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Guidance Note 24 ‘Gluten-free’ and ‘Very Low Gluten’ Declarations

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

EU legislation governs voluntary information statements about the absence or reduced presence of gluten in food.

Information relating to the presence, absence or low level presence of gluten in food is important for people intolerant to gluten (coeliacs). Therefore, it is essential that such information is accurate so that it does not mislead or endanger the health of vulnerable consumers.

The use of cereals containing gluten in the production of prepacked and non-prepacked food must be declared in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 governing the provision of food information to consumers (FIC).

Food businesses may choose to indicate that their food is suitable for people with intolerance to gluten. However, statements providing such information can only be used on food labels or associated advertising or other material if they adhere to the specific wording outlined in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 828/2014. In addition, food businesses must ensure that any form of voluntary information about the absence or reduced presence of gluten in a food adheres to the requirement for fair information practices set out in Article 36.2 of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011.

The regulation is designed to ensure the consistency and reliability of statements declaring the absence or reduced presence of gluten in food sold to the final consumer.

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