Contamination in Lentils :(

I’ll just try to stick to the facts here: I am extremely diligent about following a strict gluten-free diet. I do eat Amy’s products, and have for years.

Earlier this week, I was having a can of Amy’s Lentil soup, and something felt funny in my mouth…and it was a kernel of grain. In speaking to a colleague and looking online, I’m quite certain it is wheat or barley.

I’m extremely frustrated. I feel lousy and grumpy. I’m also upset professionally, as I’ve been recommending Amy’s for years. I also realize that there are many larger issues at play in terms of general contamination of lentils with wheat. It’s been an issue for several other companies, as one of my eagle-eyed clients discovered a few years back. Gluten-free Watchdog addressed this several times…this is unfortunately not a new problem with lentils. But it’s also not yet a resolved issue.

It’s a reminder to me of how much of a toll it can take to be strictly gluten-free. I have absolutely no problem not eating regular bread or asking questions or bringing my own foods, but not to be able to trust that items that are marked gluten-free are actually gluten-free…that’s a big stressor. Usually, soups are my go-to especially when I go on meditation retreats. The last thing I need is to feel like I need to scrutinize every single lump in my bowl.

So…check your beans, especially lentils. Support companies like Gluten-free Watchdog that keep the community safer. And keep writing and advocating as you can.

I’ve contacted Amy’s and will post their follow up here. Thus far, they’ve asked for the lot # and the grain itself. My hope here is to provide a reminder/nudge for awareness; this problem is not limited to Amy’s, and I’m certainly hopeful that this leads to better and safer practices.

About Cheryl Harris

Life played a funny trick on me. I've studied nutrition for years, and much to my surprise, found out that I could manage many of my health issues via diet. I've been GF for years, and I've got a bunch of allergies and sensitivities. But it definitely doesn't keep me from cooking, baking and enjoying my food. Thanks for stopping by.
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3 Responses to Contamination in Lentils :(

  1. Your finding with/in this product is extremely disturbing! I know some people who stopped using Amy’s products long ago because they felt they always got glutened but as you rightly say, their “gluten-free” label should mean gluten free! And you definitely should not be finding gluten grains in your lentil soup. 🙁

    Shirley

  2. Shirley, I know there have been concerns I’ve heard over the years, but I’ve never seen or heard anything specific. I am hopeful this causes them to either get their act in gear or remove the labeling.

  3. Jules says:

    I’ve been eager to see if any changes would come about after Gluten Free Watchdog raised questions about lentils, but it doesn’t seem to have had an effect in the market place. GFCO has just announced (June 1, 2018) a change in requirements for their certification of whole, intact grain, seed, bean, pulse and legume products in their dried or uncooked state, in order for them to meet their 10ppm certification requirement. I am hopeful that this will improve the testing and visual inspection of such products as lentils, and make them safer … however, there are still plenty of companies LIKE AMY’s which do not obtain such third party certification. Since those “gluten free” products are also manufactured in a shared facility, they are even more at risk for cross-contact and cross-contamination, and we have no way of knowing what their standard is for accepting whole grains, pulses, seeds, beans etc. for use in their “gluten free” line. Unfortunately, this situation merely raises more questions than answers for gluten free consumers.
    ~jules

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