Three flavors of Simply Asia Street Noodles that have the Beyond Celiac gluten-free trademark are being voluntarily withdrawn from the market by the manufacturer because they contain an ingredient not allowed under the trademark rules.
The products affected are:
All three contain “amylase (barley),” which is included in the ingredients list. Beyond Celiac does not allow its trademark to appear on products that contain ingredients made from wheat, barley or rye.
Independent tests of these products confirm there are non-detectable levels of gluten in both the amylase ingredient and in the Singapore Street Noodles that are made with this ingredient.
Testing of the finished product using the Gluten Peptide (ELISA R7021) to capture hydrolyzed protein showed non-detectable levels of gluten with a limit of detection of less than 10 parts per million (ppm). Further, R-Biopharm RIDASCREEN® Gliadin R7001 testing indicated non-detectable levels of gluten using a method with a more sensitive limit of detection of less than 5 ppm. FDA labeling rules allow less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten in a food labeled gluten-free.
While there is no indication that there is any risk to our community, Beyond Celiac is committed to all standards included as part of the certification program. This is a poorly understood and confusing area of interpretation of the FDA regulations. Beyond Celiac will continue to advocate for clear and consistent labeling to reduce confusion and concern among the celiac disease and gluten-sensitive community. The safety and trust of the gluten-free community is our first priority, prompting us to look for the correction in the labeling error. We at Beyond Celiac appreciate the decision by McCormick, the parent company of Simply Asia, to remove the product from store shelves.
Beyond Celiac works with the Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP), a food safety-based gluten management system for manufacturers, which was created by the Allergen Control Group, recently acquired by London UK based BRC Global Standards. The Canadian Celiac Association also uses this standard.
For further details and information on getting a refund for the affected products, contact the Simply Asia Consumer Affairs team at 1-800-967-8424 (M-F 9am-7pm EST) or visit them at www.mccormick.com/simply-asia/contact.
|Download: Official Simply Asia Statement on Singapore Street Noodles
Simply Asia Q&A
Barley is the original source of the amylase, which has then been processed to remove the gluten protein. The Beyond Celiac certification trademark does not allow use of any of the gluten-containing grains, even when they are processed the way the amylase is. The problem is more a labeling issue than an issue of the ingredient posing a health threat to those who have celiac disease. Beyond Celiac chose to bar use of an ingredient made from a gluten-containing grain because testing of these kinds of ingredients is difficult, complicated and inconsistent. Food manufacturers often don’t understand these issues or the seriousness of improper use for celiac disease patients. In some cases, an ingredient made from wheat, barley or rye might pose a threat. Consequently, Beyond Celiac working with BRC Global Standards, and the Canadian Celiac Association chose not to allow these ingredients in products carrying the certification trademark.
Here is what the FDA says about the labeling of food in relationship to barley and ingredients processed to remove gluten: “A food labeled gluten-free cannot be intentionally made with any amount of a gluten-containing grain (wheat, rye, barley, or their crossbred hybrids like triticale) or an ingredient derived from such grain that was not processed to remove gluten.”
Each celiac disease patient has to decide for themselves what to include in their diet. The FDA standard allows ingredients made from wheat processed to remove gluten to be used in products labeled gluten-free so long as the food in which they are used contains less than 20 parts per million of gluten. In the case of wheat, information about processing to remove gluten also must be on the label, for example when wheat starch is used. But there is no similar labeling requirement for ingredients made from barley or rye.
Beyond Celiac seeks to give an extra layer of assurance that foods with our certification trademark are safe by banning ingredients made from gluten-containing grains. As a result, these particular products do not meet our standards as being gluten-free.
You can contact the Simply Asia Consumer Affairs team at 1-800-967-8424 (M-F 9am-7pm EST) or visit us at www.mccormick.com/simply-asia/contact to apply for a full refund.
These three products, Simply Asia Garlic Basil Singapore Street Noodles, Simply Asia Classic Curry Singapore Street Noodles, and Simply Asia Sesame Ginger Singapore Street Noodles are the only products affected.
These products already in the marketplace are being voluntarily withdrawn. The Beyond Celiac certification trademark will not be on the package label when the products return to store shelves and other outlets.
When Beyond Celiac became aware of the labeling issue, we and BRC Global Standards immediately began working with Simply Asia to have the affected products voluntarily withdrawn from sale. Simply Asia understood the problem and cooperated in informing its customers about the issue, the plan to correct it and initiated the requested product withdrawal. The company also understood that the Beyond Celiac certification trademark could not be used going forward on products containing the amylase and will use revised packaging going forward.
Beyond Celiac stands behind the GFCP certification system. This specific incident was a labeling issue, not a health issue. As always, we encourage consumers to add an extra layer of safety by reading ingredients on the label of all products.