Gluten-free certification is a process designed to protect consumers with celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders by confirming that a food, drink or supplement meets strict standards for gluten-free safety. It assures consumers that there is third-party oversight confirming the legitimacy of the manufacturer’s gluten-free processes and claims.
There are several certifying owners that offer gluten-free certification, and each has its own criteria to ensure safety for consumers.
In the grocery store, certification seals hopefully make it easier to identify safe and trusted products. Products that have been certified gluten-free will typically bear a symbol on the label, so customers with celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders can quickly and easily recognize the symbol and know that the product has earned approval.
Beyond Celiac Endorses Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP)
Beyond Celiac endorses the Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP), a food safety-based gluten management system for manufacturers, which was created by the Allergen Control Group and the Canadian Celiac Association. Beyond Celiac has brought this system to the U.S. This alliance makes the GFCP the first North American program endorsed by leading celiac disease organizations in both the U.S. and Canada.
As the food industry becomes increasingly globalized, Beyond Celiac believes that international alliances such as this partnership with the GFCP will play a critical role in ensuring that our gluten-free food supply is truly safe and trusted.
The GFCP is a management system and facility-based certification. This means that the program does not rely solely on product testing to ensure safety, but examines the entire practices and production process of the facility – from ingredient sourcing to employee training, cleaning practices, cross-contact controls, operational management and, finally, an effective end-to-end testing plan.
The GFCP approves only those facilities that continually meet strict, good manufacturing practices for gluten-free production. Certification audits are conducted annually by trained and approved, independent International Standard for Organization (ISO) and third-party accredited auditing companies. Products manufactured in facilities that have earned GFCP certification may bear a clear and easy-to-recognize certification trademark from the GFCP and endorsed by Beyond Celiac, on their packaging.
By having qualified third-party professionals involved in each major step of the certification process, the GFCP supports a system of checks and balances eliminating any potential for conflict of interest between the manufacturer’s relationship with and the program, its certifying bodies and/or Beyond Celiac.
- Beyond Celiac endorsed Gluten-Free Certification Program.
- Grace, T. Gluten-Free Certification in North America. The Manufacturing Confectioner. June 2013; 59-67.