rich emollient used in the management of eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions.


Now this is not a rant, I’m taking full blame for this latest ‘wheating’, but things went a bit wrong in the what allergy household when husband-who-was-trying-to-help offered to cook me some supper after I had just returned from doing the Waddesdon 5k run in sweltering heat one evening last week.

The run was great fun by the way, hard work, over half UP hill. I won’t tell you my time (slow) or where I came in the race (near the back), but I didn’t finish last and I didn’t walk so am very proud.

So back to the burgers. I’m confused myself sometimes. I do buy gluten free burgers from M&S which we both enjoy. But I also buy burgers from Aldi which the husband can enjoy which are much cheaper but in surprisingly similar packaging. This makes me think of the Aldi advert, I like these ones, but I also like these ones… but I digress.

I was tired. It was late. Mr What Allergy checked the packaging and asked me if I’d like the remaining burger, to which I replied, “Oh yes please.” So there was my mistake. I knew, if I’d had my mind on sensible operating mode, that these were Aldi burgers which I don’t normally eat due to my wheat allergy.

Now firstly, to put your minds at rest, my wheat allergy is not severe. It’s very mild and doesn’t result in any of my normal anaphylactic or skin eczema reactions so we probably don’t take it so seriously, certainly I don’t. Though the consequences are painful and uncomfortable (I won’t go into details) they are not frightening or life threatening. So don’t worry. I was fine but you can tell what’s coming next.

I ate the burger, which was delicious by the way. Cooked to perfection and good quality meat, lovely and juicy and thick… but then I felt the familiar cramping begin. My stomach was churning and swelling. You don’t need the details but it wasn’t a pleasant night after that. All is well now and I think I’m finally back to normal. The lesson here is, that even when you check labels thoroughly there will be times when you are exhausted. Your family and you may get confused because you can eat that brand but not that brand and you buy both for whatever reason… it gets complicated.

Aldi burger contains wheat flour

Can you see the wheat flour text in bold on this label?

And when the bit with the vital information is stuck over a ridged bit in the plastic moulded packaging and gets split, crumpled, wet and begins to degrade it’s very, very hard to check for allergens. I know, I know, you check in the shop and I did. This was never meant for me. There was a nice piece of steak in the fridge for me but, well, the burger was easier, I was flaked out and not thinking and I really wanted that burger (minus bun of course).

Can you see wheat flour in the above label? No you can’t, because it’s right under all that damage.

This is where our old faithful the Contains: ‘allergen list’ would have come in very handy; two chances to spot the allergen. Instead of just saying, for allergens see ingredients in bold, which I can still just about read. I can’t help thinking that we’ve gone back a step with the new labelling.

It seems just stupidness that the packaging would contain probably the same amount of words e.g.

ALLERGY ADVICE: For allergens including cereals containing gluten see ingredients in bold
Allergy Advice: Contains Wheat

But hey ho. This is the law, this is where we are right now.

Am I the only person who has this problem? Anyone find labels fight back and sneak in allergens when you’re guard is down? Coeliacs out there? Do you allow gluten containing products into your house or go totally gluten free? I don’t feel I can make my husband cut out wheat (as well as all my other allergens: all nuts, all dairy, tomatoes, soya and celery…) so with careful planning, safety measures and copious care we usually get it right. I do often end up cooking two meals instead of one which is frustrating… but I think my diet is limiting so not healthy to force onto others.

On Monday night, to set the balance straight, we had lovely M&S wheat and gluten free burgers for tea. Sans gluten and just as delicious ;o)



An allergy and health writer and freelance copywriter, Ruth is passionate about helping those with allergies and food intolerances take control, embrace their condition, and learn to live with and love who they are. It can be very lonely finding you have allergies and discovering what helps you can be a life long journey. What works for one person won't work for another, so after trying nearly every allergy treatment under the sun and finding hours of research necessary to keep abreast of what's going on, Ruth started writing her blog, What Allergy? in April 2009. Ruth has life threatening allergies herself to all nuts, all diary, tomatoes and celery and knows first-hand what it's like to have an anaphylactic attack. Voted in the Top 5 UK allergy blogs by Cision UK in 2011, What Allergy is packed full of interesting articles, hints and tips and product reviews which are a must read for anyone with allergies, food intolerances or sensitivities, asthma and eczema. From subjects such as "What is celery allergy?" to "Surviving a holiday abroad with allergies", it's packed with useful and interesting information. You can register free for a weekly newsletter by visiting her website and also keep in touch by following her on Facebook and Twitter.

Add a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *