Monday, November 12, 2012

Buyer Beware:Bulk Bin Shopping

photo by Brooklynn

You know I love talking about food shopping and sharing my tips on how I go about stocking up on gluten free foods for my pantry. One of my favorite ways to score some great deals is the bulk bin aisle at my local grocer. Buyer beware! The bulk bin aisle is also a place you can buy food that is normally gluten free that can easily be cross contaminated.
In the top picture do you see the bins on the bottom? They have little plastic scoops you stick inside the bins to scoop up the dry good from the bin and place into a bag for purchase. The top and middle bins have a lever you pull down on and dispense the dry goods directly into the bag; no scoop required.
photo by Brooklynn

Now at this particular store I was alarmed to see a bottom row bin of certified gluten free Bob's Red Mill flour right next to a bin of spelt flour! Now spelt flour is not gluten free. It would be easy for someone to use the scoop from the gluten bin to scoop up spelt flour and vise versa or a kid could start playing in the bins with different scoops and also cause cross contamination. As you see it is an easy and dubious way for cross contamination to happen though unintentionally. I only buy gluten free products like seeds, nuts, legumes, and rice from bins with the lever release feature. That way I know there is no chance of cross contamination. I also inspect the product once I put it into the plastic bag to makes sure there is no suspicious looking grains that could be gluten containing in with what I am purchasing.

Stay strong & carry on!


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