First, please know that I am always interested in receiving free product samples to taste (or test*) and review on my blog. I love receiving free samples! Gluten free foods are traditionally very expensive, and I’d never be able to try anywhere near what I do without the generosity of numerous companies, both large and small.
However, to protect myself, there are a few things that I would like you to be aware of before you send me anything.
- Ideally, your product should be made in a dedicated and certified gluten free facility. And your certification should show you tested for less than 5ppm.
- If your facility is not dedicated, the lines that your GF products are run on should be dedicated gluten free, and the product should be certified.
- Lines aren’t dedicated either? Then I’m afraid I’m not the reviewer for you, but thank you for thinking of me!
Preferred certification organizations for the US are the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO) and the Celiac Sprue Association (CSA). If you are outside the US, please tell me who your certification organization is so that I may research them to make sure they are safe for me. (Some companies have started to use “gluten free” wheat starch, for example. Something I will never, ever eat!)
If your product contains oats, they must be certified GF/Purity Protocol. Please do not send me products with mechanically/optically separated oats. I can’t have them.
Why all this precaution? I react very quickly, and very painfully to minute amounts of gluten. If I consume a product which is not truly safe, I will have an immediate gut reaction which may last upwards of several days, followed by up to a year of intense itching and nerve pain. My nerve pain medication has been discontinued, despite it working amazingly, because the company didn’t get a big enough profit off of it. I hope you can understand why I would not wish to review products which you or I cannot confirm are safe.
Also, people who read my reviews have same, similar, or worse reactions, and I would not want to mislead them about products which are not safe.
If you are in the process of becoming certified, I will be more than happy to do an initial write-up about your product, the precautions you take, and that you are working on becoming certified (and with which organization). After your product and/or company passes the certification, I will be delighted to actually sample your products and do an actual taste-test and review! (If you never send a certified sample after I’ve done the initial promotion, I will take the promo post down. It is done with the assumption you will later send the sample.)
Note: I am all about providing an honest review. But I am not your advertising agency. There is always a risk that I will not like part or all of a product I receive to review. That said, I blind taste-test all samples with others (friends and family members are great, aren’t they?) so even if 1 person doesn’t like something, someone else usually does. I will never be hateful in a review, and I will strive to show your product in the best possible light. For example, if I don’t like the taste of your product, but the size, texture, etc, is awesome, I will be sure people are aware of that.
If you are going to get mad at me for writing an honest review, please don’t send me your samples. It would be wasting your time and my time.
Please contact me about your products and where to send them, or with any questions, at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Re: Testing products vs tasting: I also review non-food, like GF / grain free cat food, shampoo + other personal hygiene products, and so forth. Obviously I won’t be tasting them. But I still need them to be safe. Shared lines for non-food products are not safe for me. Thank you for understanding!
- I am located in the United States of America. Between my blog and my FB page, I do have followers from around the world. But please make sure your company can ship perishable products to the US before contacting me. 🙂
- For non-US companies: If you want me to review a product which is only sold in your country, and does not ship to the US (outside of sending samples to bloggers), please let me know this so that I will only gear my article to residents of the country or countries who are able to purchase/receive your product. (Of course, if it’s amazing, I’ll be sad I can’t order it! 🙂 But I’ll still review it!)