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The law on gluten-free food

Gluten-free and the law

Gluten-free - foods containing 20 parts per million (ppm) gluten or less

Only foods that contain 20 ppm or less can be labelled as 'gluten-free'. The term can be used on specialist substitute gluten-free products like breads, flours and crackers, which may contain gluten-free (Codex) wheat starch, as well as processed foods made from naturally gluten-free ingredients like soups, ready meals and snacks. The ‘gluten-free’ label may also be used for uncontaminated oat products. For oat products labelled gluten-free the oats themselves must also contain no more than 20 ppm.

Meals served by caterers, including restaurants, hospitals and schools, that are labelled gluten-free must contain no more than 20 ppm gluten.

Very low gluten – foods containing between 21 and 100 ppm gluten

Specialist substitute products (such as breads and flour mixes) that contain a gluten reduced ingredient (gluten-free (Codex) wheat starch) with a gluten level above 20 and up to 100 ppm may be labelled as ‘very low gluten’. There aren’t any foods currently labelled ‘very low gluten’ in the UK.

Learn more about how the law affects you as a manufacturer or as a caterer.

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