Are all Gluten Free labels the same? The quick answer is NO. I have been thinking about this post for a while. People always tell me oh I see Gluten free stuff every where now. Yes you do, but all Gluten Free labels are not the same. A lot will depend on why you eat Gluten Free. I have broken down the labels into 3 groups.
Certified Gluten Free – This means the company has taken the extra step to have their product certified. They have their product tested for traces of gluten. The FDA states for something to be labeled Gluten free it has to have less than 20ppm of gluten in the product. That is really not 100 % Gluten Free. There are 3 organizations that can certify a product Gluten Free. One of the organizations require to test at less than 5 ppm. If the certified gluten free seal is on the product you are pretty safe to eat it. These companies would not go through the process and have to renew every year if they were not serious about their products being Gluten Free. These are usually your companies that are focused on Gluten Free.
Gluten Free label with the made in a dedicated Gluten Free facility – This means they make nothing with Gluten in that facility and take the extra step to be Gluten Free. A lot with this label will also be certified Gluten Free. These are also your safe foods.
Gluten Free – The FDA states for something to be labeled Gluten free it has to have less than 20ppm of gluten in the product. That is really not 100 % Gluten Free. A lot of these companies are still good but you really have to watch and see. Read all the labels and see what you think. A couple examples are Fruity Pebbles and Chex both say they are Gluten free but are not certified, but when I called the companies they make nothing else on those lines so the chance for cross contamination is slim. Cheerios on the other hand have made many Celiac’s sick. They can test their product and as long as it tests under 20 ppm on average it can be labeled Gluten Free. So beware your box might not be below the 20ppm and make you sick. Then there is the Gluten Free label but then in the small print it says manufactured on the same line as Wheat ect. That is a big red flag. No thank you, I will not take the risk.
The best thing to do if you have to eat Gluten Free is educate yourself. If you have Celiac then you really need to watch the labels and pay attention to how you feel after eating certain food. If you are eating for other reasons. The traces may not both you.