When “FDA Compliance” Is Not Enough

A little over two weeks ago I purchased two “fun size” ice creams. Edy’s Lite Slow Churned Mint Chocolate Chip. I’d never had the Slow Churned or the Lite – the only reason I got them is because my preferred choice, Edy’s Grand Mint Chocolate Chip was too large to currently fit in our freezer. Edy’s website states that these small ones are also Gluten Free, and Edy’s had never made me sick before.

Within an hour of eating the first one, however, I was violently ill. Unfortunately, I took it as a fluke, perhaps something else, maybe I was catching something . . . Edy’s never made me sick, it couldn’t be the ice cream! (Lesson: Always trust your gut!)

So the next day, I ate the other one. Exact same reaction within the hour. And now? Still sick, though not as violently or as often, but dairy is a definite “NO!” right now, and the delightful skin reaction which crops up after consuming gluten? Yeah, I’ve got that too, up and down my fingers and in between, which is my usual reaction spot. My hands were so nicely healed too, so that is highly disappointing, perhaps even more than the stomach/intestinal pains from my accidental gluten poisoning.

I e-mailed Edy’s and asked if there was any chance of cross contamination, maybe the batch needed to be recalled? I received an apology and a note that to best serve me, I needed to call them, which I really didn’t want to do. If nothing else, I like to have all my gluten/gluten free research done in e-mail or regular mail so that I have a paper trail of everything!

Due to my work schedule, it was several days before I could call. I got a very nice lady who was very patient and thorough with her questions, although many were annoyingly redundant and some totally pointless or impossible.

End result? I’m getting $20 in the mail, which way over compensates for the price of the 2 ice creams, doesn’t compensate at all for the pains or having to go to work in a fog, unknowing when the next burst of sick will happen, making my anxiety levels go, which as anyone who has gone through this knows, through the roof.

My options were: A check in the mail, coupons for ice cream, or to file a claim, which quite honestly, I didn’t have the energy for, and I’m in no way interested in consuming Edy’s in the near future, if ever.

And why the subject of my post, you may ask? Because I learned this interesting little tid bit: Edy’s is PRODUCED ON SHARED LINES, and you better believe they have ice creams with gluten in them!

The woman on the phone said they clean the lines in between, but we all know this isn’t foolproof. I suggested it would be nice if they could include that sort of information on their labels (you know, made in a facility shared with wheat, etc, etc).

Her response? “We are in compliance with the FDA. We feel that putting that sort of extra information on a product is over-labelling.” Really, lady? Seriously?

And despite the shared lines info? She told me there was absolutely no way that there could be gluten in the product. I beg to differ.

I informed her that for those of us who are extra sensitive, it’s extremely important to know about shared lines up front, and that it would be unlikely if I ever bought their ice cream again, which makes me sad – they make some of the best mint chocolate chip ice cream there is, and it was a treat I thought I didn’t need to give up, but clearly, that’s not the case. Goodbye, Edy’s.

FDA rules for gluten / gluten free have got to change – for the better.

Please note that I only called in about the ice cream. I did not ask if their fruit bar popsicles are also made on these same and/or shared lines with other products. I highly advise finding this out, before you consume any, but I think I’ll be making my own at home.

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