An Apology for an Oversight

This day has not gone the way I thought it would. I had a slew of chores to tackle. But they had to be dropped because …

… I slipped up … and I am so sorry.

You see, today I received a comment from Nancy on my coconut yogurt post. She wrote:

“I see the Vegan culture [Cultures for Health Vegetal] is processed in a plant with a lot of no-no's for me. I would love to try the coconut yogurt but am leery of the starter you use. Anybody have trouble with it because of cross contamination?”

I halted in my tracks. I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. Had I failed my readers?

Apparently so and I am profusely sorry.

It is my aim to be diligent about reading labels and recommending only products that are free of gluten, dairy, and eggs and/or any possibility of cross-contamination with gluten, dairy, and eggs.

I have spent the morning researching Nancy’s claim. And she is absolutely right.

Right there on the Vegetal Yogurt Starter label it reads:

“Produced in a facility that also manufactures wheat, soy, eggs, nuts and fish.”

How did I miss this!? I am beside myself.

But wait, it got worse!

I called Cultures for Health who referred me to their source for Vegetal. That source pointed me to the manufacturer’s spec sheet.

It’s not every day that the average consumer reads a food manufacturer’s spec sheet and had I not I wouldn't have even discovered that barley and soy are used as "fermentation nutrients" in the production of Vegetal. I take that to mean that the bacteria is fed barley and soy and that the barley and soy (and gluten in the barley) is completely consumed by the bacteria? I sure hope so.

The spec sheet goes on to say:

“Danisco [the manufacturer] has determined that fermentation nutrients [barley and soy] are outside the scope of US and EU food allergen labeling requirements. Local regulation has always to be consulted as allergen labeling requirements may vary from country to country.” 

I am not sure what THAT means and I am no food scientist (can one pipe in?), but until I can verify that this product is indeed completely “safe,” I can no longer recommend it. Fortunately we have not had any problems with it. For all I know it may be a non-issue. But I will remain on the safe side for your sake.

With all this said. I apologize once more for not doing my homework and for this oversight.

And I thank Nancy for bringing this all to our attention. I need my readers!

I will be returning to using 35-40 billion CFU's (colony forming units) of Klaire Labs Ther-Biotic Complete probiotic capsules per 2 quarts of liquid for making yogurt. The only downside with Klaire Labs is that they do not sell direct. Products are sold exclusively to healthcare professionals, authorized distributors, and patients with a physician-supplied authorization code. However, because it is impossible for me, a consumer, to oversee every step in the manufacturing process, I must leave it up to you to research and decide which yogurt culture or probiotic is safe for you and your family. I use Klaire Labs, but defer to you to find decide on which product you will choose to use.

The one tip I can provide when selecting a non-dairy yogurt starter or priobiotic capsule is to select one that includes the lactic acid-producing bacteria Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. In the United States, the USDA defines "yogurt" as containing these two strains bacteria.

Thank you for being a loyal Lexie’s Kitchen reader. I made a oversight and hope you will forgive me.

I will leave the Cultures for Health shopping link on my site as some of you do not have issues with soy and gluten and/or may deem this product “safe enough” for your personal use.

Today I did not accomplish what I set out to do, but I have learned TWO great lessons:

1. Scrutinize labels—each and every time! Manufacturing processes can and do change. Ingredients and manufacturing processes used one day may not be the same the next.

2. Admit when you are wrong. The kind and understanding people will forgive knowing that you are doing your best. We all make mistakes and oversights.


Sources: Yo-Mix™ Vegetal 7 375 DCU Product Description