Checking Ingredient Lists

New food labelling
regulations in Canada came into effect on August 4, 2012 that apply to all
packaged food sold in Canada, no matter where it was manufactured. The
regulations require that the ten priority allergens, gluten sources, and added
sulphites of 10 ppm be identified using plain language either in the ingredient
list or in a Contains statement that appears immediately after the ingredient
list. Manufacturers have a choice about which method they choose to use.

When you
check for gluten, you may need to check two places:

• The
WARNINGS section – CONTAINS, MAY CONTAIN.

• The
INGREDIENT list

Step 1

Start with
the WARNINGS. You are looking for wheat, rye, barley, oats or gluten. If you
see wheat, rye, barley, oats or gluten, in either the CONTAINS or MAY CONTAIN
list, the product is NOT OK.

If there is
a CONTAINS statement, and it does not include wheat or a gluten grain, the
ingredients are acceptable for a gluten-free diet.

If the
ingredient list just says oats, assume they are contaminated with gluten,
unless they are specifically identified as pure uncontaminated oats or by the
source (Cream Hill Estates Oats, Only Oats, etc.).

Step 2

If there is
no CONTAINS statement, check the INGREDIENT list. You are looking for wheat,
rye, barley or oats. If you see wheat, rye, barley, or oats, the product is NOT
OK. If you do not see any gluten source listed, the ingredients are acceptable
for a gluten-free diet.

Notes

Plain names
must be used for all allergens: WHEAT, MILK, EGGS, etc. Allergens cannot be
hidden in ingredients like seasoning or natural flavour.

If one
allergen is listed in a CONTAINS statement, then all the allergens including
gluten must be listed.

The only
warnings that have official meanings are CONTAINS and MAY CONTAIN. All other
warnings (“made in a plant that also processes wheat “etc.) can only be
understood by contacting the company.

Manufacturers
change the ingredients in their products from time to time. A product that does
not contain gluten might contain gluten in the future. Products that you might
not imagine could contain gluten may have unexpected gluten ingredients. The
only way to be sure is to read the
ingredient list every time you buy a product.