So I’ve been meaning to get back to blogging.. I just hate that I have to start back up with a post that bothers me so much. But I can’t keep quiet on this for the safety of so many.
I know a big portion of the gluten free community LOVES Aldi.. I do too! Believe me I truly do. Their Live GFree line has helped me be able to feed a growing gluten free boy without costing me a whole paycheck. However my trust has been broken.
On April 16th, I was snacking on a bag of the Live GFree Pretzel Mini Twist at work. I had cut the bag in half to make getting into it easier as I worked.
The bag fell over as I moved files and it spilled on my desk. When it spilled I noticed these little nubs (idk what to call them) in with the Mini Twist. They are darker and wider than the Live GFree Pretzel Sticks.
I instantly started to panic cause I snacked on these the day before in the dark while watching tv. I remember biting down on something that was crunchier that the rest but didn’t think much of it at the time. I also had a headache since shortly after I had started eating them the day before. A headache is normally my first sign of being glutened.
I posted on Instagram that I found them in my bag of Live GFree Mini Twist. It was suggested that I reach out to Aldi. I sent them a DM on instagram and they asked me to call their customer service line.
I called them when I got home from work that evening. The first gentleman I spoke with was super nice but didn’t understand at first that I found an item that was COMPLETELY different looking than a Mini Twist in my bag. He put me on hold and looked up the number of that product and said that there was a slight change in manufacturing so it can look slightly different that I’m use to. I said I understand that items can verify in color but these are TWIST shaped, colored or even the thickness of the pretzel sticks. He was finally like “Oh its a different item mixed in?” Um yes which is how I started out my conversation with you. He then said I needed to speak to a specialist and put me on hold.
Next I had to repeat the story to a lady that didn’t seem to care or grasp that I could have been horribly sick. She took my information, asked me to email her what I posted on Instagram cause she couldn’t see it and asked me to save the product till April 26th in case they need it for more research. Then she explained to me their Double Guarantee but said “Since you can’t return the product in case we need it, I’m going to send you out a $5 gift card to cover it.” .. um what?? $5 .. You think $5 will buy back my trust and peace of mind? She said she was going to look more into this and someone would call me back. I hung up the phone shocked at how little it seemed to matter that a product that many many people count on to be safe to eat could potentially not safe.
I received a call back from Aldi very shortly, pretty sure it was less than an hour but I could be wrong. She stated that she spoke to the manufacturer and those other pieces were gluten free breadsticks made in the same warehouse so we don’t need you to keep the product anymore bye.
I hung up from that second phone call even more baffled than the first.. How could a major company not want to at least appear like they cared enough to test and verify the product?? I mean I could see if I was just bitching that there were Aldi brand cool ranch Doritos in my bag of Aldi brand nacho Doritos but I wasn’t.. I was reaching out in concern for my health, my son’s health and every other gluten free person that trust the Live GFree brand.
Several people commented on the instagram post about their concern and asked for a follow up. Aldi did send the $5 gift card and a very generic form letter but no real answer.
I had been talking to Erica from Celiac and the Beast about how my call with Aldi went and mentioned that at times like this I wish I had a Nima Sensor to test the pieces myself. She offered to test them if I mailed them out to her. I mailed them out to Erica today sealed separately as pictured below for her to test.
I hope they were actually gluten free but that won’t change the fact that I feel Aldi really dropped the ball on keeping the peace of mind and trust of gluten free costumers.