New allergen labelling law starts today

Hi folks, I see the new labelling laws have come into force today and they should make eating out easier for some of us. I'm not sure how they deal with cross contamination,

Here's a link from the FSA (this is very detailed)

And this is a paragraph saying what is included for gluten free and the exemptions (I'd like to see wheat derivatives labelled as exactly that)

" Cereals containing gluten namely wheat (such as spelt and Khorasan wheat), rye, barley, oats and their hybridised strains and products thereof, except:

a) wheat based glucose syrups including dextrose

b) wheat based maltodextrins

c) glucosesyrupsbasedonbarley

d) cereals used for making alcoholic distillates including ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin "

I reckon that it's a great step in the right direction and should be very helpful to many as now eateries have to be specific about what is in the food, so they can't be vague. And it'll be interesting to see how it affects those of us who are gluten intolerant.

I think that we'll have to put up with Joe public thinking that having CD is a gluten allergy...

15 Replies

  • Hi Gerry

    Thanks for your post, I had forgotten the new law was today. I've read the first link but cannot make out the second on my iPhone and my other half is on my iPad! Lol. I will read it though as I am livid that the food producers won't tell us what is gluten derived if it is less than the 20 parts per million. My son wants Sweets, sorbet and ice lollies and biscuits but they are all laced with maltodextrin and glucose syrup. I've rung companies asking them to find out what these ingredients are derived from and you can so tell no one has ever asked them before. More often than not they ring me back with the dreaded responce- wheat! Grrrrrr. It would be so much easier if all companies were like Kallo ( we buy their gravy) and honest about it.

  • Hi Jerry, you're right in saying it's a step in the right direction.

    Next step is to get the sources of the above ingredients identified in the way you suggest, but I think we should also seek to get the 20 ppm changed to a lower figure, say 10 ppm.

    Until then I will carry on avoiding glucose syrup, dextrose etc unless they are so far down the label as to be a lesser percentage than the spices and preservatives.

  • Absolutely DG! Me too!

  • Eating out yesterday in Sidmouth, Devon the Dukes Hotel seemed right up to speed. The waitress was fully conversant with cross contamination in the kitchen and how it is managed by the chef. All this without prompting!

    Another establishment I frequent had 14 out of 22 items on their menu clearly marked as GF recently.

    Next step to get beyond the allergy issue.

  • Mind you, the GF marking needs to be backed up by actual knowledge. The last time I was glutened was as a result of ordering the chef's suggestion of something that was gluten free at a rural pub. I had been going to have an omelette until they suggested it...

  • How very annoying freelancer! Did you ring and tell the place they had glutened you?

  • Yes, I always wonder if they realise how much custom they are losing by not identifying wheat derivatives. My choice of supermarket is entirely based on whether they label ingredients as "corn dextrose" or not...

  • I bet the food companies think that if they label properly they will lose money but I think the opposite would be true. There are so many products we won't buy because of lack of info on the label.

  • I wish I had read this yesterday. Ate out at a Restaurant for the company Christmas doo. No Menu just a preplanned so called GF menu for me. No labelling about ingredients either. I have been very ill - see separate post!

  • Fortunately the GF menu I mentioned is backed by knowledge and a separate toaster for guests GF toast! Unfortunately they forget the toaster is on sometimes and set the hotel fire alarm off! :-)

  • Why shouldn't t joe public think CD is a gluten allergy. Having hospital discharge letters ( September to November) gluten is down as an allergy.

  • Hi Jerry and everyone else in this post,

    My daughter is very clued up on the new law because her son, my grandson, has a dairy, egg and soya allergy. Today we called into a local Greggs to get my grandson a sausage roll. She asked the counter assistant what the ingredients were in the product and was told, "SAUSAGE". She then explained that my grandson has a dairy allergy and that the new law states that they should be able to say exactly what is in every product that they sell. His reply was, "I don't bake them they come from a factory". My daughter explained the situation yet again and so the young man went to have a word with the shop manager. The shop manager whispered something and he refused to serve the sausage roll by putting it back on the shelf. My daughter asked again, "Does it contain dairy?" "Yes", came the reply even though nobody, not even the manager, had gone to check any paperwork or ingredient lists. With the range of products on sale I wouldn't expect any member of staff to be able to recite the exact ingredients in a food product and would need to check written records. These new laws have been in the pipeline for a few months now and so I would expect big food chains to be ready for enquiries. It seems we might still have a battle on our hands to get the information we need to make the right choice.

    TT x.

  • Hi there ThyroidThora, this is not good enough as retailers like Greggs now have a legal obligation to list all allergens on all the products that they sell regardless of whether they are packaged or not. And a retailer cannot just say all items contain say gluten or lactose so this is also an offence.

    So what I would do first is contact customer service for Greggs and highlight the problem as they also need to know this as they do not want a bad reputation or a fine of up to £5K.

    If nothing changes then you can report them to the local council and the local trading standards officer can deal with it.

    Here's a link to their customer service and well done for flagging this up:

  • Hi Jerry,

    Thanks for the link to Greggs I will do as you mention, especially as when I went on the Greggs website their Q&A download document was a joke. It lists all the allergens that they are supposed to cover in a spreadsheet type document with ticks in each box for the allergen. When I scan read it an example of not knowing what dairy is was evident straight away. A cheese and onion pasty does not contain dairy... what is cheese? Also sausage meat does not mention what the sausage is made of. My grandson is allergic to beef but the document just says sausage meat, so... is it beef or pork or chicken or lamb? I probably will stop going to Greggs from now as I cannot be sure that they have any products that my grandson can have. He used to be able to have a sausage roll because it was pork sausage meat but it could be any meat or meat derivatives. Plus, it now contains milk.

    TT x

  • I have been saying for years that these are hidden risks to coeliac' s not all but some, I was put down by many. this has only come about by no longer using gluten , however low the amount in catering for Coeliac's. The replacement ' Hydroxypropylmethylcellulose is a bigger risk to me because it produces leach able formaldehyde which produces other symptoms not CD related.

    Coeliac Disease does not just apply to those who can tolerate the gluten free diet but also those who cannot.

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