CCA Holiday Survival Guide

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Click here to download your CCA Holiday Survival Guide!
Don’t just survive… THRIVE!

For individuals with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, the holidays can be a time of trepidation.
Every function and event has food!
Does the host really know what it means to serve truly gluten-free food?
If this is a child’s first holiday season, how can you help them stay safe and have fun?

We’ve asked some of our experts to give you some handy tips.
Download your copy and share with your friends, families and party hosts
to help make this holiday season the best ever for everyone!

Thank you to our generous sponsors, Udi’s Gluten Free and Schar Canada.

Is Worcestershire sauce gluten-free?

From the From the CCA Pocket Dictionary CCA’s Pocket Dictionary, Acceptability of Foods & Food Ingredients for the Gluten-Free Diet
$6.95 members / $9.95 non-members, reduced prices for more than 10 copies


When it comes to this popular savoury sauce, you should always check the label for barley, which of course always contains gluten. Worcestershire also may contain malt vinegar, which is not gluten-free and is not allowed on a gluten-free diet. However, some brands are free of malt vinegar and are gluten-free. For example, Heinz Worcestershire is safe, but Lee & Perrins brand is not.

Check the label every time you buy, since a company can change its product’s ingredients without warning.

Another ingredient you might see included in this sauce is buckwheat. From the name, you might think it’s a no-no. However, it doesn’t actually contain wheat so it’s fine for your gluten-free diet. It’s a starchy seed of the plant family Polygonaceae, which includes rhubarb.

Gluten-Free BBQ Sauce Recommendations


by Wanda Goulden


refus-teague-bbq-sauceIt’s summer, finally! There are great BBQ sauces available that don’t contain gluten ingredients, but one can spend a great deal of time in the sauce aisle reading the ingredients on bottle after bottle. Rufus Teague BBQ Sauces are labelled gluten-free, are widely available and often placed in the GF section of the grocery. Best of all they are thick, tasty and come in five flavours: Honey Sweet, Touch’O’Heat, Blazin’ Hot, Whiskey Sweet and Smokey Apple. My go-to favourite is the Honey Sweet and I keep Touch’O’Heat around those dishes that do well with little extra zing, like chicken wings. Blazin’ Hot is far to hot for my tastes, but you like what you like. Give them a try!


  1. KFI Butter Chicken Cooking Sauce available at COSTCO & Walmart. Two thumbs up! And made in
  2. Greek Style Skewers Souvlaki: Now with the GFCP seal on the item package! Skewers come in beef. pork and chicken, eight skewers to a package. Easy to prepare and very tasty.

Opps! Recalled Product Was Part of the CCA’s Gluten-Free Certification Program

By CCA National Office

April 6, 2018. Mississauga, ON. Sobeys Inc. is recalling Sensations by Compliments Brand Pecan-Crusted Cheesecake Collection (340 gm) from the marketplace because it contains wheat which is not declared on the label.

It is also declared as gluten-free under the Gluten-Free Certification Program and carries the GFCP Trademark. The CFIA has advised that people who have an allergy to wheat, celiac disease or other gluten-related disorders should not consume the recalled product described in the recall notice at

There was one reported illness, but it is not yet known if it was an allergic response to the wheat which can be the result from extremely small amounts (i.e. there is no allowed threshold) or celiac/gluten sensitivity for which a threshold exists of <20 ppm. Regardless, if you have a concern with gluten or wheat, the CFIA recall notice advises that these recalled products should not be consumed. They should be returned to the store where they were purchased or thrown out.

The Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) and the Allergen Control Group (ACG) are jointly making the following statements:

  • ACG administers the GFCP and has been investigating this event since being informed by the manufacturer on April 4, 2018, before the recall was deemed necessary by the CFIA. The manufacturer reported that the source of the wheat was identified as a human error occurring at the time of manufacture and isolated to three lots. Beyond the recall notice to warn consumers, these products are in the process of being rapidly being removed from the market as well as out of the distribution chain. Corrections have been made to the manufacturer’s procedures and these will be verified as being in place before any new production of this product is released to the marketplace.
  • The Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP) is a voluntary program designed for manufacturers and brand owners committed to producing safe and reliable gluten-free products. The program combines stringent; risk-based gluten-free requirements with globally recognized food safety management systems, which exceed government requirements in both Canada and the United States by providing preventive controls. These systems are verified by an annual robust, third-party facility audit process which ensures continued compliance.
  • Unfortunately, there is no such thing as “zero risk” and this is the first recall affecting a GFCP product after nearly eight (8) years and literally millions of servings of gluten-free products consumed. Consumers across North American can rest assured that this event is being handled with the highest due diligence to ensure that the gluten-free products they or their families are consuming meet the government’s strictest gluten-free requirements when they see the GFCP Trademark.
  • The Canadian Celiac Association believes that all Canadians have the right to safe food. It worked with the ACG to develop the GFCP to be credibly applied in a marketplace to protect consumers who have no other choice but to follow a gluten-free diet for life. The CCA believes that the GFCP provides the highest level of scrutiny to help create trust and build brand loyalty with customers as well as expanded choices. It also provides a clear and easy-to-recognize certification trademark on packaging versus those products which display unsubstantiated self-declared gluten-free claims or marks or solely rely on end product testing. However, should an event happen, reducing and eliminating further risk to consumers is paramount. We are confident that the necessary improvements will be made at the manufacturing level before releasing any new Sensations By Compliments Brand Pecan-Crusted Cheesecake Collection (340 gm) production which carries the GFCP Trademark.

Treated Malt Beer Still Not Safe For Celiacs

beer-not-gluten-freeMisinformation by bartenders and beer sellers is still prevalent, so routinely we feel it necessary to issue the following reminder.

NO beer made with malt is considered safe for people with celiac disease.  Not mainstream beers, and not enzyme treated beers. Examples include Estrella, Celia and Omission.

Current technology can not accurately measure the amount of gluten in beer. It doesn’t matter that the company says their beer tests at 3 ppm or 10 ppm, or whatever. We feel that those numbers are not reliable. Other people drinking the beer without apparent symptoms doesn’t make it safe.

Recognize that this restriction is just a bad part of having celiac disease and find your new drink.

Gluten is rarely found in medications

gluten-free medication

gluten-free medicationWhile wheat and barley are very rare in medications, medications are always on lists of “places to look for gluten”. Drug companies and even pharmacists are not always very helpful on this issue. If they do claim there is gluten in a product from something other than wheat starch, they are almost certainly wrong! These companies frequently misidentify ingredients that start out as wheat starch as possibly containing gluten, when, in fact, they are so highly processed they are safe for people with celiac disease. This includes ethanol, mannitol, sorbitol, sorbitan, maltitol, xylitol, lactitol, erythritol, and maltodextrin.

So what to do?

First, recognise that wheat products are very rare in medications, except those that come in wafer form. If a gluten source is used as an ingredient, it is expected to be identified in the ingredient list in Canada. Second, if you have been prescribed a medication, take it, even if no one can get an ingredient list late at night or on a weekend. The risk of it being one of the few medications containing wheat starch is likely much lower than the risks of the illness or injury for which it has been prescribed. If you would like to learn more about any medication available in Canada, check the Canadian Drug Products Database. Most of the listings include the Product Monograph, a standard way of presenting scientific information for drugs. Look for DOSAGE FORMS, COMPOSITION AND PACKAGING section at the end of Part 1. It contains the active and inactive ingredients in all forms and if there is a gluten-free claim for the product, it will be stated there.

Make Your BBQ Gluten-Free

Many events with family and friends are planned around the BBQ, and this is a source of worry from many people with celiac disease. The concern is the transfer of traces of sauces that contain gluten, or crumbs from breaded products or buns being heated on the BBQ. Since grilling season is here or almost here across Canada, I went looking in my local Canadian Tire store for ways to provide a physical barrier for your GF food on the BBQ. You can use aluminium foil, but some people have asked about reusable options.

I was surprised at the number of options I found and at the range of prices.

If you only need to deal with the problem when visiting others, consider a silicon grill mat or a lightweight grill topper. Both are generally priced between $5 and $10. They are easy to transport and clean up well.

If you miss grill lines, and if you don’t need to travel with your solution, look at a separate grill pan that can sit on top of your basic grill. These pans are made from ceramic or cast iron and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
BBQ Sauce

BBQ sauce and marinades are places where you often find gluten. The problem ingredients are likely to be Worcestershire sauce, malt vinegar, soy sauce or teriyaki sauce. A few commercial products may also contain hydrolyzed wheat or barley proteins which are also not gluten free.

Don’t try to shop for a new brand in a hurry — it can take a while to check the small print on all those jars on the shelf.

I went looking for some online recipes and found a lot of recipes that were also paleo or healthy or low carb and even vegan, but they all contained ingredients that most people don’t have on hand. Sambal olek, agave syrup or coconut aminos anyone?

This recipe is a basic sauce with the key flavours represented: salty and sweet flavors in the ketchup, more sweet from the honey and then a good tang from the mustard. You can add your favourite spices and gluten-free versions of soy sauce and Worcestershire, or you can use the basic sauce as is.

Chapter Sponsor Profile – Idaho’s Namaste Foods

Daphne Marks Taylor

By Daphne Taylor, owner of Namaste Foods

Daphne Marks TaylorNamaste Foods is a family-owned and women-operated maker of exceptionally tasty food that is better for you than the run-of-the mill choices on most grocery store shelves. We’ve been in business since the year 2000 making outrageously delicious food that everyone in your family can enjoy, including those with food allergies. We care deeply about the quality of the food we eat and we know you do, too.

Our approach has always been very “grassroots” in nature. When we first started, we didn’t have the money to hire advertising firms, public relations people and expensive brokers like everyone else did. So we just started reaching out to people. We delivered Namaste Foods products to a handful of local natural foods stores and contacted support groups. We offered free samples for people to try and as it so happens, people loved our food! (Well, we knew THAT would happen!) Word spread and we started hearing from people all over the country, people who wanted Namaste Foods. And a company was born…

Today, we still don’t do things the ‘big guys’ do (because that ends up costing YOU more) and we rely heavily on what got us to where we are today, good ‘ol word-of-mouth advertising. It’s the biggest compliment anyone can give us and we appreciate it more than you know.

In return for your patronage and your loyalty, we work extra hard to be a better company than most and make better products for you and your family. Here are some of the ways we do that:

Nameste Perfect Flour-BlendWorry-free products – Unlike many manufacturers, our facility is owned by us. We don’t contract with another company to make our products because we care more than they do. It’s only natural. As the saying goes, ‘if you want it done right, you have to do it yourself.’ And that’s what we do. Also, our dedicated facility is free from the Top Food Allergens making it the safest environment for people challenged by food allergies and sensitivities. And, it is certified Gluten Free, Kosher and USDA Organic among other things, too.

Why go through all this trouble? It’s simple. We care.

A better value – We know that eating healthier can be more expensive and that just doesn’t seem right. That’s why we continually strive to give you more for your hard earned dollar. Take our cake mixes for example, they make a TWO layer cake as opposed to one. And for about the same price as other companies who just give you a one-layer cake. (Who ever heard of a one-layer birthday cake anyway?!)

You deserve the best – in customer service. So, we invite and welcome your questions and comments about anything that is important to you. If you contact us, we promise to get back to you promptly and offer you outstanding customer service. In addition, your suggestions for new products are always welcome so we know what to be working on next!

Truly delicious food! – That goes without saying yet bears repeating. We work diligently to try to offer you products that make your mouth water and your face smile! We truly believe Namaste Foods products to be heads and shoulders above the rest in taste and texture – because you’ve told us so!

Namaste-LogoMany people ask us what the term “Namaste” means. We will do our best to explain it here.

The word “Namaste” (pronounced “Naa-Maa-Stay”) is an ancient Sanskrit word with no literal translation. After many hours reviewing all the different translations, we decided we like this one the best.

“The Spirit within me honors and respects the Spirit within you.”

The word ‘Spirit’ in this context has no particular religious connotation. You could substitute the word ‘Heart’ or ‘Soul’ if you like. The essence of the phrase is simply that the best part of me wishes you well – in every way. In seeking to offer you healthier and delicious foods, we nourish the body. In nourishing the body, we hope to help nourish the mind and the spirit. So you can enjoy life just a little bit more.

From all of us here to each and every one of you,


Daphne Taylor CEO and Chief Cook and Bottle Washer

PS: Please take a moment to check out our website at and our recipe section and discover yummy new ways to use our products. Then, find a store near you in our store locator and give us a try. If your local store isn’t listed, please do go in and ask for us by name. Then e-mail or call us with their information. We will follow up with them and in the vast majority of cases, get our products in there lickity split!

Don’t Depend On Safe Candies List


By Sue Newell, CCA Operations Manager

chocolate-barEvery year about this time I start to see the “where is the list of safe candies” queries. The CCA does not publish a list of safe candies and it strong discourages you from depending on one. Why? Because the information you need is on the package and that is the ONLY reliable place to find it. Lists from other people and especially lists from multiple people are risky. Is that the Canadian or US product? Is that the small, mini. micro, or treat-size package?

The information you need is right there on the package: look for wheat, rye, barley, oats.

It is frustrating when you have a mini treat with no ingredients on the bar. Now is the time to go to the grocery store and look at the ingredients for the ones you like. That way, when you are confronted with temptation at the office or at a party, you will already know what is safe.

Candy isn’t just a temptation for kids. You will find candy on offer everywhere you go for a couple of days so keep a few safe options in your pocket or purse or backpack so you have a treat too. If you prefer, promise yourself a special indulgence or maybe a speciality coffee that day.

When you are dealing with a child who is gluten-free, you need to talk out the ground rules in advance. Some parents do a 1-for-1 swap for gluten-containing treats, others do a bulk swap for something other than candy. Almost all set a “no candy until you get home” rule. Many schools have done away with the “treats at school” practice, but make sure you check it out in advance so your little one won’t feel left out.

Halloween is a challenge for everyone with a need for gluten-free food. It is almost inevitable that there will be something on offer you cannot eat and it will hurt a bit, even if you have been doing this for a lot of years. With a bit of planning, you will not only survive but enjoy the day.

Featured Gluten- Free Business:  The Original Cakerie

Inspired By Happiness Truck

Submitted by Val Vaartnou

Inspired By HappinessI recently met with Doris Bitz, Senior Vice President and Michelle Tiang, Director of Marketing of Retail Sales & Marketing for The Original Cakerie, which produces a new line of products, Inspired by Happiness. This “Better for you” product line includes decadent gluten-free cakes: Dreamin’ of Chocolate and Cravin’ for Cookies and Cream.

Founded in 1979 by two passionate entrepreneurs in British Columbia, Canada, The Original Cakerie has grown to be one of the leading commercial premium bakeries in North America. The original business philosophy still resonates today – use the very best ingredients and manufacturing processes to produce superior tasting cakes, deliver product efficiently and NEVER compromise on quality. With many employees who have been with the company over 20 years, The Original Cakerie takes pride in the quality of the products produced for the market and their families. Michelle is known as the “cake lady” when she visits her relatives.

Michelle Tiang explained that the development and testing of the gluten-free products took over 2 years. Their objective was to produce a great tasting, high-quality product that you could not tell was gluten-free. In fact, many of the focus groups included non-celiac/non-gluten sensitive individuals. Doris Bitz shared that they believe that desserts are meant to bring people together, and so with that in mind, their objective was to produce a product that everyone could enjoy – with or without celiac disease. The final product contains no artificial trans fats, no artificial colors, has natural flavors and have also been Kosher Certified, BRC Certified as well as, Gluten Free Certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP). I have enjoyed both the Cravin’ for Cookies & Cream and the Dreamin’ of Chocolate and found the cakes to be moist and decadent. My husband could not tell they were gluten-free.

The Dreamin’ of Chocolate cake is a chocolate lover’s dream come true with moist chocolate cake between layers of the finest Belgian chocolate mousse and finished with chocolate ganache. Cravin’ for Cookies and Cream is a family favourite as it comes with chunks of cookies (gluten-free, of course) between generous layers of vanilla cream mousse. Smothered with dark chocolate ganache, this cake is also unbelievably gluten-free as well.

Inspired By Happiness TruckIn producing these exceptional cakes, gaining certification initially was a challenging process as their internal standard is to produce a product that contains below 10 ppm of gluten (the Canadian standard is 20 ppm). The integrity of the gluten-free product is key as those of us who have tried gluten-free baking would know. However, with an AA rating for BRC certification, The Original Cakerie has managed to consistently produce quality products to meet growing demands of its gluten-free desserts.

Inspired by Happiness cakes retails between $10.99 to $12.99 and can be found in the in-store bakeries of IGA, Sobeys, Longo’s, Overwaitea, Save-On, Safeway and Thrifty Foods. As they are available in select locations, if you do not see them at your local store, ask for them. They are great when you have company as they are designed to be enjoyed by everyone! For more information, visit