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FOOD AND HEALTH ESSENTIALS

Your regular update for technical and industry information

Canadian Food Inspection Agency clarifies gluten-free claim enforcement

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has provided further guidance to manufacturers on the compliance and enforcement of gluten-free claims related to food products.

Issued in late September, the CFIA’s notice clarifies the agency’s requirements regarding the legal use of the term “gluten-free.” Specifically, to be labelled as gluten-free, the gluten content of a food product must not exceed more than 20 parts per million (PPM). The limit is applicable regardless of the source of the gluten content, whether naturally-occurring or as a result of intentional addition. Tested products labelled as gluten-free that exceed this limit are subject to recall, and their manufacturers or distributors may be subject to further enforcement action.

The CFIA also notes that manufacturers of gluten-free food products are expected to make “every reasonable effort” to minimise the risk of cross-contamination, and should adopt and maintain good manufacturing and good importing practices to prevent such cross-contamination.

The complete text of the CFIA’s September notice on the use of gluten-free claims is available here. It is intended to supplement Health Canada’s stated position on gluten-free claims, which is available here

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