No, Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark is not labeled gluten free. Although there are no gluten-containing ingredients, there are several ingredients that have a high risk of cross contamination. Therefore those with gluten allergies and sensitivities should proceed with extreme caution.
Brief history of Ghirardelli
In 1817 Domenico Ghirardelli was born in Italy to parents who were exotic food importers. By age 20 he sailed with his wife to Uruguay to open his first chocolate and coffee shop. In 1849, upon hearing the news of the gold strike in the western United States, Ghirardelli again sailed.
Landing in San Francisco, Ghirardelli started what is now one of the oldest American confectioneries. Ghirardelli today boasts the only hands-on manufacturing process in candy making and their chocolates are world renowned.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and a few other grains. It acts as a glue to hold ingredients together. Unfortunately for some people, gluten can cause serious health issues. Gluten sensitivities and allergies when aggravated can cause a disease called Celiac.
Celiac’s is an autoimmune disease that is directly agitated by the consumption of gluten. Those with Celiac’s disease cannot eat gluten, otherwise it can damage their small intestines. Symptoms of Celiac can range from fatigue, low blood count, and osteoporosis to no symptoms at all.
There is currently no cure for Celiac’s disease. Treatment includes avoiding all foods and drinks containing gluten or gluten by-products.
Gluten free Peppermint Bark
The Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark is not labeled gluten free. The delicious treat is made with cornstarch and yellow corn flour. While these ingredients themselves do not contain gluten, they are manufactured independently from Ghiradelli. The vendor of these ingredients has a high probability of cross contamination as the vendor also processes gluten-based products.
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