“In addition to adhering to labeling requirements, Hidden Valley has taken the added step of auditing its supply chain and securing guarantees that there are no ingredients that contain or are derived from gluten-containing grains,” Hidden Valley Marketing Manager Shaunte Mears-Watkins told PRNewser.
The company — which also has partnered with the Celiac Disease Foundation to raise awareness about the condition that affects one in 133 people — is taking all necessary precautions to avoid backlash that companies like Domino’s Pizza (NYSE:DPZ) recently encountered when entering the $6.2 billion gluten-free business.
The pizza chain’s attempt at gluten-free goodwill was marred with controversy after The North American Society for the Study of Celiac Disease called Domino’s use of the term gluten-free “a total disservice” to those most sensitive to the substance. Since Domino’s gluten-free crust is made in close proximity to items that contain gluten, cross-contamination could occur, which would cause major problems for those with celiac disease.
In fairness to Domino’s, the chain did issue a bold disclaimer with the introduction of its new crust. However, many experts concur that an “all or nothing” mantra is vital when it comes to gluten-free proclamations. Hidden Valley is one of several companies that’s taking measures to avoid cross-contamination.
“The facilities manufacturing Hidden Valley products have stringent allergen-control programs to prevent cross-contamination and all of the products listed as gluten free undergo scheduled testing to ensure that the quality of the claim matches the quality of the products,” Mears-Watkins told PRNewser.
Hidden Valley also has updated its website to showcase which of its products are gluten-free.