Claims about gluten in food: a guide for caterers
The rules on making claims about gluten in food are changing on the 1 January 2012 and you may no longer be able to call your food ‘gluten-free’. It’s important that you train your staff who work with food so they understand the new descriptions and exactly what they mean. Your staff can then explain to customers what the foods contain and how they are made.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in cereals such as wheat, rye, barley, and can contaminate some oat products. People with gluten intolerance (coeliac disease) need to avoid all food containing gluten. Gluten can be present in food knowingly as an ingredient or accidentally by coming into contact with gluten-containing ingredients, such as wheat flour or breadcrumbs, used in the same premises. You may choose to offer foods for people with gluten intolerance. Many people avoiding gluten will become regular customers of establishments where they are confident their food has been prepared by people who understand their needs and the food will not make them unwell.
What claims can I make? – The rules
The new rules mean there are two claims allowed to describe foods suitable for people with a gluten intolerance. These claims apply to both food where gluten is knowingly an ingredient or present accidently from cross-contamination: 1. gluten-free’: for foods that contain nomorethan20partsofgluteninamillion(ppm). ‘ These can be foods that: • are specially made for someone with gluten intolerance, by using an ingredient that has been treated to reduce its gluten content (such as bread made with gluten-reduced flour) • and/or have a gluten-containing ingredient substituted with one that does not contain gluten (such as pasta made from rice instead of wheat) • are everyday foods that meet the gluten limit even though they are not specifically made for this purpose (such as a soup made only from vegetables). 2. verylowgluten’: only for...
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