Gluten Free Pic n Mix

Delicious pic n mix is my favourite treat, especially when I’m watching a movie at the cinema but I’m not sure whether or not I can have it anymore.  A lot of pic n mix retailers don’t display the ingredients of each sweet so it’s hard to tell which sweets are gluten free and which aren’t. I know that things like licorice and many of the chocolate mice, pigs, etc do contain gluten and I know that sweets like foam bananas and shrimps (mmm!) don’t but what about the rest? I’ve found that Candy King pic n mix, which used to be in Woolies (oh how I miss that!) and is now in many cinemas and some WH Smith’s and supermarkets does provide a list of the ingredients in each sweet and says when they contain gluten. Does this mean that it’s alright to fill up my bag with the sweets that don’t say they contain gluten? Do the sweets that don’t say they contain gluten definitely not contain gluten? Is the threat of contamination from the glutenated sweets a threat to my bag of apparently ‘gluten free pic n mix’ as a result of people scoop sharing? I’d love to know what you think because I really miss my pic n mix!!

UPDATE: I have decided to stay away from regular pic n mix in case of contamination but I found that Marks and Spencer do a type of pic n mix where they have 80 gram bags of sweets seperately packaged and you can pic n mix 3 of these for £1. M&S is pretty good with their labelling and some of the sweets say that they contain gluten and wheat so I of course stay clear of these. I found that they do foam shrimps and bananas and I was happy to find that there was no mention of gluten on these bags. (Perhaps stupidly) I thought these must be safe and on reading the ingredients I couldn’t imagine them being glutified. I nibbled a few foamy delights here and there over the period of a week and I felt fine but still decided I wanted to be certain about their gluten free status. I found a link on the M&S website to lists of the gluten free foods they sell. I couldn’t find my sweets on this list so decided to check the ‘suitable for vegetarians’ list. If my sweets still weren’t on this, I thought, then perhaps it was just because they are too new a product that they haven’t updated their lists yet.  Sadly, my foamy delights were on the vegetarian list so this suggests to me that these sweets are not gluten free. This leaves me wondering however why some of the bags of sweets would be labelled as containing gluten and other wouldn’t if they were still unsafe?

EXCITING UPDATE: I recently came across A quarter, a fantastic website which has made me extremely happy! It’s like an online pic n mix where you choose the sweets that you want and they mail them to you. What’s even more brilliant about this site is that they have a gluten free search button which will bring up everything they offer which is gluten free! My bananas and shrimps are on it so I think I’m going to have to treat myself to an early Christmas present 🙂

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  • I would say that the biggest risk is where the scoop has been before you came along. You could eliminate that by using a bag over your hand to pick up the sweets, but make sure the compartment you take them from hasn’t got any stray sweets in.
    It’s all down to trial and error; I can eat small bags of M&M’s but not from large bags of the same sweet.