Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thai Kitchen

I'm always searching online and calling companies about allergy information for different products. As you know, some manufacturers are real clear about ingredients and common allergens and some, well, just aren't - to put it mildly.

Recently, I came across the Thai Kitchen website - I use some of their sauces in my cooking along with their coconut milk. For some of my recipes, see Triple Crusted Coconut Chicken, Coconut Chocolate Ice Cream, and Coconut Yogurt.

Usually, I have to hunt around for allergy info - maybe it's in a frequently asked question? Maybe it's on the ingredients page? Who knows? On the Thai Kitchen website, they have a page dedicated to allergy information...and you can access it right from the HOME page! Imagine that!

Thai Kitchen's allergy page consists of a chart with their products listed down the left-hand side and the following labels across the top:
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Vegan
  • Organic
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Tree nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat
  • Soybeans
  • Milk
In the case of fish, shellfish, and tree nuts, they not only say "yes," they indicate which it is specifically. They recognize that some people cannot tolerate coconut and list it under tree nuts.

I called the customer service number to ask about cross contamination. I had a very nice conversation with the representative, who seemed to know her stuff when it comes to allergy information. I was told that Thai Kitchen is a small manufacturer, so they do not have separate, dedicated production facilities. Their products that contain common allergens are produced on the same lines as those that don't, however, their equipment is cleaned and washed in between runs. The rep said they take all the precautions, but cannot guarantee that no contamination has occurred.

Thai Kitchen is a sponsor for the Celiac Disease Foundation. They do test their products for the presence of gluten and consistently test at less than 10 parts per million. They also have a page dedicated to gluten free recipes.

I'm impressed with the clarity of information, the transparency with which it's presented, and the knowledge of the customer service rep. I feel as though Thai Kitchen provides us folks with food allergies, intolerance, and sensitivities with the necessary information to make the choice about whether or not to consume their products.

Bravo, Thai Kitchen!

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