The current labeling laws make it possible to determine whether products are gluten-free or not, with a few exceptions. Two of these exceptions are alcoholic beverages and pharmaceuticals, as the labeling laws pertaining to these products are more lax. Although ingredient label-reading is the safest way to determine whether a product is gluten-free, there are gluten-free food guides available for those that prefer to use them.
Please follow the recommendations below for the safe purchasing of gluten-free products.
- Check the ingredient labels of processed foods each and every time you are purchasing one. Changes happen frequently!
- Learn and memorize ingredients that are not gluten-free, or are questionable. Bring the lists shopping until you are comfortable. Go to "Ingredients and Labeling" and
"Confusing Ingredients" for lists and more info.
- Always choose a product that is made in a dedicated facility or is certified gluten free (see below) when possible if you have celiac disease. Cross-contamination in the manufacturing process is a significant concern. Gluten sensitive persons may not need to pay attention to this.
- Look for products that have been certified GF by one of several gluten-free accreditation groups. If you see a logo on a package for the "Gluten Free Certification Organization" or the "Celiac Sprue Association Recognition Seal" you can feel confident that the product is gluten free. Both of these programs provide a list of accredited companies on their websites.
- Read more about our current national ingredient labeling policies at www.livingwithout.com/issues/4_7/closer_look_at_labeling
- Learn which manufacturers always declare gluten if it is present on their ingredient labels on the Manufacturer's Statements page. Learn these company names for ease of mind while reading their ingredient labels. This particularly pertains to barley, as wheat must legally be declared, and rye and oats will almost always be automatically listed.
- If in doubt, contact the manufacturer. Many have their gluten-free information online, or place a phone call to their Customer Service Representative. This contact information is usually on the packaging of each product.