Gluten-Free Labeling Icons in the United States

One of the top questions I get from gluten-free readers coming to the United States is how they can easily find gluten-free products on the shelves. Unfortunately, this isn’t always so easy.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) passed gluten-free labeling regulations in August 2013. This new ruling will help define what gluten-free now means in the United States and will help enforce labeling in this country. You can read more about the US FDA guidelines here.

In the meantime, the labeling here in the United States can get very confusing. There is no one way to tell what is gluten-free. There are some icons that can help you with your grocery shopping but it varies from product to product. See below for the pictures and links to the organizations that back that particular labeling.

Look for these images when you are shopping in the United States.

The Gluten Free Certification Organization
Certified_Gluten_Free_Logo

Gluten-Free Certification Program (US and Canada)
gfcp_logo

The QAI Gluten-Free Certification Program
291961-New_certified_gluten_free_label_has_stringent_audit_and_review_processor

nsf-certified-gluten-free_mark

Celiac Sprue Association Recognition Seal
csa_recognition_seal

 

Canadian Celiac Association Certification (Canada only)
gfcp_logo (1)

International Certification Services, Inc.: Certified Gluten-Free Standard
Gluten-Free Certification by ICS - International Certification Services, Inc.

GFS Laboratories International and Gluten-Free Standards Foundation
logo

Please note: Until the FDA passed regulations this year, gluten-free labeling is not required or monitored. In addition, not all gluten-free products choose to register with any of these certification programs. Be sure to read ALL of the ingredients before purchasing anything. The icons above are only meant to be a guide.

It is also important to note that each of the above certification programs each test to a different Parts Per Million (PPM) number when it comes to measuring gluten and each use different testing methods. This gets quite confusing, especially for those of you that are familiar with the EU Codex labeling or the The Board of Food Standards Australia / New Zealand.

I really wish I could make this easier not only for those of you traveling to the United States but for those of us that live here as well. I hope this visual guide is somewhat helpful!

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About Erin Smith

Living with celiac disease since 1981 and eating gluten-free long before it was "trendy", Erin Smith has a unique perspective of growing up in the gluten-free community; Founded Gluten-Free Fun in 2007; Founded Gluten-Free Globetrotter® in 2011; Founded GlutenFreelancer® in 2014. Erin was the lead organizer of the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup group, a social community of more than 2,000 members for over a decade and has recently started a support group in Northern California.
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