Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Latest gluten-free news from Starbucks
"Starbucks has removed the gluten ingredient from its Light Frappuccino® Blended Beverages.
As you may know, in the summer of 2010 Starbucks began offering customers the opportunity to customize their favorite Frappuccino ... This new offering caused initial changes to the recipes of the Light Frappuccino beverages and resulted in a gluten-containing ingredient being used in the Light base.
Starbucks has heard feedback from many customers who are living a gluten-free lifestyle and has worked diligently to change the recipe to remove the presence of the gluten ingredient.
The Light Frappuccino beverage ingredient list will no longer state "contains gluten." However, due to other restrictions in declaring a product "gluten-free," Starbucks statement regarding all beverages must remain the same, as follows:
We do not claim that any of our beverages are gluten free because we use shared equipment and handle gluten and allergens throughout the store. Customers that have questions should ask to review the ingredient statements with their barista or can call 1-800-23-LATTE for ingredient information."
While I find Starbucks' position on gluten-free drinks baffling, I see this as good news. The Light Frappuccino was a drink that clearly containing gluten in the form of barley in the base mix and had to be avoided. Now that's not the case.
Whether you drink any beverage at Starbucks is a personal decision. Some gluten-free consumers work out arrangements with their local Starbucks baristas to lessen the exposure to cross contamination and feel safe having coffee and other drinks there. Before Starbucks started saying that it could not claim any of its drinks were gluten free, the company advised consumers to ask that containers used to mix drinks be washed before a gluten-free order was prepared.