August 6, 2014
A little over a year ago the FDA posted guidelines around what could and couldn’t be called gluten-free in order to provide guidance to those suffering with celiac disease about what is safe for them to eat. ¬†That rule officially took effect yesterday and now packaged food producers who are FDA-regulated must meet the stated guidelines.¬†
Along with this ruling is the statement that packaged food products that are FDA-regulated should also list whether any of the potential eight major allergens are part of or may have come in direct contact with the finished product. ¬†Those eight allergens, as defined by the FDA, are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, crustaceans, soy and wheat.
More information about specifically what this ruling entailed can be answered via the FDA’s website by clicking here.
One thing worth mentioning is that many of you reading this are either working in a shared or incubator-style kitchen where they are multiple food entrepreneurs making many varied products or using a co-packer who produces food for several brands. ¬†As such, even if your product does not contain ingredients with gluten, you need to be very careful about any potential cross contamination that may occur during the production of your product if you’re going to market and label your product as gluten-free.
Also if you don’t make a packaged food product but are a restaurant or food cart you are not required to label your menu items as gluten-free but if you do those items should meet the FDA’s accepted regulation of having no more than 20ppm (parts per million) of gluten.