Restaurants: Stop Using Wheat-Based Soy Sauce in Gluten-Free Meals
If you come across a restaurant using wheat-based soy sauce in a meal marked gluten-free, please share the information below with the manager. A pdf of the letter is available here.
Dear restaurant manager,
It has come to our attention that your restaurant is using certain sauces, including shoyu soy sauce and representing these sauces as gluten-free to your patrons. Under the FDA’s gluten-free labeling rule, wheat-based soy sauces and sauces containing wheat-based soy sauce as an ingredient may NOT be labeled gluten-free. According to the FDA, “If a soy sauce is made from wheat and soybeans, “wheat” is a gluten-containing grain, and, therefore, cannot make the gluten-free claim (emphasis mine).” This is true regardless of any statement on the product label that the wheat has been processed to allow it to meet the requirements of the FDA’s gluten-free labeling rule. See https://www.glutenfreewatchdog.org/news/make-no-mistake-about-it-wheat-based-soy-sauce-is-not-allowed-in-foods-labeled-gluten-free/
FDA has further stated: “If restaurants cannot ensure that the foods they prepare fully comply with FDA’s definition of gluten-free, restaurants should not refer to their foods as being “gluten-free.”Also according to the FDA, “If a restaurant manager confirms that a menu item bearing a gluten-free claim is made with an ingredient prohibited by FDA regulations on gluten-free food labeling, or if any persons sensitive to gluten become sick after consuming restaurant foods claimed to be gluten-free, it is important that these cases be reported to both the overseeing state agency and to FDA.” See http://www.glutenfreedietitian.com/restaurants-and-gluten-free-labeling-claims/
If you have any questions, please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tricia Thompson, MS, RD
Founder, Gluten Free Watchdog, LLC