Kessler Apologizes for “Venting” About GF Cheerios

The day after; I posted her comments on my blog, I got the following email from Phyllis Kessler, President of the South Florida Celiac Support Group. You won’t believe why she is so upset about me and Gluten Dude stating that GF Cheerios are not safe. The conflict of interest is glaring!
“Maureen …..it was not an attack and I’m sorry if you took it that way. My apologies. I guess I just needed to vent about all of the e-mails that I’m getting bashing General Mills. A dear friend of mine worked on this project and is being thrown under the bus …..as I told you, I am Gluten Free because I have Celiac Disease and have had zero reaction to eating Cheerios. In the past I could NEVER eat oats…even the ones that were certified GF …I decided to give it another shot and try Cheerios and had no reaction…no clue why. So, again, I apologize if you felt like I was attacking you….Phyllis”
I emailed her back and thanked her for her apology; urging her to read the Gluten Free Watchdog Report about the cleaning process and testing processes that General Mills is using. It is clear that she is more concerned about her “dear friend” than she is her fellow Celiacs.
*for previous posts, you can scroll down to see last weeks email I got. Or see my blog posts under Celiac Disease and GF Cheerios.
GF Cheerios
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Phyllis Kessler, President of South FL Celiac Support, Group Slams Maureen and “Gluten Dude”

As many of our newsletter subscribers know, I posted some information from Gluten Free Watchdog last month about GF Cheerios and why GF Watchdog feels that they are not safe; due test results and the way they are testing them. Today, I sent my final thoughts about it in my newsletter; after I read GF Watchdog’s final analysis. I stated my opinion as to why I felt they are not safe and also gave a link to Gluten Dude’s blog post as well, because I like to give my readers other opinions when I can.

Below is what I said and the link to Gluten Dude’s post. So in the interest of showing both sides of this, I have posted the incredibly rude and insulting email that I got directly from Phyllis Kessler, President of the South FL Celiac Support Group. I am guessing she is not happy with me or Gluten Dude; you be the judge!

My Article in Newsletter sent 9/23 at 5:39pm:

GF Cheerios are NOT Safe for Celiacs! s
A month or so ago I told you about Gluten Free Watchdog and their testing report on GF Cheerios. Well, I got her final report a few weeks ago and they are not safe! I won’t eat them and neither will Gluten Dude, so I have put in a link to Gluten Dude’s blog about this, “Why are we celebrating GF Cheerios?”  I like it when you can hear it from someone, other than me, every once in a while.  Basically, General Mills is using regular oats, not gluten free oats, and they are attempting to clean them mechanically themselves but they are still contaminated with wheat and barley!  Some batches are testing ok and some are testing above 20ppm. There have been many complaints of Celiacs getting sick and several customers have told me that they have gotten sick.  Check out what “Gluten Dude” has to say about it!  http://glutendude.com/media/why-are-we-celebrating-gluten-free-cheerios/

This is the email I got at 6:18pm from Phyllis Kessler:

On Wednesday, September 23, 2015 6:18 PM, Phyllis <pkessler23@aol.com> wrote:
This hate campaign really needs to stop!
As a celiac I have had zero reaction.
I have over 3500 followers and not one
has had anything bad to say.
No clue why you or anyone else is
getting sick. Ever think it was from the
milk that you’re having or maybe
you’re overeating!
Sent from my iPhone
Here is My Response emailed directly back to Phyllis Kessler:

Maureen Burke <onedishcuisine@yahoo.com>

To Phyllis
Today at 7:01 PM

“Free From” Restaurants and Bakeries in the US and Canada Who Are Doing It Right!

I often hear customers say, “There is no place safe to eat”. Well, that frustrates me because although this was true a few years ago; that is not the case anymore!  Last June, Allergic Living Magazine was kind enough to feature us in a story about restaurants who are “allergy aware”; saying we are “The Ultimate Spot for a Safe Meal”. While I am grateful to them for including us, they downplayed what we do and made us look like an afterthought; not a “legitimate restaurant”, as compared to the allergen filled restaurants who they were featuring.  Allergic Living put the focus on restaurants who have allergens in them and not on the ones like One Dish Cuisine Cafe, Deli and Bakery who are dedicated to being “free from” allergens. There are a few of us out there who are really doing it right by committing to being totally free of many allergens.

Unfortunately, Allergic Living missed the bigger story that was there to be told. There are enough places serving food without any allergens present in their facility to have made a very nice story (if they wanted to do the research and really serve their readers interests). So, I am going to attempt to get the word out and highlight some of the places that are free from gluten and the top 8 along with some others who are free from some allergens. I am also going to direct you to some websites that will help you find safe havens for a meal or a treat when you are out and about.

The people who own these restaurants and bakeries are making a difference and so are the people who put up these websites to help us find them. Let’s go out of our way to find them and support what they are doing; which is making our lives easier and safer.

Below are some safe places and I encourage you to use the apps that I have listed at the bottom to find places near you, there are a lot more than you would think. (Today, I had someone in for the first time, who’s child has peanut and tree nut allergies, she lives a few miles away and had no idea that we have been here for 3 years!)

Free From Top 8 and Gluten:

-One Dish Cuisine Cafe, Deli & Bakery:  Ellicott City, MD, USA,  Free of Gluten (wheat, rye, barley), Oats, Soy, Egg, Fish, Shellfish, Peanuts, Tree Nuts & Sesame (separate kitchen with no Milk or Dairy, uses coconut occasionally)

-Four Kids Coffee: North Canton, Ohio, USA (coffee, light fare, baked goods and play facility for kids with food allergies. Free of top 8, almost everything is GF)

-Sweet Freedom Bakery: Philadelphia, PA (free from gluten & top 8, uses a lot of coconut)

-Zero 8 Restaurant:  Montreal, Canada (closed 2 years ago but re-opening as a steak house after a crowdfunding campaign; free from gluten and the top 8).

-Feast Grocery Store:  Toronto, Canada (they cook free of gluten & the top 8 but do sell eggs in the store)

Free From from Some Allergens & Gluten:

-Twist Bakery Cafe: Millis, MA USA Bakery and Restaurant Free of Gluten, Nuts & Peanuts.

Websites/Phone Apps; use these to find safe eats, you just might find a place right near you! (there are a lot more bakeries than restaurants)

http://www.allergyeats.com: great site that addresses gluten and top allergens. Note: I wish they would put a dedicated facilities search button in and also wish they would cover Canada and other Countries.  Also, for example; One Dish Cuisine Cafe, Deli and Bakery should be under the bakery category and the restaurant category, because we do both, but they won’t list us twice. How is this policy helpful to the person with food allergies or celiac disease who might only be searching for a safe bakery in Maryland? Well it is not helpful to them because they won’t find us if they are in the bakery app because AllergyEats will only list us under the restaurant app.  We do both and should be listed under both. So, make sure you look under bakeries and restaurants when using this app or you can miss some places.

http://www.allergyfreepassport.com: Great for international travel and addresses food allergies with safe places for dining and safe bakeries in all countries and lists what the facility is free of.  We are listed under bakeries and restaurants.

http://www.findmeglutenfree.com: by city or state in the US and it has a dedicated facilities search button.  However, I wish that they did not consider a place with gluten in it to be a dedicated facility just because they have a separate prep area. Gluten is found in flour which is hard to contain and is airborne.

http://www.glutenfreetravelsite.com: Great site to search by city or state and it also covers other countries. It has a dedicated GF facilities icon that will show up when the facility is completely free of gluten. This has a great section about Colleges too!

http://www.glutenfreepassport.com: Great for international travel. Search by city, state or country and lists out restaurants and bakeries too. We are listed in both categories.

Please share these resources with your friends and use them when you need a safe spot to eat. So, on behalf of One Dish Cuisine, Welcome Back to the Table.

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