Gluten-Free Labeling

When a regulatory agency (USDA) actually enforces the gluten-free labeling rule and recalls a product containing wheat-based soy sauce

On August 30, 2019, the United States Department of
Agriculture announced the recall of Heatherfield
Foods Inc. pork sausage products due to misbranding. The sausage is labeled
gluten-free yet contains wheat. https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2019/recall-088-2019-release?permalink=35A47FAFA869093A250D7843C3A55B6D5ADD2BFB5919576B6453B59930E6CE26

Why is this
recall particularly significant?

It took
place because of a consumer complaint received by USDA.Based on
consumer photographs sent to Gluten Free Watchdog, the source of wheat in the
sausage is soy sauce.USDA
doesn’t have an agency defined gluten-free labeling rule. Instead
they require manufacturers under their labeling jurisdiction to adhere to the gluten-free
labeling rule […]

Celiac Disease Awareness Month Call to Action: Email your representative TODAY in support of the Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act of 2019 (sample text provided)

In honor of Celiac Disease Awareness Month, Gluten Free
Watchdog will be issuing four calls to action (one each week).

The third call to action pertains to the Gluten in Medicine
Disclosure Act of 2019.

Please personalize the sample letter pasted below and
adapted from a letter provided to Gluten Free Watchdog by Rachel Jenkins,
Legislative Assistant to Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13). Email this letter to
your local representative. A state-by-state directory is available at https://www.house.gov/representatives

You can also find your representative by zip code at https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative?fbclid=IwAR0XjoajmDCz7loMHtt2-Tx8K6-Rvf6QifiyVklSPejTw1J7A7ene0gwbUA

For more […]

Call to Action: Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act of 2019

Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act of 2019. Representatives Ryan and Cole introduced this bill on April 3, 2019. The bill currently has 8 co-sponsors.

The text of the bill is available at https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/2074/text?fbclid=IwAR3Xr7YABCf4sFERNHO00yOkq7HCV2h1DHTnVXWL1OzKlc6znHEb9nY9n9s.

Please support this bill by contacting your representative. A state-by-state directory is available at https://www.house.gov/representatives.

You can also find your representative by zip code at https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative?fbclid=IwAR0XjoajmDCz7loMHtt2-Tx8K6-Rvf6QifiyVklSPejTw1J7A7ene0gwbUA.

I was contacted by Representative Ryan’s office and asked
for my opinion regarding wording of the bill. The bill currently reads in part
that a drug […]

Confused by USDA ingredient & allergen labeling? Read the facts recently confirmed by the agency

Over the past week, two of the amazing members of the Gluten Free Watchdog community reached out regarding issues with USDA labeling. In case you sometimes find yourself in a state of labeling confusion, here are the facts recently confirmed to GFWD by USDA on March 11th and 12th, 2019.

1. ALL ingredients must be declared by their “common or usual name” in foods regulated by the USDA.

2. Certain ingredients can be declared collectively, such as
flavoring. BUT protein-containing ingredients must […]

Yeast extract confusion made worse by the lack of manufacturer transparency

Gluten Free Watchdog received a consumer complaint about
Health Valley Gluten Free Café Chicken Noodle Soup. The product includes the
ingredient “flavors (including yeast extract).” Long story short, according to
the consumer who contacted us, she was told by Health Valley customer service
representatives that the source of the yeast extract was brewer’s yeast.
However, she never received a definitive answer regarding whether the brewer’s
yeast was spent brewer’s yeast.

Generally speaking, we do not advise contacting manufacturers about labeled gluten-free foods containing yeast extract. […]

This Gluten-Free Label Wins the Prize for Most Confusing EVER

Many labeled gluten-free foods contain oats supplied by
providers of mechanically and optically sorted oats. Two consumers have reached
out to GFWD regarding the labeling on Quest oatmeal chocolate chip bars. The
label includes the following:

Certified Gluten-Free mark from GFCO

Contains … wheat**

**Trace amounts are unavoidable in field grains

Oats used in this product are certified gluten-free

There are a few issues with this labeling statement that are concerning:

1. “Contains … wheat.” Contains statements are regulated under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer […]

Sometimes that “not quite right” looking gluten-free food turns out to be gluten-free

Sometimes that “not quite right” looking gluten-free food turns out to be gluten-free and sometimes it does not.

Latest incident. We recently tested two pretzel sticks that looked different from the rest of the pretzel sticks in a bag of gluten-free Snyders’s of Hanover pretzels. They were longer, thinner, and darker than the other pretzels (see photo). GFWD asked SH to test the errant pretzels but they declined.

SH will not test any product once packaging has been opened. This is […]

Why are consumers finding malt extract and malt flavor in the ingredients lists of GFCO certified gluten-free foods?

The issue:

During the month of May, three products were reported to Gluten Free Watchdog that were labeled gluten-free and included the certified gluten-free logo from GFCO on product packaging yet named either malt extract or malt flavor in the ingredients list.

Nothin’ But Foods Cinnamon Raisin Granola Cookie Bites
Know Allergies Blueberry and Maple Bars
Goodie Girl Toffee Crunch Cookies

According to GFCO and the manufacturers involved, the malt ingredients are not actually in the product but instead […]

Is the FDA enforcing the gluten-free labeling rule?

Question: How many FDA food recalls have there been since January 1, 2016 and the reason/problem cited by the FDA is gluten?

Answer: Two

A search under “gluten” on FDA’s “Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts” page resulted in the following:

May 3, 2018: Van’s Waffles: Product may contain gluten and undeclared milk https://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm606033.htm. This product is labeled gluten-free
September 1, 2016: Koi Palace Mooncakes: https://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm518878.htm. It is unclear whether this product was labeled gluten-free at the time of the recall.

How […]

KoJa Kitchen Restaurant Says Wheat-Based Soy Sauce is Gluten-Free: Is it?

April 23, 2018

Gluten Free Watchdog has been informed of yet another restaurant chain representing wheat-based soy sauce as gluten-free. The restaurant is KoJa Kitchen and they have an online schematic explaining how their soy sauce marinade is gluten-free. See http://www.kojakitchen.com/gluten-free. The trouble is, according to the Food and Drug Administration restaurants should NOT be representing their wheat-based soy sauce as gluten-free.

What follows are a few reminders about soy sauce. Please take the time to read this information carefully. […]

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