What is the difference between gluten free and non containing gluten ingredients?

So what’s the difference?


If a food is labeled as gluten free in the UK & USA it means that the food has less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten.

However, many manufacturers, restaurants and food suppliers label their products as non containing gluten ingredients, this is because they can not guarantee cross contamination.

If you are in a restaurant and the menu states “non containing gluten ingredients” it means that, yes the food is gluten free regarding its ingredient contents, but is probably prepared in a kitchen where gluten containing ingredients are also being prepared. Hence the increased risk of contamination.

The Law

The first law in the UK regarding gluten free products was in 2012, The Codex Alimentarius Standard. This is a international body called the Codex Alimentarius Commission who decided of safe levels of gluten in gluten free products, it was found that that those with Coeliac disease were able to tolerate upto 20 ppm.

To be as safe as possible in your food choices you should always eat somewhere that is accredited as a gluten free provider , like those accredited by Coeliac UK. Look out for this symbol:

logo gf

This symbol mean these providers have shown great knowledge and understanding into gluten free food and how to prepare it.

At the end of the day it is your choice whether you wish to try non gluten containing ingredients at a restaurant, on holiday or from the supermarket but please be aware of the risks associated, signs and symptoms of a gluten poisoning and how to deal with it.


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