I went to the grocery store yesterday looking for pine nuts. I needed them for a salad recipe I'm going to make this week. (Recipe to follow.) Well, I found the pine nuts in the baking aisle where they keep all the bagged nuts, and for some unknown reason, I looked at the back of the bag. That's when I saw this disclaimer: "Processed on the same equipment that processes tree nuts, something else, something else, and WHEAT."
Uhm, excuse me? The big didn't say it was made in a facility that also produces wheat products, which can sometimes be okay. (That's what all Amy's soup products say, even the ones that are still labeled as gluten-free.) It said it was processed on the exact same equipment as wheat products. So that means that the bag of seemingly innocent pine nuts was NOT gluten-free. I don't know if the manufacturer cleans its equipment in between batches or how well the stuff gets cleaned. The fact that the company needed to tell me about this allergy issue sends a signal to me that it probably doesn't clean in between batches. That irked me a little.
I did find a jar of pine nuts with no allergy disclaimer. However, the little jar of nuts was almost $8 compared to $3.49 for twice the amount in the contaminated bag. So we just won't be having pine nuts on our salad.
However, now I'm going to have to check EVERY bag of nuts that we purchase. Do the pecans I use for our Praline Chicken recipe have a similar disclaimer? Now I'm going to have to check.
A lot of people think that being gluten-free and having Celiac Disease means you just can't eat bread, pasta, pizza, and beer. But there are a lot of foods out there that we have to check because you never know how they process something or where they process something. You never know what random ingredient a manufacturer might have added to that can of diced tomatoes or the package of pepperoni. I have to read everything I purchase just to make sure, and if something doesn't seem right, or if it doesn't say "gluten-free" right on the label, I just don't buy it. It's not worth the risk.