I was just flicking through the new CUK Food & Drink Directory and found the pages on cereals. There is a note in the section that says:
"Some of the breakfast cereals listed contain barley malt extract and you will see this ingredient in the ingredients list and/or the allergen advice box. The cereals contain 20ppm or less of gluten, a level which is safe to include in a gluten free diet. Manufaturers must highlight the ingredient barley malt extract in the ingredients list no matter how much they have used."
I have always been put off of supermarket cereals when I see the word 'barley' in the allergen box. It might as well have a skull and crossbones on the label.
If there was a 'Suitable for Coeliacs' or a 'crossed grain' symbol I would consider the prduct 'safe'. However, these seemed to appear and disappear from packaging at random or were dependent on the size of the box.
Now, with the help of this note in the CUK F&D D, I can decipher the warning in the cereal allergen boxes and read it as 'Contains less than 20ppm gluten therefore safe for most people with Coeliac Disease'.
Without the cypher, the labelling could mean the cereals contain any amount of barley gluten, couldn't it?
(Note I use the word 'most'. Some poor Guerrillas can't even be in the same room as 20ppm and a 'gluten free' diet is poison)
I would much rather the allergen boxes contained this information instead of the CUK F&D D, because the little book comes out once a year whereas the labelling on the box tells you exactly what the manufacturers think they have probably put inside it a short time after they printed the label.
I may be barking up the wrong tree. Perhaps the labelling already states the 20ppm content. I will check.