Choosing between meals is not a hard decision for all. Most cook a meal without health concern. But, it is not the same with people who experience the celiac disease, and therefore are highly concerned in choosing gluten free foods.
Celiac disease is a health hazard and has unfortunately no remedy. The only option for over 3 million Americans suffering from this disease is a lifelong bond to a gluten and protein free diet, that comes naturally in rye, wheat, barley and cross-bred hybrids of these foods. Unable to adapt this will prevent the absorption of minerals and vitamins, gradually damaging their intestines and increasing chances of other health hazards.
The Food and drug Administration (FDA), during last year, formed a rule on labeling of food to better the routine for people with celiac disease. This rule secures that gluten free tags on food packages are consistent and reliable. It gives a clear definition of these terms so that all food packaged products stating the gluten free claim, contain no more than 20 parts/million of protein.
Today, August 5th 2014, is the final compliance date of the rule. It is crucial because it means that any food package tagged with any gluten-free claim must meet the FDA set standards.
FDA gave a year to companies to make essential alters in their products if they utilize gluten free claim. In the past year, FDA took an initiative to reform industries about the regulation and the purpose of being gluten free. During June, they issued a template to assist small businesses to follow the rule.
This gluten free rule applies to packaged foods, that might be sold in some food service, retail establishments or restaurants. But, considering the public health importance of gluten-free tagging, FDA states that the restaurants having a gluten-free claim on its menu should be coherent with definition of FDA. The National Restaurant Association also proposed operators to give gluten-free products on their menus so that their claims are coherent with the definition.
Accurate and honest gluten-free tagging will give strength to customers’ confidence in the products. As stated above, one of the rule’s requirement is that it makes a threshold of twenty parts/million – meaning if tagged gluten free, each kg of the product must have less than 20 mg of protein. This is coherent with the threshold made by international bodies and other countries that set food safety criteria.
FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, Michael R. Taylor, said, “I commend companies that have already stepped up to the plate to meet the definition for “gluten-free” labeling. They make it possible for consumers to have labels they can trust as they make well-informed food choices.”