Are Three Musketeers safe for celiacs?

As a celiac, you know that gluten can cause serious health issues. So finding gluten-free snacks that you can safely enjoy is extremely important. Three Musketeers bars are a popular candy bar that contain chocolate, nougat and whipped chocolate. But with gluten lurking in so many foods, you may be wondering: Are Three Musketeers safe for celiacs to eat?

The short answer is yes, Three Musketeers bars are considered gluten-free and safe for most people with celiac disease. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when enjoying these tasty treats.

Are Three Musketeers Officially Gluten-Free?

According to Mars Wrigley Confectionery, the maker of Three Musketeers bars, these candy bars do not contain any major food allergens such as wheat, milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, or soy. They state that their products are safe for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Three Musketeers bars are not certified gluten-free. However, Mars Wrigley does voluntarily label any products that contain gluten, and Three Musketeers do not contain any allergen labeling. So while not certified, they are considered gluten-free by the manufacturer.

What Ingredients Are in Three Musketeers Bars?

According to the ingredient list, Three Musketeers bars contain:

  • Milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, skim milk, lactose, soy lecithin, PGPR)
  • Corn syrup
  • Sugar
  • Whipped nougat (sugar, corn syrup, soy protein isolate, dried egg whites, vanilla extract)
  • Cocoa butter
  • Skim milk
  • Lactose
  • Soy lecithin
  • Vanillin

As you can see, the ingredient list does not contain any gluten-containing grains like wheat, barley or rye. The soy ingredients (soy protein isolate and soy lecithin) are also gluten-free.

What About Cross-Contamination Risks?

When a product contains no overt gluten ingredients, cross-contamination during manufacturing is always a potential concern. However, Mars Wrigley states that their allergen controls and manufacturing procedures prevent cross-contact of ingredients.

Mars Wrigley has very stringent allergen controls in place. Their facilities have separate storage and production lines for products containing allergens versus gluten-free products. All equipment and surfaces are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized between production runs.

In addition, all Mars Wrigley manufacturing facilities are audited by third-party food safety companies like SGS and NSF International. This provides extra assurance that robust allergen controls are in place.

What Do Celiac Organizations Say?

The celiac disease foundations also consider Three Musketeers bars as a gluten-free and celiac-safe option:

  • Celiac Disease Foundation – Three Musketeers listed as “Gluten-Free Per Manufacturer”
  • National Celiac Association – Three Musketeers approved in their Gluten-Free Product Listing
  • Celiac Support Association – Three Musketeers listed as gluten-free

So the consensus among celiac groups is that Three Musketeers can be safely enjoyed on a gluten-free diet as long as you tolerate milk chocolate and soy.

Individual Tolerances May Vary

It’s important to note that while Three Musketeers bars are considered gluten-free, individual reactions can vary. A small percentage of celiacs are highly sensitive and react to traces of gluten that most people can tolerate.

If you react to foods labeled gluten-free, it’s possible that miniscule cross-contact not detected by standard gluten testing could be an issue. Talk to your doctor if you experience symptoms after eating Three Musketeers bars.

Some celiacs also have issues with oats due to cross-reactivity even though oats don’t naturally contain gluten. So if you are sensitive to oats, you may also react to soy.

Other Candy Bars That Are Gluten-Free

If for any reason Three Musketeers don’t work for your celiac diet, know that you still have plenty of gluten-free candy options! Here are some other popular candy bars considered celiac-safe:

Candy Bar Manufacturer
Snickers Mars Wrigley
Milky Way Mars Wrigley
3 Musketeers Mars Wrigley
Almond Joy Hershey’s
Mounds Hershey’s
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Hershey’s
Kit Kat Hershey’s
Heath Bar Hershey’s
PayDay Hershey’s
M&M’s (plain) Mars Wrigley
Twix Mars Wrigley
Baby Ruth Ferrara Candy
Butterfinger Ferrara Candy
Mr. Goodbar Hershey’s
Swedish Fish Mondelez
Sour Patch Kids Mondelez

As always, be sure to check labels for any gluten-containing ingredients or allergen warnings if trying new products. And contact the manufacturer if you ever have any questions or concerns about ingredients or processing.

The Bottom Line

Based on the ingredients, manufacturing practices, and guidance from celiac organizations, Three Musketeers bars are considered gluten-free and safe for the majority of people with celiac disease. Just be aware that tolerances vary on a case-by-case basis.

If for any reason you do react to these tasty candy bars, no worries – you still have plenty of gluten-free chocolate options to satisfy your sweet tooth! With so many mainstream candies gluten-free, living the celiac lifestyle doesn’t mean giving up your favorite treats.

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