Rice crackers should be just rice, water and salt. Some may have additional flavoring such as sesame seeds or seaweed. None should have wheat added, nor should they be contaminated with wheat.
“Should” and “are” can be quite different.
It may be a change in manufacturing processes, or just better labeling, but many brands that used to appear safe no longer are.
Many brands are now labeled “may contain wheat…” and a list of other allergens. What are the risks to those following a strict gluten-free diet? It is hard to say, but such foods are best avoided unless you know you aren’t very sensitive. This excludes anyone with celiac disease.
Other brands are starting to add wheat to their rice crackers. These are not real rice crackers, and should be bought by no one, but who, other than those with allergies or the few who are very concerned about the food they eat, actually takes the time to read the list of ingredients?
Even for those of us who do read ingredients, the changes can be hard to keep up with. One does not wish to read the same list of ingredients on exactly the same product every time you go shopping, on the other hand you must be vigilant to changes or risk ingesting gluten.
Rice crackers are still an excellent addition to your gluten free diet, but you do have to be careful.
I recommend the following:
- Always read the ingredients of any new brand you buy.
- Be sure not to be confused between brands. There are some excellent, high-quality brands that still may contain wheat, and it is easy to pick up the wrong brand if you are not careful.
- Ask your grocer to stock gluten-free brands
- Write to manufactures of gluten-free brands and encourage them to continue
- Write to manufacturers of brands that may contain wheat and ask them to fix the process
- Boycott brands that add wheat to the ingredients, even if you yourself are not celiac or gluten allergy
What are your experiences with rice crackers and following a gluten free diet?