourself healthy. Simply work your way through your recommended food list, consuming each food at least once a week, to help repair your microbiome and boost your gut health.

Your results will be explained to you during a free consultation with one of Chuckling Goat’s nutritional therapists.

Get gut healthy – let food be your medicine.

I am the same as you as if I hadn't had so many problems with my gut since November then I wouldn't have worried quite as much. Yes I'm also looking at shampoos, makeup and body creams, it's awful what's in them. Now I wouldn't be surprised if the epsom salts actually work as quite often old remedies do. I'd be interested to learn how you get on.

I might end up with a dietician but I'm trying to do it other ways at present rather than having to go through the Low Fodmap diet, my diet is restricted enough without thinking of that.

Yes GF is difficult but I'm getting more and more recipes and trying them and made some lovely bread.

Hope you sort out your gut issues. :)

1 like
Reply

Thanks. Please update on the efficacy of the test and if it's worth trying. Sounds intriguing.

Reply

Yes of course I will 😀

1 like
Reply

Have a look at Green People on line for body washes etc, if you’re in the U.K.. I find their unperfumed range very good.

greenpeople.co.uk/shop/by-c...

1 like
Reply

Thank you Penel , appreciate that and will have a look👍

Reply

That's interesting. Does this product carry the crossed grain symbol and registration number for Coeliac UK?

Reply

No, but they are on CUK's safe list and also on their website. CUK are checking what's what so awaiting update.

Reply

I thought CUK was far more diligent than that. Having registered some new GF products for a major retailer a few years ago, I had to jump through all sorts of hoops and have an inspection before we could claim GF.

Reply

Ye, it does seem a bit dubious and not very clear how they ended up on the list.

Reply

Unfortunately, that calls them into question. Have you had a response from CUK?

Reply

Not yet, only made them aware yesterday afternoon and they've gone off to check. The customer care at Meridian has gone off to check also with their technicians also - each answer they have given has been different from the previous.

Reply

Sometimes, and I have seen it happen in practice, the Marketing team will have this idea 'our wonderful product contains no gluten containing ingredients, so it will be OK to put gluten free in the artwork, and maybe reference Coeliac UK' without checking with their respective technical team. I have been that technical team, widely regarded by marketing teams as stopping sales, when what they are there to do is keep things correct and legal. This is my best guess on Meridian. I watch with interest.

Reply

It does seem like a good old marketing ploy. I've done some hunting online and Meridian did have Coeliac UK certification but when I click on the link it goes to a dead page, so unclear if they still have that or if it was remove. They definely don't have the cross grains symbol or put GF on any of the labeling. They have a 'free from' range of sauces, so it gets even more confusing. I've posted Meridian's reponse email which is as clear as mud.

Reply

That's quite bad, as their labels don't mention any may contain warnings for gluten. We have a few jars of their almond and cashew nut butters at home, so I will have to pass them along.

1 like
Reply

It is confusing. I think if it hasn't caused you any issues, maybe it's ok, but I did have a reaction to their tahini.

Reply

They do not appear to have considered cross contamination. On the other hand, their cleaning processes may be very robust and regularly tested to check that no gluten remains. You can get swabs to confirm absence or presence of gluten.

1 like
Reply

So, this is Meridian's reponse email today. It contradicts the previous email and is full of confusion conflicting information. They copied Coeliac UK into the email, so awaiting their update and thoughts. Email reads:

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear ********,

Thank you for your recent enquiries. Firstly I would like to apologise for the confusion in responding to you.

We are happy to offer you a full refund for your recent purchases. This will be processed soon.

I can confirm that our products are regularly tested and have always met legal requirements for a claim of gluten free (< 20 ppm). However, as the factory also occasionally packs barley malt extract we would always want to be transparent and advise this fact to those like yourself with a particular sensitivity. We do appreciate that living with a coeliac condition and other food related conditions can be extremely challenging. I can also appreciate your concern and frustrations in trying to get clarity and I’m sorry that on this occasion we haven’t helped you as well as we could have.

The ‘Gluten Free’ claim on the web site is now being removed (this may take a few days) whilst we review it, and ensure that any wording is very clear for those trying to avoid gluten.

Kind regards,

******

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

So, basically this email is totally confusing as to what is what. They say they test, but also now removing their GF assertions? They have a range of sauces labeled as 'Free From' - are they going to carry on using that labeling.

This whole GF product business just seems a bit of a joke really.

Reply

I think they're removing the gluten free label to cover themselves while they review it (if they claim it's gluten free and someone gets sick, then they are exposed to lawsuits etc). It will likely re-appear in the future.

It's not much help for those of you who are unable to tolerate 20ppm. I'll not get rid of my jars just yet, until I hear what else they say.

1 like
Reply

It does seem like an initial simple question on if something is GF has lead to quite a saga. Ye, hold on those jars for another while!

Reply

You may also like...