http://www.foodchainadvisors.eu" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">FoodChain Europe, a leading food legality consultant, is warning caterers of the need to comply with strict new definitions of the use of ‘gluten-free' and ‘low in gluten' claims outlined in a new guidance document from the Food Standards Agency.
The Foodstuffs Suitable for People Intolerant to Gluten (England) Regulations 2010 come into force on 1 January 2012 alongside parallel legislation in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Caterers who fail to observe the new rules for loose products such as bread, cakes and biscuits risk prosecution, warned Stuart Shotton, consultancy services manager at FoodChain Europe.
Under the new rules:
â- 'Very Low Gluten' claims can only apply to foods where gluten levels are higher than 20ppm and lower than 100ppm AND where the product is made from reduced gluten ingredients or substitute gluten-free ingredients such as rice flour.
â- Products that are naturally gluten free can no longer be labelled "Naturally gluten-free"or "Free from gluten" as only the exact wording can be used.
â- Caterers who bake gluten-free products from scratch must now notify the FSA with the name of the business, type of food, and claim to be used
"In reality, this means that a caterer who products their own biscuits made with reduced gluten wheat flour or who produces pies or cakes with rice flour instead of wheat flour must inform the FSA before they can place a gluten-free statement on menus or point of sale," said Shotton.