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Frequently Asked Questions

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Branston Pickle states it contains barley malt vinegar in the ingredients list, why is it listed in the Food and Drink Information Service?

Branston Pickle contains barley malt vinegar, if it is used in a food product the manufacturer must list the word ‘barley’ in the ingredients list in line with European Union wide allergen labelling law. 

Barley malt vinegar is made using a fermentation process. This means that the amount of barley, and therefore gluten, in the end product is extremely small and is well below a level which is safe for people with coeliac disease.

Why aren’t Aldi & Sainsbury’s breakfast cereals listed on the online Food and Drink Information?

We do not have information on the level of the barley malt extract in their own brand breakfast cereals this year. You can contact them for more information by calling their Customer Service departments Aldi 0800 042 0800, Morrisons 0345 611 6111 & Sainsbury’s 0800 636 262).

Alternative breakfast cereals are listed on our online Food and Drink Information.

What is Awareness Week?

This is our busiest campaigning time where Local Voluntary Support Groups around the country host events which feed into a national picture of campaigning. This translates to people holding events focused around a particular theme, as well as, amongst other activities, writing to their MPs, speaking to the media and fundraising for us. Usually Awareness Week is in May, and lasts from Monday to Sunday.

What is the Eating Out campaign?

This campaign focuses on the food service sector, so those who provide food in restaurants and eateries around the country. We want to make eating out easier for people with coeliac disease, which means access to safe gluten-free options that are clearly marked on menus. We have been working with this sector and raising awareness through our Gluten-free Chef of the Year competition, to get chefs and catering college students to plan gluten-free menus. We’ve also worked with industry specialists and created education tools to work with the sector in getting gluten-free dishes onto menus.

What is the Product campaign?

We would like to see better availability of gluten-free food in supermarkets and on prescription. There have recently been developments in this sphere as the international standard on gluten-free food has changed. We have been campaigning to make sure that the change to the standard is a positive change for people with coeliac disease. We work with manufacturers and industry leaders, such as the British Retail Consortium, to ensure that we can find a path which works for industry leaders, as well as people with coeliac disease.

What is the Health campaign?

The medical profession has so far, under recognised coeliac disease. It is not routinely tested for at the moment, and we are campaigning to change this. We would like to see coeliac disease better recognised by the medical profession so that people with symptoms of the condition are picked up more quickly and diagnosis improves. By talking to healthcare professionals about coeliac disease and the problems you face, we hope to improve the situation. We are currently carrying out a Diagnosis Survey to help us with this campaign, as well as running a petition to ask the government to improve diagnosis of coeliac disease. We are also working with healthcare bodies to improve GPs’ knowledge of the condition. We have already made progress with this campaign as we saw NICE publish guidelines on the diagnosis of coeliac disease in May 2009. This was a direct result of a campaign we ran in 2006, and proves that whilst campaigning can be a slow process, it does work.

What support can you provide if I am to organise an event?

Were you to organise an event as part of one of our campaigns, we would supply you with support materials. Usually, particularly for Awareness Week, we have an information toolkit packed with activity ideas. We also have balloons and leaflets which we can send to you. Do let us know in good time when you’re holding an event as we can put it into our monthly email newsletter to help drive up your attendance numbers.

How can I get my products tested for gluten?

It is strongly recommended that you use a UKAS accredited laboratory for testing. To find an accredited laboratory please visit the UKAS website. Information on the recommended tests can be found by visiting our Gluten testing page.

Are there any incentives for pharmacists taking part in the Community pharmacy supply of gluten-free foods scheme?

Introducing a pharmacy led supply scheme allows better stock control of gluten-free foods for pharmacists as well as providing a more flexible service to improve the patient experience.

Pharmacists and GP dispensaries are paid a service charge at six monthly intervals for each patient who accesses the service. When the scheme in Northamptonshire was introduced it was run as an Enhanced Service with funding for this element of the contract coming from Primary Care Contracting budgets.

Does the Food Information Regulation apply to my local butchers?

Yes. The new rules apply to foods that are sold pre-packed and also those sold loose so butchers selling foods like sausages and burgers will need to let you know if they contain a gluten-containing grain. Allergen information will need to be provided for foods sold in butchers, deli counters, fishmongers and salad bars.

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