Friday, February 13, 2009

Grocery Review: Cary Trader Joe's - Part 1

I love the funky feel of Trader Joe’s in Cary at 1393 Kildaire Farm Road.  I also love the prices—some pretty great deals throughout the store!  They have an extensive list of “No Gluten Ingredients Used” (it is seven pages long). The list is available online at or you can ask for one at the store.

You will find this information at the top of the list:

"Our dedication to you as a valued Trader Joe’s customer is to provide you with helpful information to make informed buying decisions because we know that you have specific dietary concerns. We have made every effort to be accurate and cannot be held responsible for individual reactions to any product (Private Label or Branded). Please use this guide at your own risk. Unless a brand name is specified, it is Trader Joe’s Private Label.

Please Note - this guide is a sampling of many of the products we carry in which No Gluten Ingredients are used, but it is not a comprehensive list. We do our best to keep the information as up to date and as accurate as possible, but we do introduce and discontinue products all the time, and some products may be available based on season or region, so keep your eyes open and always read product labels. To contact us with product inquiries visit the Trader Joe’s website at

A set of universal dietary guidelines for Celiac Disease does not exist. The Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) uses criteria based on the latest scientific research and advice from its’ Medical Board of Advisors. For information about Celiac Disease please contact the Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) at (818) 990-2354, via email at or on the web at

  • Our suppliers follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP’s) to segregate ingredients on shared equipment and/or in the facility.
  • Always read the label - ingredients and suppliers may change.
  • Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye and their derivatives such as malt or spelt.
  • As a general rule of thumb, dairy, juice, meat and produce do not contain gluten or any gluten derivatives.
  • Under Trader Joe’s Brands, ingredients listed as “natural flavors” or “spices” do not contain gluten or gluten derivatives.
  • Use common sense and remember the motto: When in doubt, leave it out.

I like the last bullet point: “When in doubt, leave it out.” 
I think that will replace my regular response to my daughter: “I’m just not 100% sure about this…”  

Today, I just ran in to get some supplies for our Valentine’s Day Dinner and dessert.  I do want to point out that the Flourless Chocolate Cake which appears on the No Gluten Ingredients Used list has the following note on the package:

"Made on equipment shared with wheat and tree nuts." 

I didn’t notice this until I got home and am wondering about the rest of the items on the list.  I will go back on a fact-finding mission to report on the rest of the items.


Happy Gluten Free Valentine’s Day to everyone!

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