USDA-regulated foods and gluten-free labeling

USDA-regulated foods and gluten-free labeling

In Honor of Celiac Disease Awareness Month, Gluten Free Watchdog is writing a series of articles (the goal is one per day during the month of May) related to the gluten-free diet–currently the ONLY treatment for celiac disease.

Post (#20)…

Foods regulated by USDA…

While the FDA regulates the vast majority of the US food supply, there are certain foods regulated by the USDA. These foods are:

  • Meat products, such as hot dogs
  • Poultry products, such as canned chicken
  • Egg products, such as certain liquid egg products
  • Mixed food products containing more than 3% raw meat or 2% or more cooked meat or poultry

How to tell if a food is regulated by USDA…

Food regulated by the USDA will include an egg products shield or a mark of inspection (see photo).

Gluten-free labeling of USDA-regulated foods…

The FDA’s gluten-free labeling rule does not cover foods regulated by the USDA. BUT (and this is important), the USDA has told me repeatedly in email correspondence that while they are not planning to define gluten-free under USDA rules, a manufacturer under their jurisdiction who labels a food gluten-free must comply with FDA rules. In addition (and this is more than what is required by FDA), if a food regulated by the USDA includes a gluten-free claim, the label of that food must be preapproved by the USDA.

Tomorrow’s Post: Words to look for in USDA-regulated foods NOT labeled gluten-free

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