Toothpaste, flip flops, stickers and other unusual places where food allergens could be hiding

I have a friend whose daughter has severe gluten allergies. We often have long conversations about what it’s like to live with a child who has severe allergies, but one story she shared with me stands out. Her daughter was starting to get a horrible rash on her feet, and my friend could not understand what was causing it. After some investigative work, it turns out it was her daughter’s new flip flops! The sandals had gluten on them. She had found out by calling the manufacturer and was able to locate the culprit.

I was truly stunned by this! My friend works so hard at avoiding gluten by looking over all food labels and yet, there it was, in her daughters’ flip flops. This got me thinking; what other things are gluten and other allergens hiding in? Here is a list of some surprising hidden allergens in products other than food:

Gluten

  • Adhesives on envelopes and stamps
  • Self-stick labels and stickers
  • Latex or rubber gloves for house cleaning
  • Art supplies like play dough, clay, glue
  • Hand lotion
  • Shampoos

Dairy

  • Chewing gum
  • Toothpaste
  • Sunscreen
  • Clothing

Soy

  • Adhesives
  • Body lotions and creams
  • Fabrics
  • Paper
  • Printing Inks
  • Soaps

What are some weird and unusual places you have found an allergen? It always helps to discuss your findings with other families to help them in avoiding accidental exposure and frustrations! We’d also love to hear about any “safe” products you are using.

– Christine Graham-Garo

Sources: http://www.celiacsolution.com/hidden-gluten.html

http://www.celiac.com/articles/183/1/Additional-Things-to-Beware-of-to-Maintain-a-100-Gluten-Free-Diet/Page1.html

Published: 07/20/2010
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