There is no single world-wide definition for the term “gluten-free.” Some countries have specific gluten-free labeling regulations that identify which foods and ingredients are allowed and not allowed on a gluten-free diet. Canada is in a transition period between the old labeling regulations and new regulations that take effect on August 4, 2012. By that date, labels for all food products sold in Canada will have to carry clear identification of the priority allergens, gluten, and added sulphites at a level greater than 10 ppm.
In Canada, gluten means "any gluten protein or modified protein, including any protein fraction derived from the grains of the following cereals: barley, oats, rye, triticale, wheat, kamut or spelt". The definition also applies to the grains of hybridized strains of the cereals listed above.
The allergens that must be labelled in plain language in ingredient list or in a "Contains" list immediately below the ingredient list are:
When you are looking for gluten in a product, there are three places you need to look:
According to Health Canada precautionary labeling should only be used when, despite all reasonable measures, the inadvertent presence of allergens in food is unavoidable. It must not be used when an allergen or allergen-containing ingredient is deliberately added to a food. Furthermore, the use of a precautionary statement where there is no real risk of an allergen being present in the food. In other words, you should view ingredients listed in a precautionary statements as if they were listed in the ingredient list.
For more information about ingredient labelling laws in Canada, check Health Canada’s Food Allergen Labelling pages.
From the people who know how important it is to be able to trust the term “gluten-free”.
The Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP) helps consumers identify mainstream products that are safe for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. The program also helps companies manufacturer those products.There are four steps for a company to be part of the system:
A gluten-free management system is a set of policies and procedures used to reduce the risk of gluten contamination. In order to meet the GFCP requirements:
There is no such thing as zero risk, but consumers can be confident that products carrying the GFCP logo have been made by manufacturers who have minimized the possibility of gluten contamination.
The Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) developed the standard for GFCP and is the only body that can authorize a company to use the logo. The Allergen Control Group (ACG) administers the program on behalf of the association. ACG staff review the gluten-free management system and auditor reports and make a recommendations to the CCA about certification.
Visit glutenfreecertification.ca for more information.