It is definitely a good day to be someone who has to live on a Gluten-Free diet. I could not be happier than I am right now.
This morning, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) came up with new regulations for what foods need to be in order to be considered Gluten-Free. The new rule allows for a definition of what a food has to be in order to be designated as being gluten-free. The new rule set a criteria of setting a limit of gluten at 20 ppm (part per million). This new rules also applies to foods that have a label as being "without gluten." Food manufacturers have one year from the publication date to bring their label up to the new federal compliance.
In addition to the limit of the presence of gluten in foods, the FDA also set additional regulations for food manufacturers:
- an ingredient that is any type of wheat, rye, barley, or crossbreeds of these grains
- an ingredient derived from these grains and that has not been processed to remove gluten
- an ingredient derived from these grains and that has been processed to remove gluten, if it results in the food containing 20 or more parts per million (ppm) gluten
This is a complete relief for those who live a Gluten-Free lifestyle not by choice because they have Celiac Disease, gluten allergy, or gluten intolerance. It removes the uncertainty to not know if the food that's labeled "gluten-free" is really "gluten-free." I know for a fact that I have had several instances where the food does not deliver on its labeling and I end up being very ill from eating it.
While I am very happy with this, this new regulations do not mention anything about regulating restaurants or other eating establishments from labeling their menus as being "gluten-free." I have seen some menus that are not truly gluten-free because of a lack of research into the diet or knowledge about what it means to be completely gluten-free. I hope that the FDA is listening and will bringing that issue up soon. This would help a lot of people to be able to go out to eat and eat safely without cross-contamination. I know that it would make my life easier as well.