Nuts - am I going nuts?: Soooo, again... - Gluten Free Guerr...

Gluten Free Guerrillas

10,085 members4,156 posts

Nuts - am I going nuts?

Benjamin123 profile image

Soooo, again, think I got glutened whilst taking all precautions. This time nuts.

Tesco, roast pistachios, 35gms. No 'may contain', and no additives or flavourings.

Anyone else had this experience with nuts that are not the salted/flavoured ones, but usual standard nuts?

I'm going to go through the usual 'faff' process tomorrow of contacting their customer care to be told the following script:

Them: Let me check, no there's no gluten containing ingredients

Me: That means nothing. Any contamination risk in production?

Them: There's no gluten containing ingredients?

Me: Again, that means nothing. Can you actually find out for me if there is gluten on the production line.

Them: I'll email 'technical' and may be few days before they come back

Few days later, Them: Technical said there is gluten onsite but they take all precautions.

Me: Is there gluten on the same production line.

Them: *Silence*

27 Replies

Hi Benjamin. I have this issue with salted cashews. Not so much that I've been glutened from them but that some brands and supermarket's own, and Holland & Barrett, all have the may contain or made in a factory which may have gluten. Yet Tesco and Waitrose own don't have any warnings. To be fair I've been fine with both brands and I won't take a chance with others of course. But it does make me wonder a) why something as simple and naturally gf as nuts can't be manufactured gf and b) why some brands seem OK by label and others don't. I've just trusted Tesco and Waitrose on their labelling and with this product I've been OK. But not on other occasions with other products that appear gf with no cross contamination possibilities.

Hi Sapphire10, thank you for that. I've checked on Tesco site and one of their 300gm bags of roasted pistachios has a 'may contain' for gluten, but all their other pisctachios in the 300gm bags don't carry a 'may contain' but all produced in same country, but no indication if same factory. Very very confusing. None of the little containers of nuts, like the one I posted, have a may contain, but I've found an american gluten website that recommends avoiding all shelled raw nuts as big risk for gluten contamination, and only go for ones with GF labelling. It's madness. Utter madness. I've got Tesco on the case now, but I have no expectation of truth here.

It is very likely from the same supplier. The problem may be that there is not enough room on the label. I know, ridiculous, but 'may contain' is not required for legal labelling at the moment. So, if label space is tight, it is one item that can be left off. Not much help for the likes of us.

Starjump profile image
Starjump in reply to BabsyWabsy

That’s interesting. So “may contain” is not a legal requirement? With allergies, there to seem to strict laws. Maybe coeliac is not treated as seriously as an allergy?

BabsyWabsy profile image
BabsyWabsy in reply to Starjump

Allergy labelling is currently being revised and is becoming more stringent following the death of a young woman after eating a Pret sandwich with undeclared sesame seeds. I think it is called 'Natasha's Law'.

Starjump profile image
Starjump in reply to BabsyWabsy

Yes, which is good news. But labelling does not seem to be as stringent when it comes to potential traces of gluten

BabsyWabsy profile image
BabsyWabsy in reply to Starjump

It may improve as allergy laws as become stricter. But 'alibi' labelling is sometimes a get out clause for some companies. i.e., don't complain Miss Customer, we told you it might be there. This happens even if their systems and processes are excellent. I think it is the insidious creep of litigiousness as in US...

As Starjump says, this may not include improved gluten standards. Good example is products that have 'may contain' tends to be only for the big anaphylaxis allergens like sesame and nuts. They have gluten onsite also, but don't include that, as nobody dies on the spot from eating gluten. Standards only improve when they get sued and unfortunately no one is brave enough yet to sue for gluten contamination and this is probably because our coeliac society in UK is also meh about it all.

Gluten is one of the major 14 allergens in UK, often under the general banner of 'cereals'. As such, it must be listed if present. An exception is where Codex wheat starch is used because this is deemed to be 'gluten free' at no more than 20 ppm of gluten (on average. As someone with a wheat allergy, this is not helpful and I have fallen foul of it. It was a product from a fairly small company who found on investigation that a flavouring they were using in some products contained Codex wheat starch, which legally does not have to be labelled. They were horrified that it had made me ill. They took a pragmatic approach and it is now labelled on their products. US has a much shorter allergen list than UK with only 8 listed.

Oh dear! It is awful when you are being so careful and then something gets you like that.It will be interesting to hear what answer you get.I rarely buy roasted nuts, but it is something I would accept if I am out - so something else to avoid!

You just wonder what the hell is going on in the factories! I'm assuming they are roasted in some sort of high-heat conveyor belt or machine. They clearly have a lot of gluten wafting about.

A factory packing dry products will most probably have a system of dry cleaning the lines belts etc. which can leave residues in hidden corners of the production line. If they are not actively producing registered gluten free products, they will have no protocol to prevent cross contamination because they don't need one.

Feel better soon, lol to going nuts 😂 .

Do you regularly eat pistachios with no ill effects?

Personally I can’t eat pistachios, they’re very high FODMAP (GOS and FRUCTANS) comparable to wholemeal wheat according to Monash Uni app. for the low Fodmap diet. Cause a flare in ibs symptoms.

Pistachios may also be a high in histamine nut or histamine liberator - though I can’t confirm this one but nuts in general are considered risky regards histamine sensitivity.

It can be frustrating in the least when your doing everything right with your diet!! Many times feel going nuts lol.

No, seldom if ever eat nuts. Due to high diligence approach (and still getting caught out) I tend to opt only for the nuts in shells that are in shops around Halloween and Christmas. I should have trusted my instincts, and this is always where I get caught out. I'm ok with fodmaps, and not so sure about histamine as haven't gone down that route, but I do know the distinct 'got glutened' indicators that differ from other food issues, and this was certainly, by my estimations, a glutening. Grrrrrr.

bookish profile image
bookish in reply to Researchfan

Interesting, thanks. I understood pistachios were ok histamine -wise, in moderation anyway, along with macadamia which were the first ones I reintroduced. I also eat a few almonds and brazil without difficulty but have to be very sparing with the walnuts. I haven't tried pistachio due to the FODMAP issue. Histamine more of a problem for me than FODMAP though. So much to think about. Cheers

Oh no not again. That’s dreadful. I haven’t had a problem with raw nuts so far, but now I’ll be adding them to my ‘be cautious’ list which is very very long. Hope you feel better soon.

Benjamin123 profile image
Benjamin123 in reply to MTCee

Me MeTeeCee, what brand of nuts do you go for? I was always naturally wary of nuts, but now more so. I think to have at least one 'safe brand' would be great.

MTCee profile image
MTCee in reply to Benjamin123

I buy Morrison’s own or Asda’s own. But I don’t eat pistachios much. Usually it’s almonds, walnuts or cashews.

Benjamin123 profile image
Benjamin123 in reply to MTCee

Ok, cool, thank you for that. I've got a Morrisons near where I live, and an Asda close at hand also. I just wish we could just have the basics of clear and transparent labelling. There is not logic in the world as to why they can't just clearly label if there is gluten on production line, or in the factory. I fail to understand this lottery we are supposed to play. Makes no sense.

MTCee profile image
MTCee in reply to Benjamin123

Maybe you should avoid anything that’s been on any kind of production line. Roasted nuts are riskier than raw nuts because there’s a possibility they are roasted using equipment that has had gluten containing ingredients on.

Hi I’ve never had a problem with them and I’m sensitive, Tesco are relatively good in their processes and warnings

Hi essexgirl, many thanks for updating on that. Do you just stick to the raw nuts, or can you also have the roasted ones and or their salted varieties?

I mostly eat salted cashew nuts but always go for the Tesco’s ones , never have May contain so all KP nuts are out of the picture

At least KP do label, which is helpful

BabsyWabsy profile image
BabsyWabsy in reply to essexgirl

I'm OK, with Tesco own brand salted roasted cashews.

Hi Benjamin123,I’m really sorry you got glutened and how very frustrating it is. Food companies are pretty clueless with regards to it being on site, cross contamination. (Although, Mark’s and Spencer’s do pretty do good labelling, in my opinion. Such as state if processed in a factory).

Wishing you well soon.

I have experienced problems with nuts too. Companies that don’t have any ‘may contain’ on their labels, yet, when I’ve consumed them, I get ill. The safest way to be sure of staying safe is to buy nuts you need to shell yourself, anything else, it seems to be pot-luck, unless a company categorically state they are gluten free.

You may also like...