Monday, August 9, 2010

Sleuthing the spice of life

Concerning spices, I spoke with a man at Oregon Spice Company and got some great information. First of all I will say that I used their products before the dreaded gluten became my enemy, but currently don't have any in my cupboard. I have always purchased them packaged bulk in plastic bags which I would cut open, use what I needed and clamp shut to store. Because of this, I was concerned that they could have contamination and gave them all away. Today I decided to pursue the company, as their products are really good quality.

I spoke with a gentleman who told me that they go to great lengths to make sure there are no cross-contamination problems. Though they do process on the same lines, they clean the lines well between runs. They wash and sanitize their lines and blenders and have visual inspections to be sure there is no build up.

The products with allergens in them are stored in a different part of the plant. The areas where gluten-containing products are processed are isolated with plastic curtains to make sure the dust does not get into the storage areas. They store their allergen containing products away from allergen free products to avoid accidents.

Once a year they swab equipment and send the swabs to a lab in Portland where they test to make sure there is no gluten residuals and those tests have always been clean. I asked him if they would consider becoming certified gluten free and he said that I was the first customer to make such a request. He said if the demand increased, they would probably consider it.

This conversation left me quite confident with Oregon Spice Company spices. I will be buying them again, but you must decide for yourself if you are comfortable doing this.


Katieburst said...

This is great news, the fact that they have TESTED! Have you used their spices? Have you had any problems? THANKS FOR THE POST!

Becky, slave of Christ said...

I have used their products before, Katie, and they are high quality. I haven't ordered them since I wrote this post though. It isn't that I don't plan to; I just don't need them yet. The gluten-free life can be expensive. When I have been contaminated at home since then, I have been able to trace it to specific products, and so far it has not been from the spices I have.

Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity, how would you go about ordering from this company? Their website makes it seem that they only sell to distributors... Just wondering. I've been using McCormicks exclusively since becoming gluten free and have had no noticeable incidents. However, I am ingesting gluten somewhere (noticed on a blood test) and I can't figure out from where it is coming! I use these every day! I cook for our family, completely gluten free, and I LOVE flavor! I am at a loss as to my next step! Thanks!

Becky, slave of Christ said...

Good question. The company where I used to get them doesn't carry them anymore. I would say contact the company and ask where their products are sold. I will do that now and post the answer. Keep checking back or follow my blog so you will see their answer.

Becky, slave of Christ said...

I thought they were not selling through Azure Standard anymore, but this is not the case, and they have a nice variety available.

Anonymous said...

Since I have become a Glutard I became skeptical of all my ingredient suppliers. Knowing that this company performs these regular tests will make my colon smile. Thank you Oregon Spice