Per the comment I received from Joseppi on my previous blog Soups On (which I have now removed from my blog site), I contacted Imagine Soups (The Hain Celestial Group) to find out just what “natural flavoring” meant, and to see if this was in fact gluten free, meat free, dairy & egg free. This is the response I received back:
Dear Ms. Bortel,
Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding our Imagine & Dream Light In Sodium Creamy Harvest Corn Soup. We apologize for the delay in our reply and appreciate your patience.
The Hain Celestial Group’s labeling declares major allergens (peanuts, soybeans, milk, eggs, fish, crustaceans, tree nuts, and wheat) and we follow the U.S. FDA’s regulations. We recognize the serious nature of the allergen issue and we strive to minimize risk.
Both major and minor ingredients of all products, as well as all processing procedures and equipment, are closely scrutinized and all potential allergen issues as determined by the Hain Celestial Group are declared on our labeling.
We assure you that strict manufacturing processes and procedures are in place and that all of our manufacturing facilities follow rigid allergen control programs that include staff training, segregation of allergen ingredients, production scheduling, and thorough cleaning and sanitation.
Thank you for your continued support. If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-434-4246, Monday through Friday from 7AM – 5PM Mountain Time.
Consumer Relations Representative
So, what is your take on this response? Mine is that although the ingredients did not list anything that would say otherwise, the fact is that this soup is not ME-gan friendly. Another lesson learned. The FDA’s guidelines on “natural flavoring,” as well as other points, make it all too easy for the Mfg. to omit pertinent information from the label.
Keeping you updated. Take care,