Trader Joes – The Allergen friendly place to shop (Gluten-free people, this means you!)

Trader Joe’s – never have I found a single grocery store that does so much for the allergen-challenged population. This all started with wanting to blog on the virtues of their Gluten-Free Pancake Mix but turned into so much more. The post for their pancake mix is here BTW.

I began researching the link to their mix on the site and found more than I had planned. Trader Joe’s actually published in entirety all of their gluten free products in a pdf attached here. (Trader Joe’s Gluten Free List). For an updated version, click here, and go to the bottom of the page and download the latest pdf.

This is what Trader Joe’s has to say about allergens and their products:

“What are the Allergen Labeling Standards for Trader Joe’s Private Label Products?

As with all health and safety related issues, we take food allergy concerns very seriously. We strive to ensure that all of our Trader Joe’s brand products are labeled with reliable, accurate, and easy to read ingredient statements.

Trader Joe’s strictly adheres to all Federal labeling guidelines. You can be assured that if any of the top eight allergens (milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat and soy) are present in our private label products, they will be clearly labeled in familiar terms in our ingredient statements [e.g. casein (milk)]. You can also be certain that if “natural flavors” or “spices” contain any components that are allergens or are derived from allergens, they will be listed separately within the ingredient statement.

At our customers’ request, we are including a “Contains” statement on most of our labels. This statement is an at-a-glance tool where Top 8 allergens present in the ingredients are clearly identified. What this statement doesn’t include (there is only so much room on the label) is that all Trader Joe’s private label suppliers follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP’s). We work closely with all of the companies that manufacture our products and require that they are vigilant about minimizing and monitoring any potential cross contamination risk. Some of the steps taken to prevent cross contamination include education and training of employees about allergens, careful labeling and segregation of allergen ingredients, cleaning of lines between production runs and stringent scheduling of product runs. Manufacturers may even use alternate days to process products that contain allergens from those products that do not.

We provide you with all of this information so you can feel confident that you are making informed buying decisions. We want you to feel safe, comfortable and thrilled by with the food choices you are making.”-From Trader Joe’s website.

Trader Joe’s does a lot for educating people about nutrition. There Products & Guides page outlines important information about nutritional facts and definitions, how to read a nutritional facts panel,  and fats (good and bad) just to name a few. Also on this page at the bottom is a series of links for vegans, vegetarians, people watching their fat intake, people watching their sodium, and more.

Name one other chain grocery store that is doing nearly as much for their shoppers? Don’t forget their considerably lower costs for gluten-free, vegan, organic, and free range products too! I am totally a fan!


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