Gluten free labeling has officially been defined by the FDA. The FDA published regulations to define the term “gluten-free” for food labeling on August 5, 2013. This ruling will provide a uniform standard definition for “gluten-free.”
Some highlights from the final rule for labeling foods “gluten-free” include:
- – To use the term “gluten-free” the presence of gluten in the food must be less than 20 parts per million.
- – The final rule applies to all FDA-regulated foods and excludes foods regulated by the USDA.
- – The final rule was published in the Federal Register on August 5, 2013. The final rule becomes effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Manufacturers will have a year after the date of publication of the rule to bring package labels into compliance.
- – Foods that meet the definition of “gluten-free” are not required to be labeled gluten-free.
- – Foods that are inherently free of gluten can use a “gluten-free” label.
- – A food cannot be labeled “gluten-free” if it is intentionally made with any amount of gluten-containing grain, even if the food contains less than 20 ppm of gluten.
- – The final rule does not require manufacturers to place the voluntary gluten-free claim in any specific location on the food label.
- – The final rule does not prohibit the inclusion of an advisory label statement such as “made in a facility that also processes wheat,” on foods labeled gluten-free, provided the statement is truthful and not misleading.
- – The final rule does not specifically require manufacturers to test for the presence of gluten in their starting ingredients or finished foods labeled gluten-free. However, manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that foods bearing the claim meet the requirements of the final rule.
- – FDA guidance suggests that any use of an FDA-defined food labeling claim on restaurant food, including “gluten-free,” should be consistent with the respective regulatory definition.
For more information on the FDA ruling for gluten free labeling please refer to:
News Release: FDA defines “gluten-free” for food labeling
Federal Register Notice for the Gluten-Free Labeling Final Rule
Questions & Answers: FDA’s Final Rule on Gluten-Free Labeling
As always, On The Menu can assist with your gluten free labeling. Please contact us with your questions.