Allergens & Gluten

In Canada, common allergens and gluten sources must always be clearly declared on food labels when present as ingredients or components of ingredients. They will appear in the ingredients list or in a “contains” statement located immediately after the ingredient list.

Sulphites are added to some of processed foods to maintain colour, prolong shelf life and prevent the growth of microorganisms. Added sulphites can trigger allergic-type symptoms in sensitives individuals. They must be declared as an ingredient or component of an ingredient except in situations where regulatory exemptions apply and their total amount is less than 10 parts per million. When their total amount is 10 parts per millions or more, those regulatory exemptions do not apply and the added sulphites must be declared

What does a ‘gluten-free’ claim on a food product mean?

Canada’s Food and Drug Regulations outline specific requirements for the use of gluten-free claim must not contain any ingredients that contain gluten and must control against cross-contamination with gluten or ingredients containing gluten during manufacturing. However, Health Canada considers that the presence of gluten due to cross-contamination at levels which do not exceed 20 ppm is acceptable in products that are labeled “gluten-free”. The choice of 20 ppm level for the purposes of risk management is consistent with international standards. Prepackaged products labeled “gluten-free” statement can be consumed safely by people with celiac disease.

Did you know?

A food manufacturer that fails to declare the presence of priority allergens and gluten sources on the label of a prepackaged food product could be in violation of the Food and Drug Act and the Safe Foods for Canadians Act – if so, the product would be subject to enforcement measures which could include a food recall. In Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is responsible for enforcing applicable food regulations.

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