HJ Heinz Company: Garlic in Your Ketchup? Silence is Not an Option.
Is garlic one of the "spices" or "flavorings" in Heinz ketchup? Folks allergic to garlic want the definite answer, but Heinz refuses to give it--even to physicians inquiring on behalf of patients. Heinz says they're obligated to list only the "big 8" allergens on their label--not true! Title 21 of the the FDA labeling regulations states: "(3) Substances obtained by cutting, grinding, drying, pulping, or similar processing of tissues derived from fruit, vegetable, meat, fish, or poultry, e.g., powdered or granulated onions, garlic powder, and celery powder, are commonly understood by consumers to be food rather than flavor and shall be declared by their common or usual name." Heinz ketchup is everywhere. Home cooks and restaurants frequently offer it to diners to whom they are otherwise serving a garlic-free meal. Wikipedia says Heinz ketchup has garlic. So do the authors of "copycat" recipes online. If they're right, Heinz may not conceal the truth behind verbiage about "proprietary secrets." A soupcon of truth will do nothing to dilute their stupendous market share...and will prevent itchy mouths and histamine-overload in those for whom garlic causes discomfort and sometimes life-threatening reaction. The Heinz website proclaims corporate dedication to consumers' wellbeing, but guarding their formula clearly takes precedence. Dear Heinz, I don't want to compete with you. I just want kids the world over--even those sensitive or allergic to garlic--to have the fun of dunking their fries safely. As one of the signers of this petition says, you have a chance to raise the industry standard. Garlic isn't the most prevalent or dangerous allergen, but it may be the one most frequently concealed. I've phoned or written to dozens of food producers asking whether garlic lurks in their sauces and sausages and other prepared items; without exception, they've been forthcoming...and many have offered to declare garlic on their labels after learning that the FDA requires them to do so. Only you stonewall the public. Isn't it time you returned the love?
- HJ Heinz Company
Declare whether your ketchup contains garlic
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