Last week a reader asked me if Mike’s Lite Hard Lemonade was still gluten-free, as the package no longer said so. I had noticed this myself a while ago, but had forgotten to look into what had happened. Below is the old label that said “gluten-free” on the box.
I don’t have a picture of the new box, but the “gluten-free” is no longer there. I am not sure why, as when I visited the Mike’s Hard Lemonade website, this is what I found:
Are your products gluten-free?
We’re glad you asked! Our products were put through highly sensitive tests that indicate they are gluten-free. The ELISA test, the most stringent test currently available for gluten quantification, indicates that they contain less than 5 parts per million (ppm) of gluten, meaning they can be considered gluten-free. The results indicate that the products also tested well below the FDA’s current proposed limit of 20ppm for a product to be considered gluten-free.
How have the lite products been tested to prove they are gluten-free?
Fun fact: two mike’s employees – our directors of quality assurance and compliance – have gluten allergies themselves and have been highly involved in our gluten-free testing to ensure we’re offering an authentic and high quality gluten-free product. mike’s lite hard lemonade and mike’s lite cranberry lemonade were tested in February 2011 through the University of Nebraska’s Food Allergy Research and Resource Program using two different methods – including the ELISA test, the most stringent test currently available for gluten quantification. Test results show that both lite products contain less than 5 parts per million (ppm) of gluten, less than the 20 ppm needed to be considered gluten-free.
I was pleased to see this as I like to drink Mike’s Lite Hard Lemonade on occasion, especially in the summer. Nothing beats an ice cold drink on a hot, humid summer day.
Since this has come up, I think it is crucial to bring up the importance of continuing to check all of your products. Just because something is gluten-free today does not mean it will be gluten-free tomorrow. In addition to packaging and label changes, suppliers change. These are all things that we, the consumers, need to keep on top of in order to ensure that we are as safe as we possibly can be.