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Shopping for Gluten-Free Food

Shopping for Gluten-Free Food

Since 2003, Beyond Celiac has worked to make sure that gluten-free food is affordable and easily accessible. Today, gluten-free alternatives are available across the country in addition to the naturally gluten-free foods that are always accessible.

Shop with Confidence

Look for the Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP) on products and shop knowing they meet strict standards.

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 now brings this system to the U.S. This alliance makes the GFCP the first and only North American program endorsed by leading celiac disease organizations in both the U.S. and Canada.

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.

Reading Food Labels

While label reading can seem overwhelming at first, you’ll become confident over time. Download the Beyond Celiac Step by Step Guide to Reading Gluten-Free Labels to help you navigate the supermarket shelves.

download icon Download: Step by Step Guide to Reading Labels

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized a standard definition of “gluten-free” in August 2013. As of August 5, 2014, all manufacturers of FDA-regulated packaged food making a gluten-free claim must comply with the guidelines outlined by the FDA.

When you see the words “gluten-free,” “free of gluten,” “no gluten,” and “without gluten,” on an FDA-regulated food, it means that the product either:

  • Inherently does not contain gluten (i.e. a bag of raw carrots or bottle of water)

OR meets the following criteria:

  • Does not contain an ingredient that is a whole, gluten-containing grain (i.e. wheat, barley, rye or crossbred hybrids of these grains)
  • Does not contain an ingredient that is derived from a gluten-containing grain and has not been processed to remove gluten (i.e. wheat flour)
  • May contain an ingredient that is derived from a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to remove gluten (i.e. wheat starch) as long as the food product contains less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten


  • Any unavoidable gluten in the food due to cross-contact (commonly referred to as cross-contamination by the gluten-free community) or migration of gluten from packaging materials is less than 20 parts per million (ppm) gluten

Navigating the Grocery Store

Your first gluten-free shopping experience can be overwhelming, but rest assured that it gets easier over time. Get off on the right foot by taking a grocery store tour with Beyond Celiac President & CEO Alice Bast, Amy Jones, MS, RD, LD, chief clinical dietitian for Mary Rutan Hospital and Beyond Celiac community member Anna Littlejohn.

Thanks to our sponsors for making this video possible!Thanks to our sponsors, Cabot Creamery, Crunchmaster and Glutino for making this video possible!

Note: At the time this video was filmed, Beyond Celiac was known as the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. Learn more about the name change here.

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