As we all know there have been many products recently brought to market or re-released to the market labeled as “gluten-free” by many various companies, including large conventional brands. Recently General Mills re-released Cheerio’s onto the market, labeled as gluten-free, claiming the use of a process that separates the naturally gluten-free oats that make up Cheerios from glutinous grains that get mixed into the brand’s supply.
In early October 2015, General Mills recalled 1.8 million boxes of Cheerio’s and Honey Nut Cheerio’s due to the accidental use of wheat flour during production. There is also significant concern posted by various Celiac/gluten-free “watch dog” groups about their “separation process of naturally gluten-free oats and glutinous grains” for fear that may get mixed up in the supply ingredients.
Glutenfreeda Foods has been following a purity protocol: purchasing certified gluten-free oats and processing them on our 100% dedicated gluten-free line since the launch of our first oatmeal line.
We have worked very hard to ensure that our products are safe for those with Celiac disease. To ensure that our products meet the highest gluten-free standards we have put in place a rigorous testing standard within our company.
We start with our suppliers. All approved suppliers must comply with our list of gluten-free criteria, which includes providing a Specification report identifying that their ingredient tests less than 5ppm. Suppliers need to assure that risks, critical control points, and preventative measures are identified in the handling of gluten-free ingredients at their facilities. Their HACCP must include a dedicated program for handling of gluten-free products and a Hazard Analysis that includes Critical Control Points must be established to formalize a gluten-free program and protocol.
We perform a risk assessment for all ingredients identifying their potential risk of cross-contamination. For ingredients that we determine have a significant risk, we conduct an audit at the supplier’s facility and perform our own tests on the ingredient before we accept them onto our production floor.
We conduct on-going, daily testing at our facility. Finished products are selected at random, daily, for testing. All of our products test below 5ppm. Each quarter, we send a sample of every product we produce to an outside 3rd party lab for verification in triplicate. All verifications have returned less than 5ppm gluten. (In fact, we consistently test less than 2.5ppm, the lowest number the test reports.) Production and packing lines are also tested on an on-going frequent schedule.
Besides our rigorous testing procedures, Glutenfreeda Foods is also a 100% dedicated gluten-free facility. No gluten has ever been on our production floor since our inception, ever. It is our belief that co-producing gluten and gluten-free products in the same facility is an unsafe practice that can lead to cross-contamination and in our opinion is risky business.