Recall: Irresistibles GF O’s Cereals

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has reported a product recall by Metro Grocers for Irresistibles Gluten-Free – Honey-Nut O’S Cereal, and Apple Cinammon Flavour O’S Cereal because of gluten.

These cereal products have been distributed in Ontario and Quebec and are sold at both Metro and Food Basics stores.

For details on the specific products affected, visit the CIFA web site.

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New York Times Article

There is a long article in New York Times Magazine this weekend on eating gluten free, focusing particularly on General Mills. The title of the article is misleading, but the stories it tells are fascinating.

It describes how they started in gluten free and how they look for new products. It also talks about the Core GF market (those who need to eat gluten free for medical reasons) and the Fad GF market. It seems that while the fad eaters may move on, there are a lot of core GF eaters who can maintain a good size market.

To read the article, visit the New York Times web site.

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When to introduce gluten

Research continues on when to introduce gluten to children at risk for celiac disease. The expert panel who commented on the question for this article on Environmental Factors Examined in Celiac Disease agree with the recommendations of the CCA’s Professional Advisory Board. The only difference is that they recommending gene testing for the infant to determine if the child actually is at risk of developing celiac disease.

Essentially, the recommendation is to introduce small amounts of gluten between 4 and 6 months, while the child is still being breastfed.

There is also an optimistic reminder from Dr. Stefano Guandalini of the Celiac Disease Center at the University of Chicago: “Only about 10% of babies born to a celiac parent will ever develop celiac disease. Let’s look at the 90% full glass!”

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President’s Choice GF Cookie

If you are a fan of the Food Network’s Recipe to Riches television show, you know that this week Sonya Walos’ gluten-free “The Smart Cookie” will be available in stores this weekend. The fact that the cookie was “gluten free” was emphasized throughout the show.

A few people have already asked whether the cookie would be produced so that it was safe for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, not just from naturally gluten-free ingredients. In response to an email, the CCA received this response:

Thank you for the inquiry on our new “Recipes to Riches” cookie product. The product labelling does indicate the product is gluten-free. To assure this claim, the product has been made under strict processing conditions. Every precaution has been taken to ensure no gluten containing ingredients are included and all possible cross contamination is eliminated and to meet Canadian regulations. Our supplier must meet a strict standard of operation including meeting general manufacturing practices for ingredient control, product handling practices, sanitation and training.

I’m looking forward to trying the cookies this weekend and I hope that the experience will encourage Loblaw’s and Presidents Choice to produce more gluten-free products.

Sue Newell

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Call In The Food Fixers

This article from Chemical and Engineering News describes how food manufacturers and ingredient suppliers choose alternatives to fat, sugar and gluten in food products. Enlarge the mouth map image for a glimpse into all of the “mouth feel” issues they need to take into account when developing projects.

Full article

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Portions – Distinctive Meals and More

Meet another new CCA Associate Member, Portions – Distinctive Meals and More in Guelph Ontario.

In addition to carrying gluten free products from more than 100 different gluten-free manufacturers, Portions store on Woodlawn Road in Guelph is also home to Newton’s No-Gluten, Gluten Free Bakery AND a kitchen producing convenient handmade meals for time when you don’t have time to make it yourself.

All of the products, whether made onsite in the dedicated gluten-free kitchen and bakery or produced by other manufacturers is gluten-free and peanut-free. Shelf signs also identify products that are free of dairy, egg, soy, and rice to assist customers with multiple food allergies.

For more information, portionscanada.com or visit them on Facebook.

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Comensoli Gluten-Free Foods

Meet a new CCA Association Member, Comensoli Gluten-Free Foods from Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. Comensoli makes delicious food … that just happens to be gluten-free.

Comensoli produces a pizza shells and mixes for waffles, muffins and pancakes in a dedicated 6000 square food facility.

For more information, about Comensoli Gluten-Free Foods visit comensolifoods.com.

Comensoli Gluten Free Foods Logo

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Gluten Free at School

Dr. Schar USA, who manufacture many gluten-free foods, have prepared a number of resources for helping gluten-free students cope at school.

The Gluten-free School Planning Strategies identifies key issues from Primary grades to University. A Back to School letter helps remind all teachers of the need for your child to stay gluten free. Other resources help explain how to create an allergen-friendly classroom and offer tips to avoid cross-contamination in a school cafeteria.

The files are available on the Schar web site. You may need to join the Schar-Club in order to download them.

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Joint Submission to FDA on Gluten-Free Claims

The CCA joined with a number of celiac support groups to submit a joint comment on the proposed rule on gluten-free claims. The ‘joint group’ included Gluten Intolerant Group of North America (GIG), Celiac Sprue Association (CSA), Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF), and the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) along with the CCA.

The body of the statement is as follows:

Submission for Docket # FDA-2005-N-0404.
October 2, 2011
As patient non-profit organizations working within the gluten-free community, the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America (GIG), Canadian Celiac Association (CCA), Celiac Sprue Association (CSA), Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) and National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), praise the efforts of the FDA on the regulation for the voluntary use of the term gluten-free on food product labels.

Jointly we submit the following:

  • A preference for a single definition of gluten-free. A dual definition of gluten-free and low gluten would be confusing.
  • Support for the use of the term “gluten-free” on naturally or inherently gluten-free products, in light of real and potential cross contamination issues. The message is clear for the term “gluten-free”, minus any conditional wording. We agree the term “gluten-free” is appropriate for a food product whether it is a single ingredient, such as oats or a processed product with multiple ingredients.
  • The consideration of the term “specific” grains rather than “prohibited” grains throughout the regulation.
  • As this regulation addresses food safety and not a matter of dietary choice or preference, we expect the provisions of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA) to address emergent safety issues promptly and to be fully applied. At the very least, respecting the current pace of research in celiac disease, other gluten-induced conditions, and food science, we recommend a regulatory review no later than 2017 and on a mandated regular basis thereafter.
  • In anticipation for implementation of the final regulation, we are poised for the education role which we will all share as the regulation is implemented. Our patient centered organizations have established voluntary communication venues and tools valuable to the celiac community, world-wide.

Respectfully submitted,
Gluten Intolerance Group of North America
Canadian Celiac Association
Celiac Sprue Association
Celiac Disease Foundation
National Foundation for Celiac Awareness

(Joint submission by organizations listed in chronological order)

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Recall of PROLAB brand protein supplements

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning people with allergies to milk and/or wheat and gluten not to consume specific PROLAB® brand protein products. The affected products contain milk and/or wheat and gluten which are not declared on the label.

For details on the specific products affected, visit the CIFA web site.

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