Restaurants and the new Gluten Free Labeling Laws
Gluten Free Watchdog has released a statement that appears to be approved by the FDA, which clarifies that the new Gluten Free Labeling Laws will apply to restaurants.
"(I)f restaurants or other retail food establishments wish to make “gluten-free” claims (or the synonymous claims “no gluten” “free of gluten” or “without gluten”) for any of their menu items, these foods should meet all of the requirements FDA has established for a food labeled gluten-free, including not containing 20 parts per million or more gluten , whether or not the presence of gluten is due to accidental cross-contact occurring in the kitchen."
In addition, the "FDA expects to work with their State and local government partners with respect to gluten-free claims for foods prepared and sold in restaurants."
This has huge implications. A little restaurant in Woodinville has a statement on its “Gluten Free Menu” that some of its food is not safe for those with Celiac Disease. For example, even though the fried food does not contain any gluten ingredients the oil in the fryer contaminates it. Under this new clarification, this restaurant could no longer call this food gluten free. (And yes, it has always annoyed me that they call it GF but at least they did warn that it was not safe for celiacs). I actually expect to see fewer gluten free claims at restaurants as a result of this.