Whatever your reason for eating gluten-free, from diet preference to celiac disease, it is good to know the parameters of your favorite foods. Even though we put a gluten-free seal right on the front of our packaging, some of our most frequently asked questions are still: “Is Little Northern Bakehouse certified gluten-free?” and “How many parts per million (ppm) of gluten is in Little Northern breads and buns?” Let’s dig in:
What the Gluten-Free Label Means
Ever since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its gluten-free food labelling rule in 2013 (manufacturers had to comply by 2014), any product labelled gluten-free must contain less than 20ppm of gluten.
Any food that meets this standard can use the label, including water and fresh produce, but just because a food is gluten-free does not mean it must use the label. As the Celiac Disease Foundation points out, this rule applies to FDA-regulated foods (including imported foods subject to regulation) and dietary supplements such as vitamins and herbal remedies.
Similarly, Health Canada allows use of the claim “gluten-free” in foods as long as it is truthful and does not mislead the consumer. Health Canada’s Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) considers a food gluten-free if it is “prepared under good manufacturing practices, which contain levels of gluten not exceeding 20ppm as a result of cross-contamination, meet the health and safety intent … when a gluten-free claim is made.”
Bottom line: if you see gluten-free on a package, that manufacturer is saying their food contains <20ppm of gluten.
Gluten-Free Food Safety
The Celiac Disease Foundation Medical Advisory Board supports the <20ppm gluten-free labelling since it is a “scientifically-determined level of gluten that has been shown to be tolerated by those with celiac disease.” Findings from the Center for Celiac Research have concluded that 10 milligrams (mg) of gluten per day is also safe for celiacs, a level that is roughly equivalent to 20ppm of gluten.
It is important not to confuse “wheat-free” with gluten-free and take caution with any food product touting itself as “allergy-free” but not using the gluten-free label in addition. There are also some food products that are not covered by the FDA’s labelling rule, including animal products (meat, poultry, unshelled eggs), spirits and wines containing more than 7% alcohol by volume, and malted beverages made with barley or hops.
Another good-to-know point: manufacturers are not required to test for gluten in ingredients or in the finished “gluten-free” labeled food product (this means they can have an independent third party do testing, which makes it more impartial), but they are required to make sure their food product meets all labeling claims.
Little Northern Bakehouse <10ppm of Gluten
We take food safety and gluten-free labelling seriously, and go above and beyond to ensure that not only are we meeting all in-place food regulations, but we’re doing more to give our customers complete peace of mind.
All of our Little Northern Bakehouse products comply with the gluten-free labelling rules in place (FDA and FDR), making each of them certified gluten-free. We also do in-house gluten-free testing for all ingredients before production use, and test again on the finished product before shipping it out. We then send them out for third-party gluten-free lab testing if in-house testing is inconclusive or does not meet our strict requirements.
We also work to a threshold of less than 10ppm of gluten content—that’s 50% below the threshold accepted by the FDA, FDR, and Celiac Disease Foundation. Our high gluten-free standards are an essential part of our brand and a great addition to our already delicious gluten-free bread.
Did you know:
We are also super passionate about keeping GMOs off our plate.