Home > food > Cadbury is NOT Gluten Free

Cadbury is NOT Gluten Free

May 29, 2013

Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate

You may have seen in the shops that Cadbury have redesigned their blocks and along with it their packaging. (photo above is old packaging) On this new packaging, on all block types of chocolate is a ‘may contain wheat/gluten’ statement.

Yes, it looks likes any Cadbury chocolate is no longer safe for coeliac’s to eat.

When Cadbury were contacted by several coeliac’s to question this, they said and I quote from their facebook page:

“We would like to reassure you that we haven’t changed the formulation of Cadbury Dairy Milk or our production methods.

We have also never made a gluten free claim on our packaging. The update to allergen labelling was the result of a review across the region to ensure more comprehensive labelling and alignment with our own strict global standards. 
The recent update in allergen labelling has been made to better reflect the allergens that may be present on our manufacturing lines from cross contaminants.
We believe this new more comprehensive allergen statement provides greater consumer confidence so that if you or a family member has a propensity for an allergic reaction to a cross contact material you are fully aware of all trace ingredients our products may come in contact with.
Our factory has controls in place to reduce the risk of cross contamination from listed allergens, but the risk, albeit very low is still there. That’s why we are unable to guarantee that our products will be free of cross contaminated gluten and we have never made a gluten free claim.
If you have any further inquiries please do not hesitate to contact our Consumer Relations team on freecall 1800 250 260.”

So it seems that there always has the been the risk of cross contamination in their factories and they are now just labelling the packaging as such. This is scary!

Needless to say I will not be buying any of their products and I cannot recommend them now as gluten free by ingredient and their gluten free page, which I have previously linked to so I know it was there,  has disappeared from their website.

Gosh it is a shame isn’t it?

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  1. May 29, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Oh nooooooo! This is awful news 😦 I have been eating Dairy Milk as my main chocolate source forever and I don’t *think* I’ve ever been glutened by it but now I’m secondguessing myself. No more Cadbury for me…

    • nellbe
      May 29, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      Hey Kathy, I am the same, I won’t be able to eat it at all now and not really sure which chocolate I will have now. Argh Cadbury, what have they done to us?

  2. Mary Preston
    May 30, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I almost cried. My daughter loves chocolate & we were relying on Cadbury. It looks like just Toblerone then. More expensive & about time I re-checked with them about Gluten Free. A timely reminder. Nothing is safe!!

    • nellbe
      June 2, 2013 at 12:37 pm

      I must check with Toberlone too, they are owned by Kraft who own Cadbury but I think the Toberlone bars are imported, but I am unsure.

  3. June 1, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    It must be so frustrating when foods/labels get changed like this. It just goes to show we need to check ALL labels from time to time.

    • nellbe
      June 2, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      It is very frustrating, I don’t think Cadbury realise what an affect this will have on the coeliac community

  4. Nikita
    June 6, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Most of the Whittakers chocolate is gluten free, see FAQ http://www.whittakers.com.au/?gclid=CLTY-sX6xrcCFQ1jpQodphUAig#/faq/
    Not is much variety but very yummy!

    • nellbe
      June 7, 2013 at 11:18 am

      Thanks for sharing that!

  5. Cheryl
    June 26, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    I actually emailed The NSW food authority to see if Cadbury has breeched any labelling laws. I was under the impression that all products in Australia had to have a may contain statement if anything with gluten in it was made in the same factory. Only contacted them on the 11.6.13 and had 1 email saying that they had forwarded my query to the “Labelling support unit”. Haven’t heard back as yet, early days……..

    • nellbe
      June 28, 2013 at 10:39 am

      Hi Cheryl,

      That’s a great idea and I hope they get back to you. Would love it if you could let me know if you do happen to hear back.


      • July 6, 2013 at 2:53 pm

        Hi Nellbe,

        This is the reply I received from Cadbury:

        “I refer to your enquiry regrading the labelling of Cadbury’s chocolate with the statement “may contain wheat”.
        This statement is not required by law; its just used by manufacturers to demonstrate ‘duty of care’, in that they are informing the consumer that the product is made in an area which, on occasions, is used to make products that contain wheat; which, although unlikely, may, cross-contaminate the product in question.
        The fact that this statement was not present in the past does not mean that their labelling was illegal.”

      • Amanda
        July 11, 2013 at 12:02 pm

        I dont get this? They are required by law to state if a product may contain any of the known allergens so how come they are only saying this now if it has been the case for years??? I am devastated, 3 coeliacs in the family and we’ve loved cadbury for years.

      • nellbe
        July 16, 2013 at 8:50 pm

        Thanks so much Cheryl. Well isn’t that interesting, as I thought it was law for all Australian companies to label their products as ‘may contain’…it seems I have been misinformed somewhere along the track.

  6. Kathy Ritchie
    July 3, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Very disappointed!! Have been eating Cadbury for years. The Coeliac Society is also looking into this as reported I their June issue of The Coeliac magazine. If the ingredients have not changed and the Aus/NZ food laws have had the requirement for labelling allergens for quite a few years now, then why has Cadbury taken so long to update the labels?

  7. Alex
    July 18, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Doh! Just ate some thinking it was ok. Oh well, might as well finish the block now and call it quits after this. I had a suspicion for a long time that it wasn’t gluten free. I usually get tired after eating it (tiredness after gluten is a common symptom for me).

    • nellbe
      July 20, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      Oh that’s such a shame. I am glad you have found out that Cadbury is the meanie behind it though. Keep well.

  8. Phillipa
    July 22, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Hey guys, take a chill pill. Read it carefully. They are talking about low risk chance of cross contamination which you would get in any product. They are just stating the obvious. Im celiac and react badly to cross contamination. Ive been eating cadbury for years no problem. P

  9. Brooke
    July 29, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    My husband noticed the packaging change after having a strong reaction after he ate some plain Cadbury chocolate which he had ate many many times before and was all good.

    I know Cadbury say they have not changed anything but I feel their processing lines are definitely cross contaminated now and my house will not be purchasing anything from them again, please be careful everyone 🙂

  10. Mike
    August 12, 2013 at 3:11 am

    As an American ex-pat living in Australia, I can tell you I am very familiar with this kind of verbiage. Basically it is legalese for “we warned you so you can’t sue us” in the highly unlikely event that some wheat lands in the product from the other side of the factory. I suspect nothing has actually changed except that their legal department demanded this wording be added to the package. It’s a shame they can’t respect the coeliac community enough to provide more information rather than hiding behind a curtain of legal jargon. Of course we always have to consider the risk of contamination in the food we eat, and weigh that against our likely physical reaction, so as always do what you think is best for your personal situation. I plan to try the new chocolate and see how I go…

  11. August 14, 2013 at 9:15 am

    I spoke to Cadbury directly and you are correct Mike, nothing has changed in the manufacturing process so it is for legal protection. For a recount of the conversation please see the deglutenous website http://www.deglutenous.com/blog/cadbury-not-the-gluten-free-dream. I also contacted Coeliac Australia to ask about publishing something in their next edition of the magazine but they said they were already on it, although I couldn’t find anything in the magazine when it arrived.

  12. Penny
    September 27, 2013 at 12:18 am

    I have found very yummy gluten free chocolates and sweets, may by New Zealand company… Kiwiland, the products are currently sold by Crazy Clark, prices from $1 to $4 so very cheap, but hard to get hold of, but very very yummy.

  13. Angeli Yuson
    October 15, 2013 at 9:29 am

    That is a shame, i love cadbury dairy milk!

  14. Sophie Kearns
    December 31, 2013 at 7:40 am

    I have just been diagnosed as coeliac, first via blood test and then confirmed via biopsy (today). I don’t really exhibit symptoms, I could eat a loaf of bread and have been for years without any ill effects. Maybe this is irrelevant, I don’t know, my head is still in a spin from the diagnosis but is it likely that I will have to go to the exstreams of eliminating the “gluten absent” cadbury’s chocolate in my case if not experiencing symptoms or are symptoms irrelevant compared to the damage the the possible cross contamination could be doing?

    Apologies, this probably isn’t the correct forum for my query, still in a bit of shock here 😦

    • January 2, 2014 at 8:51 am

      Damage can occur even in the absence of symptoms. Also be aware that many chocolate companies (possibly including Cadbury) clean their lines by simply *flushing* them with chocolate. They cannot sanitise their lines properly because if they did, any small drop of water could cause problems with the chocolate production process. Anyone who melts chocolate chips would be familiar with this.

    • January 2, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      Hi Sophie,

      It is whirlwind after diagnosis. Especially during the Christmas/New Year period. You must remove all traces of gluten from your diet. If the brand is uncertain of whether they are there, you must definitely avoid their products. There is plenty on information for newly diagnosed coeliacs here – http://www.deglutenous.com/being-gluten-free. Good luck and don’t worry you aren’t alone. There is a huge online community to help you and in time you will feel comfortable managing your coeliac. Also look up your nearest state Coeliac branch, it is worth joining for support in the early phases. Good luck.

    • nellbe
      January 24, 2014 at 8:00 pm

      Thanks to Kelly and deglutenous for their replies. I concur with their answers and I hope your transition has been ok. Please feel free to send me an email to nellbeblog@gmail.com if you have any further questions.

      Here are a couple of links to some posts I have written that you might like to read: http://www.nellbe.com/2012/10/16/my-coeliac-disease-diagnosis/ and http://www.nellbe.com/2011/02/16/10-tips-to-get-started-being-gluten-free/

  15. Danny
    February 28, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    I am confused.. Can anyone tell me if I can eat Cadbury twirl? It has no warning statement and has same ingredients as Cadbury block. Are they forgetting to put statements or apparently don’t need to put statements by law as previous replies from them state?

    • nellbe
      March 2, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      Hi Danny,

      Twirls are gluten free by ingredient, unfortunately they are made on the same equipment as non gluten free items so they cannot guarantee there would be no cross contamination. So it’s your choice, why are you gluten free? Are you a coeliac? Are you gluten intolerant? For me, I am a coeliac and I won’t risk any cross contamination so no Cadbury chocolate is no longer bought into my house. It seems it isn’t law to put warning statements on packaging, I am unsure why they are putting it on some and not others. Maybe they will eventually.

      Hope this helps

      • Danny
        March 2, 2014 at 6:04 pm

        Hi Thanks for that but as I’m a new coeliac I’m still unsure,,As I went to a coeliac meeting last week the Lecturer said don’t limit to gluten only packaging as your limiting yourself to lots of gluten free foods. She said as long as its got gluten free ingredients and no warning its perfectly safe..Are you sure Cadbury wont admit they stuffed up and there is a law here in Australia that must warn of cross contamination..

      • nellbe
        March 5, 2014 at 2:49 pm

        Hi Danny,

        Being newly diagnosed is certainly a confusing time. I never restrict myself to products labelled gluten free. Plain Smiths chips is one product I have that isn’t labelled gluten free, as well as some salsa’s. From what I understand if there is wheat or gluten (or nuts, dairy, soy) in a product then this must be disclosed on the product. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the product will be labelled gluten free as well. Companies can put on that it was made in the same factory as gluten, wheat etc so we can make the decision to consume the product. Personally I don’t touch things that have the ‘may contain’ label on their product, the risk is too great for me.

        I am not sure what is happening with Cadbury but I am glad that have started putting the may contain statement on their packaging and I thought there was a law to say if there is a chance of cross contamination but Cadbury has said there isn’t. I have to investigate at some point and see what the law is.

  16. Danny
    March 4, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Also I Just rang Cadbury and they assure me twirls are gluten free..it is made on another facility to the blocks so no chance of cross contamination

    • nellbe
      March 5, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      This is very interesting to know! Thanks for sharing this information. I just wish Cadbury would put this on their website so people are aware. I might contact them and ask them to do so. Thanks again.

  1. May 29, 2013 at 7:46 pm
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