A box of Tattooed Chef’s Griddle Pancake Breakfast Bowl had been mislabeled as “gluten-free,” although it clearly contains gluten.
A member of the celiac community alerted me to a post on Reddit in which a user shared a picture of the brand’s Griddle Pancake Breakfast Bowl.
The product is clearly labeled “gluten-free” on the front of the packaging, but when you look at the ingredient listing, it lists enriched unbleached wheat flour and malted barley flour as ingredients.
The breakfast bowls can no longer be found on the Tattooed Chef website, but if you Google it, it appears that plenty of grocery stores carry the mislabeled entree, including Stop and Shop and Safeway.com.
I contacted the plant-based brand for comment, and they shared the following statement with me:
“This has been brought to our attention, and we’re currently resolving the issue. This was a printer error where “Gluten-Free” was left on one of the panels of the packaging. The product does list “WHEAT” as an allergen; however, we do understand the severity of the issue. We are changing all of the packaging to reflect the correct information immediately.”
No recall has been issued as of this article’s publish date.
UPDATE: Tattooed Chef sent me a second statement, “In regard to the Griddle Pancake Breakfast Bowl, the box with the “gluten-free” claim did not make it to print, it was mistakenly released by marketing to the retailer.”
Honestly, I’m not sure what to believe at this point.
I found the Griddle Pancake Breakfast Bowl at Target on May 19, 2023, and it was not mislabeled.
This is not the first time the Tattooed Chef has mislabeled one of its products either. In January 2021, the brand stated on the packaging that its Plant-Based Breakfast Sausage Bowl was “gluten-free” even though it contained wheat and malt extract.
This debacle is a reminder that the gluten-free community must always be vigilant and read labels carefully. Specifically, the gluten-free community must do the following:
(1) Cross-Check Gluten-Free Claims with the Ingredient List
When you see a gluten-free claim on the packaging, double-check that the ingredients are indeed gluten-free and everything matches up.
This is especially true when you see that the product contains an item that typically would contain gluten, such as a pancake.
(2) Be Careful of Brands that Are Only Sometimes Gluten-Free
Only some Tattooed Chef’s products are gluten-free; others contain gluten. While this might explain why some of Tattooed Chef’s products are mislabeled, it’s not an excuse for it.
Never become too cozy with a brand.
For a long time, Real Good Foods exclusively made certified gluten-free products; however, in January 2023, the company launched a line of Creamy Poblano Enchiladas at Sam’s Club and Costco, both of which contain wheat flour tortillas.
(3) Report Mislabeled Foods to the FDA
While gluten-free labeling is voluntary, should a brand make a gluten-free claim, it must follow the FDA’s gluten-free guidelines.
Mislabeled or misleading products should be reported to the FDA’s Consumer Complaint Coordinators.