Thursday, April 29, 2010

Senator Parker Proclaims May as Celiac Disease Awareness Month in NY!

Senator Parker Proclaims May as Celiac Disease Awareness Month
By Created 04/28/2010 -
Published on New York State Senate ( )

Senator Kevin Parker [1] (D-Brooklyn) honored groups and individuals dedicated to increasing awareness of Celiac Disease, an inherited, autoimmune disease that hinders the body’s ability to absorb nutrients properly. In recognition of the seriousness of this disease and the efforts of those dedicated to fighting it, Senator Parker passed a resolution proclaiming May as Celiac Awareness Month in New York State.

Celiac Disease causes damage to the lining of the small intestine from eating gluten and other proteins found in wheat, barley, rye and possibly oats. The exact cause is unknown; however, those with a family member with Celiac Disease are at greater risk for developing the disease.

The disorder is most common in those of European ancestry and women are affected more commonly than men. More than two million people in the United States, or about 1 in 133 people have the disease. In New York State, approximately 150,000 people suffer from Celiac Disease.

“No treatment can cure Celiac Disease. However, you can effectively manage Celiac Disease through changing your diet,” Senator Parker said. “Gluten is found in bread, pasta, bagels, pizza and many other popular foods but can also be found in medicines, vitamins and lip balm. People with Celiac Disease may have no symptoms but can still develop complications of the disease over time. Raising awareness among medical professionals and the public could save lives.”

There are numerous diseases and conditions associated with Celiac Disease including:
· Anemia
· Autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus
· Certain types of intestinal cancer
· Dermatitis herpetiformis
· Down syndrome
· Lactose intolerance
· Miscarriage or unexplained infertility
· Neurological conditions
· Osteoporosis or osteopenia
· Thyroid disease
· Type 1 diabetes

“Another characteristic of Celiac Disease is that it is often misdiagnosed, or only diagnosed after years of suffering, missed work, and expensive diagnostic testing-and ineffective treatment. Consequently, raising awareness among medical professionals and the public about Celiac Disease could save the State of New York hundreds of millions of dollars otherwise lost to unnecessary or ineffective medical treatments, or in lost work productivity,” said Senator Parker.

“Experts in the field of Celiac Disease tell us that one percent of the population worldwide has Celiac Disease. Sadly, 97% of those individuals go undiagnosed for years due to a lack of information and awareness,” said Senator William Stachowski (D-Buffalo). “Immediate relief for those individuals is as simple as not eating certain foods, but these foods, like wheat, are so common it’s hard to avoid them. Once more people learn about the disease through our awareness raising efforts, our next step will be to make New York State a place where people can easily find gluten-free foods and products to make living with the disease easier. I am pleased to see so many of our State’s restaurants and businesses stepping up to provide gluten free products for suffers, and make living with the disease easier. I will do what I can to support their ongoing efforts, and to find ways to lower the costs borne by New Yorkers, New York businesses, and by the State's health care system.”

Senator Parker has sponsored two bills that would raise awareness of this debilitating disease. The first (S.5751A) would create a statewide education program within the Department of Health to promote awareness and train health care professionals concerning the causes and consequences of Celiac Disease.

The second bill, (S.7460) would increase the safety to those with food allergies by requiring every cafeteria owned, leased or operated by the state to post all information regarding the gluten content of foods being served.

Groups recognized by Senator Parker for their work in helping to raise awareness of Celiac Disease and ameliorate the suffering of New Yorkers with this disease include:
-The Greater New York City Celiac Support Group
-The New York Restaurant Association,
-The Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University
-Sherry Lynn's Gluten Free Restaurant
-Wheatfield's Restaurant
-The Celiac Disease Foundation
-The Celiac Disease Resource, Inc.

“This proclamation is a giant step in the journey to increase awareness of this highly under diagnosed and untreated disease,” said Daria Spiak, Vice President of The Celiac Disease Resource, Inc. ( [2]). “We thank Senator Parker and all who helped in getting this proclamation to fruition.”

"Celiac Disease is the #1 disease you've never heard of,” said Elaine Monarch, Founder and Executive Director of the Celiac Disease Foundation ( [3]). “We applaud Senator Parker's efforts to help us raise awareness of this vastly under-diagnosed disease with his Resolution J.4813 designating May as Celiac Disease Awareness Month in the state of New York. The Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) thanks you Senator Parker for your advocacy, dedication and passion that will make a difference in the lives of people with Celiac Disease and those yet to be diagnosed."

“I want to thank Senator Parker and the New York State Senate for recognizing Celiac disease and the many individuals whose lives have been changed by adopting a gluten free diet,” said Sherry Birch, Owner of Sherry Lynn’s Gluten Free Restaurant and Bakery, Latham, N.Y. “We believe that Celiac awareness will be enhanced with the introduction of this resolution. Beyond any doubt, it will help more New Yorkers to cultivate the lifestyle necessary to reduce the chronic symptoms and complications of this largely under-diagnosed ailment.”

“We at Outback Steakhouse are proud to support Celiac disease awareness and the Celiac Disease Resource Inc. in their efforts to raise awareness,” said Bruce Anderson, Managing Partner, Outback Steakhouse #3351 – Albany, NY. “We are thankful for all our loyal patrons and happy to provide them with safe dining options.”

Authored by Senator
Wed, 04/28/2010

And a link to Times Union article -

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I love General Mills!

General Mills' "Nature Valley Roasted Nut Crunch Bars" (Almond) are now labeled gluten free! They started shipping March 31st and will be available in stores soon. Be sure to look for them at your local grocer! As always, a friendly reminder to look for the gluten free label on the pack to confirm that the product is GF!

Also, on the website, it says that General Mills will be debuting their new gluten-free Bisquick pancake mix at the Annual Celiac Disease Foundation Confernce in LA! The new baking mix will be introduced to the public later this summer. yippee!!

In addition to the gf pancake mix General Mills will soon have 3 gluten-free Hamburger Helper's, which will also be available this summer in 3 flavors: Chicken Fried Rice, Cheesy Hashbrowns and Beef Fried Rice.

here's a link to the article from

Don't forget that General Mills has a Gluten Free Website dedicated to all their GF products- which also has great recipes and you can sign up for their Newsletter. You can also find them on Facebook under the name "Live Gluten Freely"

A HUGE THANK YOU goes out to the folks at General Mills for taking such tremendous steps in helping to make Gluten-Free food go "mainstream", affordable, and available for us!

May 25th is Celiac Disease Awarness Day at CitiField with the Mets!

Tuesday, May 25th is Celiac Awareness Day at Citifield! R.O.C.K. LI has arranged for a portion of the ticket price from our sales to go to the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University!

CitiField now offers a "Gluten-Free Food Cart" sponsored by Kozy Shack, serving GF hotdogs, hamburgers (with gluten-free buns!), gluten-free beer (Redbridge) and Kozy Shack pudding! (click here for a link to the article about it on my blog: )

Celiac Disease Awareness Night
Tuesday, May 25, 2010 @ 7:10p.m.
NY Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Citi Field
143-01 Roosevelt Ave
Flushing, NY 11354

To buy tickets go to and then Log in to the Group Ticket Window with the following information to buy your tickets today!

Password: METS


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gluten-Free Events this weekend on Long Island!

On Saturday and Sunday 4/24 & 4/25 this week there is the Green Living Expo at Suffolk County Community College (in Brentwood) and there is going to be a "Gluten-Free Pavillion" there with the Suffolk County Celiac board members as well as some Gltuen-Free Vendors!

The hours are Saturday, April 24th from 11-5pm, and Sundy, April 25th from 11-4pm.
Admission is Free!

Suffolk County Community College
Brentwood Campus
Health, Sports & Education Center
1001 Crooked Hill Road
Brentwood, NY 11717

Also, since it's a "Green" expo

10 Things You Can Recycle at Long Island’s Green Living Expo
Click here for more details.

1. Sneakers (sponsored by Nike®)
2. Rechargeable Batteries (sponsored by
3. Eyeglasses
4. Prescription Sunglasses
5. Computers (no monitors)
6. New and gently used woman’s business attire and accessories (sponsored by Dress for Success®)
7. Cell Phones (sponsored by
8. Books—bring a book, take a book
9. DVDs—bring a DVD, take a DVD
10. CDs—bring a CD, take a CD

THE Whole Foods EVENT WAS POSTPONED- as soon as I have the rescheduled date, I will post!
Suffolk County Celiac members will also be at Whole Foods in Jericho for "Gluten-Free Day" from 12-4pm sometime in May.

When I have exact details regarding this event I will post.

429 North Broadway
Jericho, NY 11753-2106
(516) 932-1733

More and More Gluten-Free Places in Nassau!

Over the past few weeks, I keep reading the Pennysaver, coupon books, and those budget pack coupon envelopes that come in the mail- scouring for new places that list "Gltuen-Free now available"... Just in the past 3 weeks or so I have found:

Tomato and Basil - 1692 Merrick Rd, Merrick- 516-377-9500 advertising "We now offer Gluten Free Pizza" on their coupons. *Pizza was good, it's a thin crust and served in its own metal tin*

Frantoni's- 1928 Hempstead Tpke- East Meadow (next to Zachary's)- 516-794-7878 advertising "We now have Gluten Free Pizza" (which I believe is "Still Riding Pizza")-

BellAmore Pizzeria- 2719 Merrick Rd, Bellmore- 516-221-5389 "Gluten Free Pizza & Pasta"

Saporito- 1378 Wantagh Ave, Wantagh- 516-221-7773 "We have Gluten-Free Pizza & Pasta" *Pasta and Meatball parm dish was good! They serve Conte's pastas*

Yogurt & Such - 2014 Merrick Rd, Merrick (next door to Koban)- 516-771-2716 "Almost Every Flavor Yogurt is Gluten Free"

It's so exciting to see Gluten Free being advertised in local coupon packs!!! Be on the lookout for them!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

FDA Online Survey regarding Gluten-Free Claims on Food Labels

So the study that I took part in for the FDA back in November ( )
Now has an online (modified) version of the questions I answered on the panel discussion.... the two pictures are the same, but when I was there in person, they had a lot more labels... so it looks like they are now trying to gather more people's opinions!

It’s really important to take this survey!!! We need to have input on how labels should read to make it the most clear. (I’m still not fully happy with all the choices that they give- some are still really ambiguous- but we’re moving along). As for the question about 20ppm (which is the standard “allowable” ppm of gluten in Europe), I clicked “other” and wrote “while 20 ppm is the standard allowable amounts of gluten ppm in Europe, it can still have the potential to make us sick, and therefore should be less than that in the US.” :)



The Celiac Disease Foundation is assisting the FDA is seeking Participants for a Research Study on Gluten-Free Claims on Food Labels and requesting your assistance.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is seeking adults diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten-intolerance or caregivers to such individuals to participate in a research study on their grocery shopping habits. Participants will be asked to take an Internet survey, which will take
approximately 10 minutes to complete.

The survey is available at *see below*

Please contact Katherine Kosa at or 1-800-334-8571, extension 23901, if you have any questions about the study. To request a paper copy of the survey, please call 1-877-4GLUTN1.

UPDATE from the FDA:
"Thank you very much for getting the word out about the FDA gluten-free survey. The response has been overwhelming and we have met our quota in just a few days. The survey will shut down in a few hours but in the meantime, those who try to respond may receive a "not qualified" message. I apologize for that.

If you have the opportunity to thank these potential respondents, please do, as we will, should they contact us.

Thank you again,
U.S. Food & Drug Administration
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition"

Saturday, April 10, 2010

GFCO to Certify Snyder's Gluten-Free Pretzels

GFCO to Certify Snyder's Gluten-Free Pretzels

from the Celiac list serv.......

The Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) announces today [yesterday] that, Snyder's of Hanover's Gluten Free Pretzel Sticks have met GFCO's stringent qualifications and earned certified gluten-free status.

Auburn, WA, April 7, 2010: "Meeting what are widely regarded as the gluten-free industry's Best Practices illustrates that Snyder's understands the importance that safe, gluten-free foods play in the diets of celiacs, the gluten intolerant, and others avoiding gluten in their diets," says
Channon Quinn, Director of Industry Programs, and GFCO.

GFCO certification is respected as the premier gluten-free certification for all consumer goods. Snyder's has been in discussion with GFCO since September of 2009. After weighing the pros, cons, and costs against safely meeting market demand, Snyder's has completed the certification process.

"Snyder's is a huge producer of other, gluten-containing snack foods,"continues Quinn, "which proposes complications new, gluten-free manufacturers with dedicated facilities don't have to consider - primarily contamination from lines running wheat flour-based products." Nevertheless, Quinn says these factors can be overcome, as proven by other manufacturers
of GFCO's more than 4,000 certified products.

"As part of the certification process, Snyder's has successfully addressed these considerations," says Quinn. "Our process mandates a carefully laid out plan and lists of protocols related to production, quality control, and packaging; all areas of Snyder's pretzel production process."

GFCO utilizes third-party auditors that inspect manufacturing facilities on a regular basis, monitoring all production aspects of the GFCO certified product.

"Some certification programs don't actually do onsite inspections, if you can believe that," comments Cynthia Kupper, Executive Director of the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America, under which the GFCO program is run. "We not only conduct random and regular site visits, but we delve into everything from ingredient sourcing to storage and handling, production, cleaning and even airborne flour dust that can contaminate an otherwise gluten-free product. It's extensive, as it should be because it's our health we're talking about," she finishes.

As part of the GFCO application process, risk is determined for ingredients and manufacturing, which helps determine the amount of raw materials, equipment and finished product the company is required to test onsite. It also determines the number of annual audits a company will have.

GFCO auditors are trained with years of experience working in plant inspections for kosher, organic and HACCP (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points). GFCO trains these auditors to also appraise gluten. GFCO auditors may often do "spot gluten testing" as part of their inspections. As well, GFCO pulls products randomly from the point of sale to send to labs for detailed gluten testing without the company's knowledge. GFCO has established a standard for certification at less than 10 ppm gluten, twice as strict as that proposed by the FDA and accepted by Codex and the World Health Organization. Rarely do GFCO-certified products test more than 5 ppm gluten in laboratory testing.

It can often take a company several months to work through the certification process. GFCO contractual requirements are stringent. In the end, it is our experience that companies certify gluten-free with GFCO because they recognize that we set the strictest requirements and they see the value third-party validation provides to their commitment to the gluten-free consumer market. Many GFCO-certified products also carry other third-party certifications, such as organic and kosher.

"Consumer confidence increases with external certifications, and GFCO sets the most rigorous standards for gluten-free," states Quinn.

The Gluten Free Certification Organization is a program of the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America. GFCO currently provides audits in 10 countries. The Certified Gluten-Free logo is a registered trademark of GFCO and a trusted, easy to find symbol that consumers rely on to know the foods they choose are truly gluten-free. ; .

The global leader in pretzels and the nation's second largest snack food company, Snyder's of Hanover was founded in 1909 and is a privately held company that employs over 2,250 associates and operates nearly 1,800 distribution routes nationwide.

Snyder's is headquartered in Hanover, PA, also the location of its flagship snack food manufacturing and distribution center where products are produced and distributed to the eastern half of North America, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Europe. The Goodyear, Arizona plant produces products for the Western half of the United States and Pacific Rim countries. The Jeffersonville, Indiana plant produces and distributes Krunchers! TM kettle potato chips, JaysTM potato chips, and GrandeTM tortilla chip products primarily for the Midwest, Central, and Eastern United States.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

McCormick is recalling “McCormick Fajitas Seasoning Mix” due to undeclared wheat and milk

From the FAAN website:

April 7, 2010

McCormick & Company, Incorporated is recalling “McCormick Fajitas Seasoning Mix” due to undeclared milk and wheat.

The product was distributed in grocery stores nationally.

The product is in 1.12-oz. pouches labeled with UPC Code 5210002121 and “BEST BY” dates of JAN 16 12 AH and JAN 16 12 CH. The package contains the wrong product.

Consumers may call (800) 632-5847 with questions or to request a replacement or full refund.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Google Map of Places to eat and shop Gluten Free on Long Island!

I started working on a Google Map of places to eat and shop gluten free on Long Island. It is still a work in progress, and as I’m remembering things I’m adding them on- if you have a great place that should be listed, please send me an email or leave a comment on this page, and I will add it on!


Undeclared GLUTEN in Zatarain's Original Dirty Rice Mix Package

From the FDA website:

Zatarain's Recalls Original Dirty Rice Mix Package Due to Unlabeled Wheat and Barley Ingredients
Dave Mixon (410-527-8491)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - April 1, 2010 - Gretna, LA - Zatarain's has announced a voluntary recall of Zatarain's Original Dirty Rice Mix, 8 oz. package with UPC Code 7142909535 and a "BEST BY" date of JAN 19 12H. Zatarain's Original Dirty Rice Mix packages with this date code contain undeclared wheat and barley ingredients. People who have allergies to wheat or barley run the risk of serious or life threatening allergic reactions if they consume this product.

The Zatarain's Original Dirty Rice Mix package was distributed to limited grocery stores in Florida, Michigan and Virginia beginning February 15, 2010. The product is available in 8 oz. boxes, and the date code is found on the bottom of the package. The "BEST BY" date of JAN1912H is the only date code affected by the recall.

The recall was initiated after it was discovered that product was mispackaged, and as a result, the ingredient statement on the package did not list wheat and barley as an ingredient.

No illnesses or allergic reactions have been reported to date. No other Zatarain's No other Zatarain's products are involved in this recall.
All grocery outlets that sell Zatarain's New Orleans Style Dirty Rice Mix packages have been notified to remove the affected product (UPC Code 7142909535 and a "BEST BY" date of JAN1912H) from their shelves immediately. Consumers do not need to return the product to the store where it was purchased. Instead, consumers are urged to contact Zatarain's Consumer Affairs at 1-877-837-3796, weekdays from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM Eastern Time, for a replacement or full refund, as well as instructions on what to do with the product.
This recall is being made with the knowledge of the Food and Drug Administration. The company is also issuing an alert through the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network.