Issued: June 2023 by Nicole Byrom, consulting Registered Dietitian for Celiac Canada.
In today’s environmentally focused world, single use non-plastic and reusable straws are increasing in popularity. The safety of single use biodegradable straws has come into question for the celiac community, especially those from a paper source.
CFIA states: “While residual proteins may be present in these raw materials; in our opinion the cleaning and processes involved in the production of the plant-based final products would not leave proteins that would result in adverse health reactions. There have been no reports of adverse reaction resulting from plant-based plastics or paper packaging/contact products reported to Health Canada by the CFIA”.
This is good news for our community!
Paper Straws. SAFE. Single use. There is no evidence to suggest that these straws contain any gluten.
Bamboo Straws. SAFE. Reusable. Made from a sustainable ingredient. Good for hot and cold liquids.
Silicone Straws. SAFE. Reusable. Good for multiple time use. Great for kids and come in fun colours!
Stainless Steele Straws. SAFE. Reusable. Easy to clean.
Pasta Straws. UNSAFE. Pasta straws are just that, tubular lengths of uncooked pasta that do contain gluten. We have found some gluten-free pasta straws, but these would be special order on-line, and unlikely to be served in a restaurant or other food establishment.
Most single use, disposable straws are gluten free, with minor exceptions including pasta straws. If you are still concerned about a possible exposure to gluten from straws you still have some options:
Consumers play a key role in keeping food safe. If a food product makes you feel unwell, it is important to report it to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) so that it can be investigated and potentially removed from store shelves. With every food complaint, the CFIA undertakes a review as part of their food safety process and follows up with the consumer reporting the issue.
If you are reporting a gluten-related food product concern to the CFIA, please also contact the CCA at firstname.lastname@example.org with information about your complaint including the name of the product, your symptoms, concerns, as well as the date reported to the CFIA. The CCA will use this information to further advocate to Health Canada on behalf of the celiac community.
Please contact the CCA with any questions at: email@example.com or 1-800-363-7296 ext. 224
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