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Thomas Bagels...bad response from 800#

30 replies [Last post]
By dgood on Mon, 03-21-05, 15:51

I just called George Weston Bakeries who makes Thomas english muffins and bagels and the woman I spoke to was not very informative at all. She said they do use peanuts and nuts in their facilities and there is not a dedicated line for non-nut items. She said they do clean the lines but they are made on shared equipment and said "sorry."

I find it hard to believe a big company like this will not label their products for allergens and has such a laid-back attitude.

I'm not sure if I spoke to a bad customer service rep or if they really are that unconcerned with allergies.

We have eaten the plain english muffins for some time with no issues.

Does anyone else have any experience with their products or received a different response from their customer service team?

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By becca on Mon, 03-21-05, 18:26

I am sure I called or emailed, but I do not have the response anywhere. I use their products, acroos the line, for english muffins, bagels and pita pockets(Sahara). I know I would only be doing that if I had been told they were not on shared euipment with nuts.

Not sure if that helps, but I should check again, since they are on a "safe" list at school. becca

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By JacksonsMom on Mon, 03-21-05, 18:50

I spoke to George Weston Bakeries in January of this year and got the exact same response as you did , dgood. I was told that NONE of their bakery items can be considered safe due to shared eqipment. We no longer buy Thomas' english muffins or bagels.
Pepperidge Farm's bagels are safe for nut allergies, however if you're sesame allergic (my son is) they have a 'may contain sesame' warning.

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By dgood on Mon, 03-21-05, 20:16

I sent an email to them detailing my disappointment in how they are handling allergens in their food. For a large company, they are entirely too laid back and do not label for allergens.

I doubt I will get a response, as their website says they do not respond to every email. But I do hope it is read by the right people at the company.

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By e-mom on Tue, 03-22-05, 01:06

My kids (me too [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] ) love the Thomas' Bagels. Never had any reaction of any kind with them.

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By TinaM on Tue, 03-22-05, 13:23

I have eaten the bagels also. However, DS has not touched them. So far, no problems.

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By mommyofmatt on Tue, 03-22-05, 14:38

We've eaten them without any problems too. My ds practically lives on them. However, I did go buy Pepperidge Farm bagels yesterday. I figure I'd rather support a company that labels responsibly...

This may be more w/multiple food allergies, but do you ever feel like every food comes into contact with an allergen???? Ugh. It annoys me sometimes.


Meg, mom to:
Matt 2 yrs. PA,MA,EA
Sean 2 yrs. NKA

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By mcmom on Tue, 03-22-05, 14:41

I had several conversations with Entenmann's over the summer - they are also part of George Weston Bakeries. I had always trusted Entenmann's because they do have allergens bolded on their packaging, and over the summer they started labeling for "manufactured on". Yet when I called, I was told, twice, that even though some of their products were labelled for cross contamination, not all of them were, and to consider everything unsafe. I thought this was horrible - anyone looking at their packaging would think they were an allergy aware company and be fooled into thinking that something without a cross contamination warning was safe. I think that is very, very dangerous. I used to use Thomas' corn muffins for my kids all the time, but stopped after that. I will admit, we never had a problem with them though.

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By Peg541 on Tue, 03-22-05, 15:14

I think that many of these companies get inundated by calls from people like us (and I mean that in the best possible way) causing them to wonder how safe they really are. And that may cause them to say things like even though we label not everything is considered safe.

They are covering themselves. And as long as we continue to ask they will continue to cover themselves because our calls scare them. If I were some little lady sitting behind a 1 800 number and someone told me their child could die from a micron of a peanut I have no idea what I would say!

They would rather err on the side of safety and you can bet they log those calls. So what happens is they feel safe and the list of what our kids can eat gets smaller and smaller.

There does not seem to be an answer until each company has 100% control over their facilities and ingredients.


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By Darkmage on Tue, 03-22-05, 23:24

My PA son has been eating the bagels forever! I just loved the fact that they are dairy free. Now I'm a little weirded out. I'll hve to check out the Pep Farm ones next time I shop.

[i][b]Allergy Patrol[/b][/i]

[This message has been edited by Darkmage (edited March 22, 2005).]

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By mcmom on Wed, 03-23-05, 18:27

"And that may cause them to say things like even though we label not everything is considered safe.
They are covering themselves. And as long as we continue to ask they will continue to cover themselves because our calls scare them."

While I agree that many companies just want to cover themselves, I don't believe that was the case in my dealings with this particular company. The thing that first prompted me to call GW Bakeries was that I noticed they had updated their labeling to include may contains and manufactured on. These warnings were included on utems I had previously purchased and thought were safe. I then emailed the company, expressing my displeasure that a brand I had bought for years (Entenmann's) was now off limits for my family. I then *received*, not made, a phone call from one of their CSR's. She wanted to reiterate what I had already been told, that their labeling was in a "transitional phase" and that while some products were labeled correctly, others were not and would not be for a while, probably due to the fact that labeling for may contains is not mandatory, so they didn't feel the need to hurry.

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By dgood on Wed, 03-23-05, 19:15

If I find another safe english muffin I will switch immediately. This company obviously is waiting until the last minute and are doing it only because they are being forced. Not very reassuring!

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By tidina on Mon, 06-13-05, 20:00

did you try Peppridge Farm english muffins?

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By melissa on Mon, 06-13-05, 20:35

I have another post on this forum re: Lenders...you get one answer when you call and one when you email. I then called Thomas' last week and got essentially the same answer...we do our best to clean but can't guarantee...however the rep was very unsure about her answer. I haven't tried Pep Farms but will look for it...we have egg allergies too though...just bought Kroger brand bagels today and have my fingers crossed!

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By dgood on Tue, 06-14-05, 00:53

We've switched over to Pepperidge Farms exclusively for breads, english muffins, rolls, etc. My kids love them!!!

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By ChunkyMonkey on Tue, 06-14-05, 04:51

I have tree nut allergies and have been eating Thomas English Muffins and Sahara pita...haven't had a reaction but now Im worried I might....I hate this whole x-cont thing!

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By tcperrine on Tue, 06-14-05, 15:02

I know that no one really asked for this, but I thought I'd offer it up. English muffins are [b]extremely[/b] easy to make at home. I was shocked at how simple it was! I use the bread machine to mix the dough, then I roll it out, use a cookie cutter to shape them, and cook them in a pan for a few minutes. They freeze incredibly well and, on top of being guaranteed that they are peanut safe, they have no preservatives, or other junk in them.

I got my recipe from the King Arthur's flour website. If anyone is interested it, just let me know.


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By 2BusyBoys on Tue, 06-14-05, 17:48

Quote:Originally posted by tcperrine:
[b]If anyone is interested it, just let me know.


I'm interested, please post your recipe [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]


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By California Mom on Tue, 06-14-05, 17:56

I want the recipe, too! I never would have thought they would be easy to make; but I have a bread machine and my kids LOVE english muffins!

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Miriam

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By Darkmage on Tue, 06-14-05, 21:33

Gee, and I just gave my bread machine to Good Will. [img]http://home.earthlink.net/~lmcmonigal/emoticons/LaughOnOwn.gif[/img]

[i][b]Peanut Slayer[/b][/i]

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By gw_mom3 on Sun, 06-19-05, 07:01

I'd like that recipe too.

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By Darkmage on Sun, 06-26-05, 21:50

okay, I went to the web site mentioned and found these:

[b]Whole Wheat Bagels[/b]
This recipe is an ideal candidate for the bread machine, as it'll respond well to the heavy, long knead that bread machines feature. Simply cut the recipe in half, program your machine for Dough or Manual, and press Start. When the machine has completed its cycle, divide the dough into seven pieces (rather than 14) and proceed with the recipe.
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 cups water, warm
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon diastatic malt powder (optional)
3 cups King Arthur Unbleached Special Bread Flour
3 cups King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour
1 tablespoon salt
Dissolve the yeast in the water and add the sugars and the malt. Add 1 cup of the Special Flour and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, to give the yeast a chance to get going. Add all of the White Whole Wheat Flour, mixing well. Add the salt, then the rest of the Special Flour, mixing in a cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead, adding more flour as necessary, until it's smooth and satiny. As a result of the Special Flour's higher protein, you'll want to knead it longer than you would dough made with all-purpose flour; make sure that the dough is really springy before you stop kneading it. Cover the dough with a damp towel, and let it rest for 20 minutes.

Divide the dough into 14 pieces and roll each piece into a rope 8 to 9 inches long and 3/4 inch wide. Form each rope into a circle and join the ends, pressing well to seal. Place the bagels on a tray that's been dusted with cornmeal, cover them lightly with plastic wrap, and let them rise for 30 minutes. Secure the plastic wrap around the edges (you don't want the bagels to dry out), and place the pan in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and let them rest at room temperature for 45 minutes. While they're resting, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, and preheat the oven to 490

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By Darkmage on Sun, 06-26-05, 21:51

[b]Basic Bagels[/b]

Here's an easy recipe to get you started.

1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
4 cups King Arthur Unbleached Special Bread Flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons non-diastatic malt powder
1 1/3 cups (approximately) lukewarm water

Make a very stiff dough, by machine or by hand. Be sure to knead it sufficiently; we're using high-gluten bread flour here, which takes a bit to develop. Cover the dough and allow it to rise for 1 1/2 hours; it won't double in bulk, but will get puffy.

Divide the dough into eight pieces, and shape each piece into a bagel -- with a bagel cutter, or using your own favorite method. Place the bagels on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, and allow them to rise, UNCOVERED, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Again, they'll get puffy, but won't double.

Prepare a water bath of 2 quarts simmering water, 2 tablespoons non-diastatic malt powder, and 1 tablespoon sugar. Working in batches, transfer the bagels to the bath and simmer them 2 minutes, then GENTLY flip them over and simmer an additional 1 minute. Be careful -- they're delicate at this point.

Return the bagels to the baking sheet, and bake in a preheated 425

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By gw_mom3 on Thu, 09-29-05, 05:40



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By proudmomof2 on Fri, 09-30-05, 17:26

Melissa, may I have the Lender's #? I tried emailing twice, but did not receive a response.

Everyone, I called also in the past (recently) on Thomas's pita bread (Sahara) and was told they are NOT safe.


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By gw_mom3 on Tue, 03-07-06, 06:41

bumping again.


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By MommaBear on Tue, 03-07-06, 13:33

Quote:Originally posted by dgood:
[b]If I find another safe english muffin I will switch immediately. This company obviously is waiting until the last minute and are doing it only because they are being forced. Not very reassuring![/b]


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By caryn on Tue, 03-07-06, 13:53

I know there are all different feelings on pepperidge farms - has any one tried their english muffins? the label does not have anything specific on it -- and it happens to be the only one I can find that doesn't contain corn or soy also.

i have not called and only bought them yesterday.

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By dgood on Tue, 03-07-06, 15:07

We eat Pepperidge Farm products including bagels regularly. Their english muffins are also very good. My daughter who is peanut, egg and tree nut allergic eats them with no issue. I do always study the ingredients, but I now trust their labeling.

[This message has been edited by dgood (edited March 07, 2006).]

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By tidina on Tue, 03-07-06, 15:15

i know either their bagels or english muffins have a sesame warning on them which is nice. not nice because we cant use them but nice that they put it there.

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By Jimmy's mom on Thu, 10-26-06, 12:16

Does anyone know a safe English muffin other than Pepperidge Farm? I grew up on Thomas's, love them. Gave them up because from everything I've read here, I'm not confident in their safety.
I just tried Pepperidge Farm, and think they are awful! It's like a denser hamburger roll. Where are the nooks and crannies to hold the butter? Yuck.

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