Allergen advisory statements (i.e., this product was made in a facility that also processes wheat) are quite confusing to the gluten-free community. Despite popular belief, it is possible for safe food to be made in a shared facility, if safe manufacturing processes are put into place.
Although the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) gluten-free labeling rule does not mandate testing of products that are labeled gluten-free, testing is the only way for manufacturers to ensure they are obeying the labeling rule.
Allergen advisory statements are voluntary and not defined by any federal regulations. These statements are voluntary; some manufacturers use them while others do not. You may come across a product labeled gluten-free that also includes an allergen advisory statement for wheat.
Since foods with allergen advisory statements for wheat that also are labeled gluten-free must comply with the FDA’s gluten-free labeling rule, you may come across a product labeled gluten-free that also includes the statement “processed in a facility that also processes wheat.”
Beyond Celiac encourages you to purchase food products that use clear labeling to indicate best practices and compliance with the gluten-free labeling rule. Examples may include being touted as “gluten-free” or a seal indicating third-party certification. This can certainly add an extra layer of comfort for the celiac disease and gluten sensitive communities.
To learn more about the FDA gluten-free labeling rule, visit our this dedicated web section.