I’ve been using Listerine mouthwash on and off for years now. I remember checking what was probably a couple of years ago now that the variety I was using was gluten free and safe for me to use but since it had been a while I decided it would be a good idea to double check again just to be on the safe side. I was also in the UK then whereas I’m in the US now. Manufacturing processes can differ from country to country.
I emailed Listerine last week to ask about it’s gluten free status and this is the email response I received.
Thank you for contacting McNEIL-PPC, Inc., makers of COOL MINT® LISTERINE® Antiseptic Mouthwash. It is always important to hear from our consumers, and we appreciate the time you have taken to contact us.
We do not specifically test for the presence of gluten in our products; therefore, we cannot certify them to be gluten free. While I can tell you that there are no gluten-containing grains in this product, I cannot guarantee that cross-contamination with gluten did not occur in the manufacturing process.
So basically what they are saying is that they cannot be bothered figuring out whether or not cross contamination during the manufacturing process is a possibility and so have given me the generic ‘we cannot guarantee’ response. Not very helpful. If they had said that whilst there are no gluten containing grains in the product, it’s made on shared equipment or in the same factory as gluten containing grains then I could make an informed decision on whether or not to continue using it. This response however makes it sound like they really have no idea how or where the product was made, doesn’t it?
I’ve never had any problems with Listerine or had symptoms develop from using it. But can I really continue to use it? How can I be sure Listerine is safe if the manufacturers can’t even be sure themselves?
This issue of possible cross contamination in manufacturing goes far beyond Listerine or even mouthwash but for now I’m focusing on this product. Any thoughts? Do you use Listerine? Would you? Does this email response provide you with confidence that Listerine is safe for celiacs? Do you use another mouthwash which is manufactured by someone appears to have better knowledge of how or where it was made? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below…