counter on blogger
Saturday, October 31, 2015
Gluten-Free Globetrotter Live at the GFFAFest in Connecticut



Join me this weekend as I share my best gluten-free travel tips at the Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest in Stamford, Connecticut. My favorite part of these expos is meeting my readers, so be sure to stop by and say hello. My presentation is both Saturday and Sunday at 11:20am EST on the lecture stage. If you want to say hello, I will also be at the bloggers booth throughout the expo.

I hope to see you there!


One- and two-day tickets available! Use code “NYCCMG” for a special 15% discount!

Buy your tickets today: http://bit.ly/GFFAFest2015

Labels: , , , ,



Monday, October 26, 2015
Vote for Gluten-Free Globetrotter in the 6th Annual Gluten-Free Awards
Vote for Gluten-Free Globetrotter


I am thrilled to announce that my gluten-free travel blog, Gluten-Free Globetrotter®, has been nominated for Best Gluten-Free Blog in the 6th Annual Gluten-Free Awards. If you aren't reading Gluten-Free Globetrotter, you should be! This year, I have had some great travel experiences including trips to Colorado, Texas, Mexico, and France. I love sharing my gluten-free travel stories, my tips for how to navigate the gluten-free globe, and connecting with other gluten-free travelers. Gluten-Free Globetrotter has really become my passion project and there are big plans for 2016. I would really love your vote to help Gluten-Free Globetrotter win as best gluten-free blog.


BEST GLUTEN-FREE BLOG QUESTION #3



And don't forget to visit:
www.glutenfreeglobetrotter.com

Labels: , , ,



Thursday, October 15, 2015
Gluten-Free Oktoberfest in New York City


I am excited to announce the first annual Gluten-Free Oktoberfest in New York City on November 7, 2015. According to the GFOktoberfest website, this is "the first gluten-free event of its kind on the East Coast. GF Oktoberfest was created so that people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease could safely come together and mingle while enjoying a selection of over 45 gluten-free ciders and beers and an unlimited amount of gluten free food. To add to the fun, meet some of the cider makers and brand ambassadors! Feast on a full gluten-free Oktoberfest menu with traditionally mouthwatering sausages, meatballs, pizza, desserts, and much more."

For anyone that has attended a "regular" Oktoberfest in the past, you know your gluten-free options are almost non-existent. This event is unique is that people with celiac disease can eat and drink EVERYTHING! The beers, the ciders, the food are all gluten-free. Now is your chance to toast the season and not have to worry that you cannot eat anything because you can.

There will be two sessions to allow for the most attendees possible. Early bird tickets are only $45 for the first 50 tickets and $55 after the early bird special is over. This is a 21 and over event and tickets will NOT be sold at the door. Buy your tickets today! 

Bring your friends, meet new friends in our NYC Celiac Meetup group, and celebrate the Oktoberfest season at GFOktoberfest this November!

To learn more, visit http://www.gfoktoberfest.com/.




Labels: , , , , ,



Tuesday, October 13, 2015
GlutenFreelancer: One Year Later

A year ago today, I officially became my own boss. I had quietly started a consulting company earlier in 2014, but on October 13th I was on my own. I officially launched GlutenFreelancer.com as a way to connect brands with the gluten-free community. I wanted to teach restaurants and chefs that there was more to "gluten-free" than slapping a GF on the menu. I wanted to make sure gluten-free producers were doing things correctly and taking our community seriously. I was finally able to put my years of gluten-free and celiac advocacy to good business use through social media, public relations, event planning, and writing.

I can't believe it has been a whole year already!

I quit my day job in education software to make my dream a reality. I always wanted to have some kind of gluten-free business. People often suggested writing a cookbook or opening a bakery. Since I don't write recipes or ever bake from scratch, this just didn't make sense. I knew I was a strong project manager from my years in publishing and software. I was always interested in the dynamics of the social media world. I also had more than 30 years worth of personally living gluten-free with celiac disease so I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly in the gluten-free product world. I wanted to transfer my knowledge and experience for others.

Over the past year, I have learned more than in the previous 3 or 4 years about running a business, being my own boss, and time management. I have helped restaurants in New York City open their doors and grow on social media from the ground up. I have written articles for national gluten-free magazines and international travel websites. I have been interviewed for major news outlets such as Epoch Times and Korean Broadcast System. I have also networked and connected with people across the globe, which is one of my favorite parts of the job.

I continue to add to my client list each month and I am excited to see what the next year brings. If you are a small business, chef, or restaurant that is looking to connect with the gluten-free community, contact me! I would be happy to give you a complimentary consultation to see how we can work together. Just mention this post. Email me at theglutenfreelancer@gmail.com and visit me at www.glutenfreelancer.com.


Thank you to my family and friends
who continue to be my biggest supporters! 


Labels: , , , , ,



Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Cheerios Recall and 10 Reasons I Am Mad at General Mills


Yesterday General Mills recalled 1.8 million boxes of Cheerios due to undeclared wheat. According to General Mills, "In an isolated incident involving purely human error, wheat flour was inadvertently introduced into our gluten-free oat flour system at Lodi." You can read the entire Class I product recall press release here. 
According to the FDA website, a Class I recall is "Dangerous or defective products that predictably could cause serious health problems or death. Examples include: food found to contain botulinum toxin, food with undeclared allergens, a label mix-up on a lifesaving drug, or a defective artificial heart valve."
I am livid by this whole situation. First and foremost, General Mills put wheat flour into a product that was supposed to be gluten-free. Period. WHEAT IS NOT GLUTEN-FREE. This is gluten and celiac disease 101. How did "human error" allow for enough wheat flour to be introduced into the production process to affect 1.8 million boxes of Cheerios? Did not one single person notice trucks with wheat entering the facility??

I have SO much to say about this topic and honestly am so angry by the whole thing. If you follow me on Twitter, you will see I have not kept quite about this nor will I. This is very serious. If 1% of the population has celiac disease and 1.8  million boxes have been recalled, this means that 18,000 people with celiac disease could have been affected by this recall. Add on top of that people with wheat allergies, non-celiac sensitivities, and anaphylaxis reactions to wheat and the numbers of the potentially affected could continue to grow to tens of thousands.


Here are my Top 10 Reasons I Am Livid at General Mills


All screenshots below either come from the General Mills blog, the Cheerios Facebook page, or the press release.  My apologies to Mr. Kevin Hunt who unfortunately is the spokesperson in this mess. Don't shoot the messenger! 

  1. General Mills has divided the celiac community. Our celiac disease community is small compared to other health communities, but we have strong voices. When something like this happens, the opinions and nasty comments start flying. Our community becomes an "Us" vs "Them" society. There are those of us who were upset about the gluten-free Cheerios to begin with and those who became "Cheerios Cheerleaders." My first blog post ignited some VERY strong emails and comments. I was practically in tears with some of the emails people were writing me telling me off for talking poorly about their beloved Cheerios. I was reporting facts based on my phone call yet people didn't want to hear the truth. I then saw other celiac bloggers start to publicly bash one another on Twitter and Facebook. These are people that I respect(ed) blatantly hurting other celiacs with nasty words and accusatory statements. During a time where we should be banding together to help each other, General Mills hurt our community more than just with wheat. GM divided us when we need to be united.

  2. Testing for gluten is obviously not being done properly or at all. When I spoke to the GM PR/marketing team on September 15th, they told me that gluten-free Cheerios were tested "multiple times" throughout the production process including at the end of the process. How did 1.8 million boxes leave the GM facility without testing? If the wheat flour was introduced at the beginning of the production cycle, how did these boxes make it all the way to the end without ever being tested? The GM PR team admits the finished 1.8 million boxes were not tested.
  3. This is not an isolated incident. This Cheerios recall is a NATIONAL RECALL. The Cheerios in question were produced in Lodi, California but distributed nationwide. There is a lot of misinformation out there in the gluten-free social media world saying this is only a recall for Cheerios sold in California. This is not true. The recalled Cheerios products were shipped across the country!

  4. People have reported having gluten reactions to Cheerios, yet GM denied this claim. During my 9/15 call when I asked about the reports of people having a gluten reaction to Cheerios, the PR team told me that people were either reacting to the increased fiber in their diet or the oats themselves. Yesterday's recall explicitly reported that wheat was present in 1.8 million boxes of Cheerios. Yet, General Mills continues to use oat intolerance or other dietary restrictions as an excuse as to why people are getting sick despite admitting to wheat present in their product.

  5. General Mills had a very slow response time to reports of illness. While I understand that on Sunday, testing confirmed the presence of gluten and the recall was issued within 24 hours. What I don't understand is that people have been reporting a gluten-type response to Cheerios for about a month now and General Mills only addressed those concerns this week. What took so long?

  6. General Mills is embarrassed. Shitting your pants is more embarrassing. During one of my absolute worst glutening episodes about 7 years ago, I was so sick that I was vomiting and having diarrhea at the same time. I was so violently ill that I had to crawl to the bathroom and during that crawl, my body was rejecting the gluten from every single orifice possible. Here I was a grown woman writhing in pain on the floor and not even able to make it to the toilet. I was that sick and it was awful. Now imagine 1.8 million people with celiac disease having a similar reaction or even worse. It is beyond embarrassing, it is downright mortifying. Don't tell me you are embarrassed Mr. Jim Murphy until you have crawled a mile in my glutened shoes.

  7. General Mills violated the trust of the celiac community. Read any of the Cheerios responses on their Facebook page. They know they lost the trust of many thousands of people with celiac disease. They admit this over and over again. I believe they have lost a LOT of customers due to this recall.





  8. How did General Mills clean up after this mistake? I posted this to the Cheerios blog but my question hasn't been answered yet. If GM had enough wheat flour to affect 1.8 million boxes of cereal, how did they clean the facility to ensure this would not happen again? I want to know how Cheerios and General Mills were able to clean away the wheat flour in their facility.

  9. What happened to the gluten-free trucks? During my call on 9/15, I was told that General Mills used dedicated gluten-free rail cars or trucks to transport the oat flour and the product. According to this press release, the rail cars at the Lodi facility were unavailable and flour was being off-loaded into trucks. Would use of the dedicated gluten-free trucks have avoided this recall? We may never know!




  10. Cheerios made people sick. End of story. Celiac Disease is not a joke and autoimmune reactions to gluten can be severe. It is inexcusable that so many people have reported illness due to eating Cheerios. Whether General Mills did a recall or not, they need to take ALL reports of reaction very seriously and not just from the batches of contaminated product made in Lodi.

***

If you got sick from eating Cheerios, YOU MUST contact General Mills and the FDA. Here is how:

Contact General Mills by website, email, phone, fax, or letter. I encourage you calling them directly. Whichever method you use, the box information is critical to your complaint. Do not throw away your box! Keep everything and read them everything they ask for during your complaint. 


Contact the FDA by phone or website. This information comes directly from the Gluten-Free Watchdog website: 
If you believe you became ill after eating Cheerios, FDA is asking that you contact FDA’s MEDWATCH, the Adverse Event Reporting System. You can do this online https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/index.cfm?action=reporting.homeor via phone (800) 332-1088. Choose option #4 to speak to a representative.

Labels: , , , , ,



© 2007, © 2013 Gluten-Free Fun
footer