The Scoop on Empire Theatres Popcorn

Have you ever wondered whether movie theater popcorn is safe for Celiacs? Here in Nova Scotia, there is just one movie theater chain (Empire Theatres) so I e-mailed them and asked if their popcorn contains gluten.

Here is the answer I got:

“Even though, to the best of knowledge Glutens and wheat are not present, we have not analyzed for the actual presence of gluten or wheat. During the harvesting process, wheat may come into contact with the corn. ConAgra Policy, at this time, prevents us from making “Gluten Free” or “Wheat Free” claims while the FDA Guidance on this matter is still being reviewed.”

So, to be safe, take your own snacks to the theater!


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  1. #1 by Dave on June 10, 2012 - 7:08 pm

    You know, I’ve followed or read several celiac blogs in the past, but none of them have managed to answer questions I’ve personally had, or been quite so helpful to my own personal tastes, to such an extensive degree. This is one of those questions that I’ve always had in the back of my mind when going to the theatre with my wife…I’m not one of those people who HAS to have popcorn at the theatre, so I’ve just never bothered, but I always kind of wondered whether it was GF or not. Great post!!

    It looks like the answer from them is: “We don’t really know.” I’m surprised they don’t “analyze for the presence of wheat or gluten.” I’d have thought movie theatre popcorn is such a universal thing, that the celiac awareness groups would’ve been all over them by now. Maybe it’ll take a few more enquiries on our parts to get them to notice that they need to clarify things 🙂

  2. #2 by Sue Newell on June 15, 2012 - 11:09 am

    Corn is probably the least likely grain to be contaiminated by wheat during harvest and processing. It is harvested at a different time than wheat, using different equipment. It needs a different type of processing with drying and removal from cobs. The kernel is a different size from wheat or barley kernels so it can be screened out fairly effectively.

    Finally, popcorn is minimally processed because it doesn’t get ground or crushed – it is popped from full kernal.

    Most of the concern I have heard about movie theatre popcorn has been concern about the toppings. I’ve seen flour in some of the sprinkle-on toppings you can buy at the grocery store. I’m not sure about what is used in the theatre.

    • #3 by glutenfree4hfx on June 15, 2012 - 11:35 am

      I agree that it’s pretty unlikely, but it’s good to know that they can’t guarantee that it’s totally gluten-free. Thanks for the interesting info about the harvesting process – there’s my learning item for the day. 🙂

      RE: the seasonings, at Empire Theatres, some of the flavors have wheat flour and some don’t. The last time I checked, ingredients were listed on each package.

  3. #4 by la dieta dukan on February 25, 2013 - 4:44 am

    Howdy! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an
    established blog. Is it very hard to set up your own blog?

    I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking
    about creating my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any tips or suggestions? Many thanks

    • #5 by glutenfree4hfx on February 25, 2013 - 3:12 pm

      Most blogging sites (WordPress included) make it very easy to get started. There are lots of resources out there, too, on how to write effective posts and market yourself with no budget. Blogging is a ton of fun! Good luck. 🙂

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