“Gluten Free” on US Food Labels from Pre-Packaged foods must adhere to strict controls. Manufacturers who wish to use the “Gluten Free” designation are agreeing to using only gluten free ingredients and preventing cross contact of gluten proteins between batch recipes. Food manufacturers who use shared processing equipment need to be sure nothing comes in contact with glorious gluten, therefore strict protocols for scrubbing equipment and removing dust from counters, etc. prior to making the batch of food are necessary. If a food product does not say it is gluten free, but looks like it should be, it usually has to do with the state of gluten in the facility the food product is made. Always remember manufacturers want to capitalize on their marketshare. They go through great expense developing recipes, packaging, processing, transit, distribution. It is in their greatest profitable interest to label a food gluten free, if it truly is. If they have not labeled it “gluten free” after all of the investment which goes into food product development and processing, that is because they know it has 20PPM of gluten or more.
The FDA has set 19PPM as the safe zone for folks with Celiac Disease. Third party certifying organizations exist. The most recognizable is the GF in a circle icon, this GF certification is offered by GFCO, a not for profit organization. Certification requires the food has 10PPM or less of gluten. PPM, or particulate matter, is the size of a dust particle and often not visible to the naked eye. Because gluten, and proteins in general, bind to surfaces they are placed on (like sponges, plates, pans, etc.) those of us who need to be protected from this minuscule amount are. Please be aware, the FDA ”Gluten Free” labeling law does NOT apply to menus in US restaurants. Only a handful of states regulate menus in restaurants and delis.
‘”Gluten Free” 19PPM or Less’ (c) Liz Conforti 2020