Kraft Good Seasons dry mixes are NOT gluten-free anymore

IMG_6115I can’t believe I’m saying this after years of exclusively using Kraft Good Seasonings dry mixes as my family’s go-to salad dressing, but I am…. Kraft Good Seasonings dry mixes are (just as of recently) NOT gluten-free anymore. Unfortunately you won’t find anything about it on the Kraft website or anywhere else online — at least that I could locate!  No wheat warnings or notices from a big company like Kraft — just a stealthy ingredient & label change. The only way I first found out is by the good word of the online gluten-free community…

I felt the need to post this because, basically, there is nothing else out there to warn people. Take me for instance: I was so ingrained in my habit of being devoted to their mixes that I never thought to continue to read their labels since their ingredients have been gluten-free for as long as I have (almost 6 years) and probably longer… Until just recently…

After hearing about this, I went to my cupboard and found 2 unused packets to check for myself. Sure enough, underneath the ingredients, it reads, “contains wheat, soy” in bold letters. It looks to me like the wheat is in the dried soy sauce they are now using because it reads, “soy sauce (wheat, soybeans, salt)”.

IMG_6117I took the time (5 minutes) to call Kraft to find out more. Unfortunately I apparently know more than their customer service reps do. I said that I had heard their dry mixes now contained wheat. She said that just this month (some people are saying Dec. 2012 but she didn’t know for sure) Kraft reformulated their ingredients and “some of the spices contain wheat.” I notified her that the package said that it’s the soy sauce that contains wheat. Next I asked which dry mixes were involved in the reformulation and she said, “As far as I know, just the Italian.” So I proceeded to tell her that I had 2 packets in my hand (Zesty Italian and Garlic & Herb) which also read, “contains wheat.”  That was news to her. So — so far there are 3 mixes affected: Italian, Zesty Italian and Garlic & Herb. I had to ask to get a case number and lodge a complaint (asking them to go back to their old ingredients) and had to give her some coding from the packets.

Here is more information, which circulated on the Celiac ListServ email network, from someone else who looked into this:

“I spoke with Kraft yesterday and they explained what happened with their Good Seasons Italian — dry packet mix. Seems like one of their major manufacturing facilities had wheat on the production line and it wasn’t cleaned. (Different explanation than the one I received) That’s why thousands of boxes had to be re-packaged and labeled “contains wheat.” The head of dietary services suggested that if calls were received that they might be able to sway the top-brass to move to a safer facility. They suggested that we call 1-800-522-0501 and get a case number and lodge a complaint. (Tip:) Many stores still have the old formulation… I went to several and bought out the stock. Check your local stores, too. PLEASE take a minute to call and strongly suggest that they change facilities and go back to keeping this product all natural and preservative free… as the original box states.”

So, please, take a few minutes and join us in calling Kraft at 1-800-522-0501. Ask for a case number and request their old formulation. Maybe there will be power in numbers on this one. Please share this notification so others aren’t inadvertently consuming gluten through these salad dressing mixes.

And last but not least, please heed this warning as proof that we all (myself included) need to continuously read and re-read packaging labels and be vigilant for things like this to happen again….even to our tried & true, favorite products. We can never be too careful.