New Gluten Free Labeling Standards

gluten free label regulation
Some exciting news in the gluten free world! The Food and Drug Administration has passed new mandates for the voluntary labeling of “gluten free” products. Some additional details are below (in an email I received from We The People) , but the gist is that food manufacturers have 1 year to comply with the new regulations for adding the words “gluten free” to their food labels. Although most products with gluten free labels are in fact gluten free, this new regulation will guarantee that any unavoidable presence of gluten in the food must be less than 20 ppm.

The petition for this began on October 20th, 2012…and the final ruling was passed on August 5th, 2013.

THANK YOU to the 40, 639 people who signed this petition!

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Gluten-Free Should Mean Gluten-Free

By Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine at the Food and Drug Administration

Thanks for your petition. The Food and Drug Administration is a science-based, regulatory public health agency, and as we make determinations on food labeling, we take time to ensure the final standard is the right one.

We’re pleased to share that on August 5th, 2013, the Food and Drug Administration published the final rule defining the term “gluten-free” for voluntary food labeling, setting an enforceable standard that will benefit people with celiac disease, as well as those with gluten sensitivity.

Manufacturers that use “gluten-free” on their food labels must ensure their foods are either inherently gluten free, or do not contain an ingredient that is:

  • a gluten-containing grain (e.g., spelt wheat);
  • derived from a gluten-containing grain that has not been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat flour); or
  • derived from a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat starch), if the use of that ingredient results in the presence of 20 parts per million (ppm) or more gluten in the food.

Also, any unavoidable presence of gluten in the food must be less than 20 ppm.

Manufacturers have one year to implement this rule, meaning all manufacturers using a “gluten-free” claim must ensure their labeling is in compliance with the final rule by August 5th, 2014.

It’s important to note that many foods currently labeled as “gluten-free” may already meet the new federal definition, but this rule will ensure greater consistency in labeling – and that’s good news for consumers.

Learn more about the new standards here.

Tell us what you think about this response and We the People.

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Crumbs Bakery opens an entirely gluten free shop

Crumbs GlutenFreeCrumbs bakery has opened an entirely gluten free shop in NYC! So, basically… I have to move to NYC now.

They’ve been open for less than a week, and the bakery offers  “the same cupcakes, cookies, brownies and pastries that the brand is known for in gluten-free versions. This new assortment is baked at a completely gluten and peanut-free bakery and delivered fresh daily to the store. In addition to the cupcakes and pastries for which Crumbs Bake shop is famous, Crumbs Gluten Free will also offer gluten-free breads, quiches, pies, tarts and more“.

If you’ve never heard of crumbs, their cupcakes are supposed to be amazing… although I have never been able to try one myself. Looking forward to changing that soon.

crumbs cupcakes

 

Gluten Free Dating Site

gluten free singlesGlutenFreeSingles.com – Enjoy Life with a Gluten Free partner…

Oh man, is a gluten free diet that awkward? I certainly don’t enjoy explaining my allergy on a first date, but I’m not sure the lack of Lady and the Tramp pasta moments warrants finding a gluten free partner. And aren’t you giving your future children ZERO shot at ever enjoying pizza parties or beer pong? I say you do your offspring  a favor and mix the gene pool  (Celiac is genetic!)

Although the main focus of this site is dating, it is also intended as an online community for gluten-free individuals to connect, learn, and support one another. Here’s what they have to say:

Whether you have celiac disease, are gluten intolerant or choose to be gluten free for health reasons, we welcome you to GlutenfreeSingles, a website committed to building a national and global community for those who are gluten free.

Living a gluten-free life can be challenging, especially in a world where gluten-soaked foods are just about everywhere. At GlutenfreeSingles, you are not alone!

We Connect Gluten-Free Individuals Interested In:

  • Gluten-free dating partners
  • Gluten-free group healthy eating/cooking activities
  • Gluten-free evening socials
  • A gluten-free online community
  • News, updates and advice related to living a gluten-free lifestyle
  • And much more!

If you’re a big foodie and like to adventure to new GF places, it could be a good way to meet dining partners.

Gluten Free coming to schools, military bases, and workplace cafeterias.

Slade Gorton is ready to corner the niche market of allergy-friendly products in the foodservice industry.

gluten free in schools

Slade Gorton, a large foodservice provider, recently announced a new partnership with the allergy-friendly Elevation Brands (Ian’s Natural Foods). The goal of this partnership is to provide large institutions – such as schools, military bases and workplace cafeteria’s with safe gluten free versions of your cafeteria classics; fish sticks, chicken nuggets, pizza, and macaroni and cheese. There are also going to offer products that are soy free, dairy free, nut free and so on.

I know that I am always bummed out when I forget to prep a lunch and find myself at work with very few options, so I’m certainly excited to hear this news! But…I’m curious how organizations that cook large quantities of food will be able to handle the issues of cross contamination. I hope that providing gluten free products will be a multi-step process that also includes training on the best practices for preparing allergy-friendly meals.

Would you trust a chicken nugget from the cafeteria?

Here is a statement from Kim Gorton, President and CEO of Slade Gorton:

“In support of our mission to ensure an enjoyable dining experience for the American consumer, Slade Gorton is proud to partner with Elevation Brands to offer allergen-free and gluten-free products to the foodservice market…We share a collective commitment to investing in innovation, health and wellness and increasing consumers’ access to the foods they love.”

Read the full press release here.

Blogging Failure

I have been the worst blogger ever this past month..or maybe the past 2…and I am sick of it! I am writing this post to recognize my blogging failure, and to guilt myself into getting back into the swing of things from here forward.

In my defense, I recently started a new job and I have not been good about prioritizing my time after I get home from work. Luckily I am still cooking and eating delicious gluten free food, I just haven’t made enough time for the actual posting. So, I will start tomorrow with a post on my favorite dessert ever: cheesecake – pictured above at my 23rd birthday, which also happened to fall on Easter this year. My parents hosted the family for my birthday/Easter, so we were able to do the whole thing GF. That being said, I have SO many holiday recipes that need posting!!

Easter sampling below…(and these are just the left overs…)

Allergy friendly restaurant guide

Allergy Eats.com is a great new website helping people with food allergies find places they can eat. A google search can often overlook a lot of restaurants that do not key word their website/menu as having gluten-friendly options. Because of this, you may miss out on some awesome accommodating restaurants. Allergyeats.com lets you search via allergen(s) and location to find restaurants in your area. The website relies on user ratings and comments to suggest accommodating options. So, the more we start rating, the more reliable and helpful this site will be!

So log on, and find something new and safe in your area. And while you’re there, sign up (free) and start reviewing your favorite places!

Awesome News! Gluten research

Hello my fellow Celiacs and gluten-haters,

Great news! The National Foundation of Celiac Awareness just received a $50,000 grant from the FDA to conduct the first ever scientific research study on gluten in medications! The study titled  “Gluten in Medication: Qualifying the extent of exposure to people with celiac disease and identifying a hidden and preventable cause of an adverse drug event,” will address the issue of  unlabeled gluten ingredients in medications.

Click here to hear it straight from the NFCA !

Gluten Free prescription in Italy

I am moving to Italy.

No, not actually… But I want to!

I have weighed the pros and cons, and the gluten-free pros of Italy are putting America to shame.

In Italy, when diagnosed with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance you are given a “prescription” for gluten free products. The Italian government pays its prescribed gluten free citizens a small stipend every month for gluten free food. Employers also give their GF employees two additional days off every month, to go search out their food! Food which is easy to find, as it is supplied widely in Italy- It is even carried in pharmacies!

Wow – the italians have got it right! Come on America, gluten free prescriptions!

Check out a great gluten-free article in the Atlantic. Click Here.

Gluten News

Click here to see the latest article on the FDA regulations surrounding "Gluten Free" labeling!

Currently, The FDA states that:

In the context of celiac disease, the term “gluten” is used to collectively refer to gluten in wheat, and to the proteins in other grains that have been demonstrated to cause harmful health effects in individuals who have celiac disease. These grains are wheat (including different varieties such as spelt and kamut), rye, barley, cross-bred hybrids (e.g., triticale, which is a cross between wheat and rye), and possibly oats.

They FDA has also proposed a new definition of gluten:  define the term “gluten” to mean the proteins that naturally occur in a prohibited grain and that may cause adverse health effects in persons with celiac disease.

FDA is proposing to define the term “prohibited grain” to mean any one of the following grains:

*   Wheat, meaning any species belonging to the genus Triticum

*   Rye, meaning any species belonging to the genus Secale

*   Barley, meaning any species belonging to the genus Hordeum

*   Crossbred hybrids of wheat, rye or barley (e.g., triticale, which is a cross between wheat and rye)