Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Spelt Bread Recall: Not Gluten Free, Celiac Disease Danger

In a nutshell: Spelt, a wheat hybrid, is being recalled and will no longer be manufactured according to the company per a phone call to obtain information. The packaging says “alternative to wheat” which could be misleading and harmful to people allergic to wheat. 

March 18, 2008–Food For Life Baking Company of Corona, Calif., is voluntarily recalling 2,241 cases of Spelt Bread (UPC# 07347200168) because they contain spelt grain which is known to be a hybrid of wheat.

People who have allergies to wheat or those with Celiac disease may run the risk of a serious or life threatening allergic reaction if they consume spelt products.

The recalled products were sold nationwide through health food distributors and natural food retailers.

Food For Life Spelt Bread is sold frozen in a 24 oz. (680g) light blue package and bears either of the two following descriptions

Food For LIfe, Wheat Alternative Spelt Bread
Food For Life, Fruit Juice Sweetened Spelt Bread
Affected lot numbers are: H1847, H2042, H2136, H2435, H2872, H2974, H3224, H3460, I0485.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

The recall was initiated as a precautionary measure following an FDA investigation concluding that the product contained undeclared wheat. (That would be interesting to find out how or why they decided to investigate? Does anyone know more?)

This recall is being made with the knowledge and in cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration.

Consumers who have purchased any of these products are urged to return them unopened to the place of purchase for a refund.

Consumers with questions may contact us toll free at: (800) 797-5090.

A call to the company revealed that yes, spelt does indeed have wheat in it. When asked why the bread was labeled as “wheat alternative”, the answer was that spelt is an alternative to wheat but is still wheat.  It’s convoluted. I couldn’t find the label with the ingredients to know if “wheat” was actually listed. People with gluten allergies or Celiac disease are probably more adept at reading labels than the average shopper.

I have seen this brand of spelt bread in my grocer’s frozen bread section for $4.99/loaf.


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