If you're dairy free like me, you're always looking for new gluten-free and dairy free finds. Ice cream is one of my favorite desserts so naturally I spent this weekend looking for a new one to buy. I skimmed past my typical Coconut Bliss & So Delicious dairy free options and went straight over to the main brands to see what was new.
I was excited to see that Ben & Jerry's has a bunch of newer non-dairy flavors that I wanted to try! I read the ingredients on the Cherry Garcia flavor and saw no gluten containing ingredients. Awesome! Even better, the bold "MAY CONTAIN" section on the label mentioned nothing of wheat. Seemed fine to me, although, some of the other flavors were catching my eye.
Non-Dairy Coconut Seven Layer Bar Ice Cream? Now that's more like it! I skimmed through the ingredients and went straight to the the bold "CONTAINS" and "MAY CONTAIN" section again. It only mentioned nuts and mentioned nothing of wheat. I assumed it was fine, just as the other, and began to go to check out. Obviously, this is where I went wrong.
After reading the ingredients once more, and this time more closely, I discovered that this flavor of ice cream contained "WHEAT FLOUR"," Shocked, I immediately put the ice cream back, confused as to why they didn't mention "WHEAT" as an allergy in the "CONTAINS" section. I was sure that if these allergies were in a product then a company would mention it on the label. But apparently Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream did not.
It got me thinking, how many other people have done this before with Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream? How many other people have purchased these new flavors not knowing they contain gluten due to this lack of allergy statements? Sure, it is our duty to read all of the ingredients closely as I eventually did. However, I feel that they should include the correct allergies on the food label in the "CONTAINS" section as most companies do.
I mainly wanted to share this experience to show that this kind of stuff still happens to even the most experienced gluten-free people. I've been gluten-free for 8+ years and I still made this mistake. As for Ben & Jerry's Non-Dairy Ice Cream, it's important to know that none of the Non-Dairy Ice Creams are safe for celiacs. They are not made on a dedicated line, they are not made in a dedicated facility, and they do not list accurate allergy information in the "CONTAINS" section.
I would definitely recommend staying away from this Non-Dairy line for the time being. Stick to companies like So Delicious or Coconut Bliss for dairy free ice creams. They are certified gluten-free so you know they are safe. If you'd like to try a main brand, try Edy's, Bryer's, or Haagen Dazs. Just know that if you try out main brands like Ben & Jerry's, you may wind up accidentally purchasing or consuming a product that has gluten just as I almost did. Stay safe out there!