How to Watch for Gluten on Food Labels in Canada

Ingredients list
Photo: Angela Mombourquette

If you have celiac, you know that one of the major challenges of following the gluten free diet is reading labels to make sure your food choices are safe.

To make things easier, the folks at Allergic Living have compiled an “all you need to know” guide to reading labels for people who have celiac disease. Even better, they’ve published a guide that’s specific to Canadians.

The key bit of advice offered in the article is this:

“When a prepackaged food sold in Canada contains a gluten protein, modified gluten protein, or gluten protein fraction, the source of the gluten protein must be declared on the label.”

The story also notes that gluten sources must be identified in plain language; that even when the source is a component of an ingredient like “natural flavouring” it must be declared; and that all species of wheat (including tricky ones like spelt and kamut) must be identified as “wheat.”

It also contains helpful links to explain what “may contains” statements are, and points out that these statements are voluntary and not required by Canadian food labeling laws. People with food sensitivities are advised to heed “may contains” statements. “The wording of the warning label does not give an indication as to the risk of the allergen or gluten being present. Allergists generally advise avoiding foods with precautionary labels containing your allergen.”

Read the full post here.

And, for an interesting and useful contrast (especially for cross-border travellers), check out how different the guidance is for reading labels on packaged foods in the US.

Share This Post

Post Comment