People are increasingly more aware of what they eat and one thing many people look out for is whether their food is gluten free or not. Whether it is for health reasons or it is from an allergy, gluten-free products are becoming more high in demand. But when an item is labelled gluten free, is it as free as they make it out to be
The general manager of Coeliac New Zealand, Carl Sunderland, wants manufacturers to have stricter rules – that food labelled as gluten-free should have only 3/1000000 of gluten. In the United States and Canada, food labelled as gluten free can contain up to 20/1000000 of gluten.
Currently, the Food Safety Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is considering whether changes need to be made to the current Food Standards Code in regards to the limit in gluten. FSANZ is looking at a proposal to ensure gluten free claims can continue to be made on foods that contain more than 1.15 per cent of alcohol. It will no longer be permitted to include gluten free or low gluten information within those foods when an amendment is made to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code in January next year.
Personally, I believe that the gluten free label should be taken more seriously. A friend of mine who has coeliac unfortunately had to miss an opera show because her ‘gluten free’ meal had traces of gluten in it. It caused her to vomit throughout the evening and since no one else vomited that night (out ruling the possibility of food poisoning), the gluten must be at fault.
Has this changed your opinion of gluten free labels on your food? Do you need to be more mindful of what you purchase for a coeliac friend?
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