gluten free

Gluten-Free Definition: Do You Meet It?

Gluten-free is here to stay for the foreseeable future, and has proven to be a boon for restauranteurs. Many chains and restaurants have tackled this trend with new menu items, and we’ve created a guide to going gluten-free in your restaurant.

Starting August 5th, 2014, restaurants will have to meet new FDA standards when it comes to being gluten-free, Nation’s Restaurant News reports.

The term “gluten-free” can only be used in certain situations:

  • The food item is inherently gluten-free
  • It does not contain a gluten-including grain
  • It does not contain a gluten-including grain that has not been processed to remove gluten
  • It does not contain a gluten-including grain that has been processed to remove gluten, but the usage of that grain increases the gluten content to 20 parts per million in the dish
  • Any unavoidable presence of gluten in the food cannot be more than 20 parts per million

These regulations make the first step towards having “gluten-free” be a regulated term. Many restaurants have used “gluten-free” with the condition that it’s not for those with celiac disease, but gluten sensitivity.

Any sort of product that is labeled gluten-free but breaks these rules will be subject to “regulatory enforcement action”.

One aspect with gluten-free food is that the food needs to be kept separate from gluten-filled foods. Cross-contamination can become a problem for those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, and yet while a food may technically meet all the above requirements, mishandling and improper cooking can ruin these dishes for the customers.

With these new guidelines in place, gluten-free will be clearly in the minds of consumers. Make sure you don’t displace their trust in your company and brand.