Presidents Report for November 2015

By Irene Thompson Wiseman, Kelowna President

Photo Credit: Cyrus II via Compfight ccHere I sit watching the rain falling softly outside my window. It feels like fall is just around the corner, of course the best part of this time of year is all the wonderful colours of the foliage on the trees. Mother Nature sure has been busy painting all these lovely colours for us to enjoy. We are still enjoying all the fruits of Clarence’s labours all summer in the garden. The only item that did not come from the garden for last night’s supper was the Salmon.

I want to tell you a bit about the conference that Kamloops put on. They did a great job of getting very interesting speakers that were down to earth and spoke on issues that were important to all that attended. The first speaker Dr. Justine Dowd, PhD talks about successful Strategies for Living Gluten Free. Dr. Dowd suggested behaviour changes:

  1. Self monitor
  2. Set goals
  3. Develop coping strategies
  4. Create an action plan
  5. Follow up

She also said that you need to set goals that follow S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, Measurable, Action oriented, Realistic, and Time Frame. If you decide you want to exercise more or lose weight you need to set goals that will help you achieve these goals.

Dr. Kraig Montalbetti Family Physician gave us some insight into just what a family physician goes through in a day as a family physician. This was a real eye opener for most of us I am sure. They spend long hours starting with hospital rounds early in the morning and then it is off to the office to deal with many issues while trying to balance work and family responsibility. Dr. Kraig made the talk fun and very interesting.

Dr. Richard Lewis Dermatologist gave a presentation about D. H. and shingles and how they both present. He also stressed the important of getting the shingles vaccination. He also talked about cold sores and the fact that these are all related. It surprised me to hear that you can get cold sores in many places including on your bum. (Who would have guessed?)
Dr. Ali Kohansal Gastroenterologist talked about celiac disease from that point of view.

Jin Motokado, Pharmacist, gave a very interesting and informative presentation from the point of view of filling prescriptions. He stressed that it is always best to make sure you give the pharmacist lots of time to fill your needs and if you have any questions time to research the answers. One tip was to make sure that the tray that they use to measure out the pills has been cleaned each time. The other thing is if you see starch on the ingredient list ask what the starch is as it could be wheat. Very interesting talk.

Selina De. Vries Registered Dietician talked about the importance of eating out and making sure all your food is safe. Always read labels as well when shopping for gluten-free items.
Sarina Bruno a young member of the Kamloops Chapter gave a great presentation about growing up celiac since the age of two. It was interesting to hear just how hard it can be for a younger celiac.

I know that you are all going to enjoy the Christmas pot luck. I will not be there in person but will be there in spirit I wish each of you a Merry Christmas and all the best in 2016.

Spice Sanctuary Asafoetida (Hing) Recalled Due To Gluten

Courtesy CFIA

Food Recall Warning (Allergen) – Spice Sanctuary brand Asafoetida (Hing) – Gluten & Grain Free recalled due to presence of gluten

hingRecall date: October 27, 2015
Reason for recall: Allergen – Gluten
Company / Firm: Spice Sanctuary Inc.
Distribution: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Yukon
Extent of the distribution: Retail
Reference number: 10141

Recalled products

Brand Name Common Name Size Code(s) on Product UPC
Spice Sanctuary Asafoetida (Hing) – Gluten & Grain Free 25 g Lot 53265 X000RXKLS7 571001 or 8 95344 00000 3

Gluten-Free Cookbook Signing

If you are looking for a gift for the gluten-free in your life, this might just be the thing.  Theresa Nicassio PhD, author of the cookbook YUM – plant-based recipes for a gluten-free diet, will be signing books in Kelowna and Merritt next week. See the dates and times below:

YUM Gluten-free cookbook
October 20th

Brambles Bakery & Café
11am – 2pm
2151 Quilchena Ave. Merritt BC

Chapters – Kelowna
Orchard Park, 2271 Harvey Avenue Kelowna, BC

October 23rd

Mosaic Books – Kelowna
Noon – 3pm
411 Bernard Ave, Kelowna, BC

For more info visit:

US Cherrios Recalled Due to Undeclared Wheat

General Mills Press Release

cherriosGeneral Mills is voluntarily recalling several days of production of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios cereal produced at its Lodi, California facility on certain dates in July of this year because of an undeclared allergen – wheat – with potential adverse health effects. Because this recall relates to an undeclared allergen, this is a Class I product recall.

Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios produced on these dates at the company’s Lodi, California facility are being recalled because an isolated incident resulted in wheat flour being inadvertently introduced into the gluten free oat flour system at its Lodi facility. As a result, the products may contain an undeclared allergen – wheat – in products labeled as gluten-free.

General Mills will recall and retrieve affected cereals produced on those dates from customer warehouses and store shelves. Consumers with wheat allergies, celiac disease or gluten intolerance should not consume products bearing the affected code dates and should contact General Mills for a replacement or full refund.

This voluntary recall includes four days production of original (yellow box) Cheerios, and thirteen days of production of Honey Nut Cheerios at its Lodi, California facility with the following “BETTER IF USED BY” code dates and the plant code LD which indicates the product was produced at Lodi, California:


Products containing wheat can cause illness or severe reactions for individuals with wheat allergies or celiac disease. Products containing wheat can also cause illness or discomfort for individuals with gluten intolerance.

General Mills is transitioning five varieties of Cheerios to gluten free. Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios cereals produced at General Mills’ other facilities, or on dates other than those noted at the Lodi, California facility, are not impacted. General Mills’ other gluten-free Cheerios varieties – including Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios and MultiGrain Cheerios – are not impacted and are not being recalled. No other General Mills cereals are affected.

Consumers requesting refunds or calling with further questions should contact General Mills Consumer Services at 1-800-775-8370.

Customer Service Lines Provide Inconsistent Info to Celiacs

By Sue Newell
Canadian Celiac Association

Many people tell me that even though the ingredient list seems safe, they call the company anyway. Sometimes they ask if the product is produced on dedicated lines, sometimes they ask if there is gluten in the product or in the plant.

They get a variety of answers; the most common seems to be “we don’t add gluten but cannot guarantee what our suppliers do”, and this is frequently interpreted as “there is gluten in that product”, which isn’t what it means at all.

PC Sprinkle Party Cake In the most interesting cases you get a completely wrong answer. Annie of Ottawa shared her experience on Facebook. She called President’s Choice about PC Sprinkle Party Cake Ice Cream and was told that there were pieces of cake in the ice cream. She was puzzled about the answer because the ingredient list did not contain any of the ingredients needed for cake (eggs and flour at a minimum). She called back later to get another service agent and got the same answer – there are pieces of pound cake in the ice cream.

Either this was a monumental labeling failure with a missing priority allergens (egg) as well as gluten sources OR the customer service message was completely wrong. Annie contacted the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and asked for an investigation.

After a few days, CFIA let her know that there were NO traces of gluten in the product. It turns out that the formula for this product just changed. Customer service had the old message, not the new one. Equally important, they had no idea that there was a change in the product.

Unfortunately, we have few ways of knowing whether the answers we get from a customer service agent are correct or not. I suspect that the intent of many of the messages to get us to hang up and not eat the product, so as to not cost the company any more money. Large companies have departments responsible for making sure their products met various government regulations, but updating customer service is usually not part of their responsibility. When that falls on a busy product manager, it isn’t always a high priority.

cfia logoThe idea of “we cannot guarantee that our incoming ingredients are not contaminated” is really a “duh” statement. The key word in the sentence is “guarantee”. The idea many gluten-free consumers take away is “it is contaminated”. Unfortunately, they then tend to share the information with others, continuing to spread the inaccurate conclusions.

If a company is able to make a gluten-free claim, it will be on the package. Expecting a customer service agent to go off-script and make a claim with legal ramifications is not realistic and it isn’t really a good use of your time or the company’s time.

Maybe it is time to either trust ingredient lists or to give up on processed food. It will definitely reduce your stress levels.

Free Seminar: Top Foods To Include on the Gluten Free Topic

gluten free pop-up in Kelowna

Join Selena Devries, RD October 3rd at Choices Market in Kelowna for a free seminar “Top foods to include in a  gluten free diet.”  The event runs 11 – 1 pm with Selena speaking at 12.