Questions related to: Can I eat barley malt vinegar?

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Bisto Best products are listed in the Guide but the label states 'May also contain wheat (gluten).' Can I eat it?

Bisto Best jars have advisory information on gluten contamination on the label. Bisto Best is packaged in an area where products that contain gluten are also packed. There are controls in place to minimise and control the risk of cross contamination and although there is a small risk, the levels of gluten in the product are very low. Premier Foods is confident that firstly, the risk of gluten being in the product remains low, and secondly, once the product is made up with boiling water the already low levels that could be present would be further diluted and well within the safe levels for people with coeliac disease.

Bisto successfully sourced a flavouring which does not include wheat and have updated the ingredients list on the Bisto Best Vegetable Gravy Granules accordingly. Please only use products dated after October 2018, but check the labelling of the flavourings to be sure.

If you require any further information please contact Premier Foods on 0800 022 3390.

Please note, the Bisto Best turkey gravy is not suitable for a gluten-free diet. 

Can I eat glucose syrup?

Glucose syrup is gluten free. It can be derived from wheat, however the production methods involve a high level of hydrolysation, meaning there is no significant gluten content in the sugars.

The final ingredient is gluten free and foods with glucose syrups can be eaten by people with coeliac disease.

Why are there two sections?

There are two Sections because of new legislation which came into effect in January 2012.  Read more about the law here.


Section 1 lists foods that comply with this legislation and Section 2 lists foods that are made without gluten containing ingredients. For more information on how the Sections work, see the introduction pages at the front of each Section of the Directory on pages 10 and 161.

I’m confused by the ‘very low gluten’ label. Can I eat foods labelled as this?

Foods labelled ‘very low gluten’ have to be between 21 and 100 part per million gluten. This can only apply to specialist foods made for people with coeliac disease and we are not seeing this label in use in the UK. This level is suitable for most people with coeliac disease but if you are particularly sensitive, it may not be right for you.


Why are you only supporting vulnerable people?

We understand having coeliac disease is not a choice, and that under its constitution, the NHS should be providing a comprehensive services available to all and that access is based on clinical need and not an ability to pay. This is what we are arguing for.

However, the government is insisting that savings must be made within the NHS. As the government has made a decision that gluten free food is an area where efficiencies can be found, we need to present strong arguments that show patient need and how prescribing can be more efficient. We have done this by presenting options for improved NHS procurement and management.

If we fail to convince the government of the validity of our arguments, we must be prepared to say that there are some very vulnerable patients whose health will be at risk if clinical discretion is not allowed.  

Will having coeliac disease affect my insurance policies?

Having coeliac disease does not necessarily mean that you need to pay more for insurance cover. When you contact insurance companies, you should make the following points clear:

  • coeliac disease is caused by an intolerance to gluten in products containing wheat, barley and rye
  • it is treated by keeping to a life long gluten free diet and does not require any medication
  • once following the gluten free diet, the individual returns to full health
  • if gluten is eaten accidentally, some symptoms may occur, but they are temporary and extremely unlikely to require any medical attention or hospitalisation
  • anaphylactic shock is not associated with coeliac disease.

You can check out insurance companies’ websites who offer specific packages for those who have coeliac disease, but also shop around. Your present insurance company should be able to help you with a sensible quote.

Can I eat yeast?

Fresh yeast is naturally gluten free. We are now aware of some brands of dried yeasts that now contain wheat starch in the ingredients so they are not gluten free. We therefore now list dried yeasts on our Food and Drink Information Service that do not contain gluten.


Can I drink beer?

Beer, lagers, stouts and ales contain varying amounts of gluten and are not suitable if you have coeliac disease. Specially manufactured gluten free beers are available, and you can find a list of gluten free beers, lagers and ales in the Drinks section of your Food and Drink Guide, or if you are a Member, on our online Food and Drink Information and our Gluten Free Food Checker app.

Find out more about how gluten free beer and how it's made by clicking here.

Please remember that alcohol can have side effects whether or not you have coeliac disease. Check out Drink Aware for more information.

This advice has been discussed and continues to be approved by Coeliac UK’s Food Standards Committee, April 2020. 

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.


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