Avoid marinated food unless you know the ingredients

By Marie Ablett, Kelowna Chapter 

People with gluten problems should avoid marinated food unless they can find out what exactly is in the marination.    In the case below, the sirloin steak has been marinated in Teriyaki sauce containing wheat (and sulphites)  BBQ season can be a minefield for celiacs.

Take care!


 

bbq-sauce-labelOttawa, July 26, 2013 – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Vantage Foods (BCInc. are warning people with allergies to wheat or sensitivities to sulphites not to consume the Western Family brand product described below.

The affected product may contain wheat and sulphites which are not declared on the label.This product has been distributed in Alberta and British Columbia.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

Consumption of this product may cause a serious or life-threatening reaction in persons with allergies to wheat or sensitivities to sulphites. The manufacturer, Vantage Foods (BCInc., Chilliwack, BC, is voluntarily recalling the affected product from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

Brand Name Common Name Size UPC Additional Info
Western Family Marinated Beef Top Sirloin Steak (Teriyaki) variable 0 056364 502773 Best Before
From 13.JN.23 to 13.AU.3
All best before dates where wheat or sulphites do not appear on the label

Barley Grass and Wheat Grass Can Now Be Labelled Gluten Free

wheat grass

By Lance Hill, Food Policy Liaison Officer – Health Canada, BC Region
in response to Ellen Bayens’ investigation regarding Wheat & Barley Grass

wheat grass

Wheat Grass (Photo: Wikipedia)

“With the coming in to effect on August 4, 2012 of the enhanced labeling regulations for allergens and gluten sources and sulphites, and the resulting modification of section B.24.018 of the Food Regulation it became permissible for a food that contains no gluten protein, modified gluten protein or protein fraction, to be labelled gluten free. See here for full details on the amendments: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/label-etiquet/allergen/index-eng.php

It is understood that gluten protein is found in the seed portion of barley and wheat, and is absent in the grass portion. If harvest of wheat and barley grass is done prior to formation of seed, expectations are that no gluten should be present. Concerns have been expressed in the past with respect to how does one ensure this is always the case and that no seeds have formed prior to harvest and no opportunity has been provided for cross-contamination between grass and seeds at the producer level and through handling and processing.

Recognizing that prior to August 4th, labeling products containing wheat or barley grass as ‘gluten-free’ would not have been permissible, we are very much still breaking new ground as we move forward in this area. I am not aware of any guidelines at this point that would assist or stipulate the design of controls or a program to ensure these products are always gluten-free. It would however be prudent to have some program in place that would provide for regular monitoring of ingredient until such time as a satisfactory history is developed and which might provide for less frequent checks on an ongoing basis for supplier verification.

In short, from my contact with Food Directorate at Health Canada and program staff with CFIA, I can advise that when barley grass and/or wheat grass, contain less than 20 ppm gluten and are used ingredients in a food that contains no gluten protein, modified gluten protein or protein fraction, then the food is permitted to be labelled gluten free.

Readers should also be aware of the following documents:

Health Canada’s Position on Gluten-Free Claims
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/securit/allerg/cel-coe/gluten-position-eng.php

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Compliance and Enforcement of Gluten-Free Claims
http://www.inspection.gc.ca/food/labelling/other-requirements/gluten-free-claims/eng/1340194596012/1340194681961

Newfoundland Chocolate Company products recalled: Undeclared wheat

CFIA Recall Notice

Click for more photos.

Click for more product photos.

OTTAWA, January 22, 2013 – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Newfoundland Chocolate Company are warning people with allergies to egg or wheat not to consume the Newfoundland Chocolate Company brand chocolates described below. The affected products contain egg and wheat which are not declared on the label.

All Best Before codes and all sizes of the following Newfoundland Chocolate Company brand chocolate products, where egg and wheat are not declared on the label, are affected:

Product
Smiling Land Series
Gourmet chocolates featuring Newfoundland wildberries
Rum Runners & Rogues Series
Gourmet chocolates featuring Newfoundland spirits and liqueurs
Lighthouse Series
Gourmet dark chocolates
Quiet Cove Series
Gourmet milk chocolates
Jigs n’ Reels Series
Gourmet milk, dark and white chocolates

These products have been distributed in the Atlantic provinces, Quebec, Ontario and Alberta, and may have been distributed nationally.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.

Consumption of these products may cause a serious or life-threatening reaction in persons with allergies to egg or wheat.

The manufacturer, Newfoundland Chocolate Company, St. John’s, NL is voluntarily recalling the affected products from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information, consumers and industry can call the CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 /TTY 1-800-465-7735 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday).

Undeclared egg in certain Kinnikinnick pie crusts

CFIA Press Release

kinnik-pie-crusts

 

OTTAWA, December 29, 2012 – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Kinnikinnick Foods Inc. are warning people with allergies to egg not to consume certain Kinnikinnick Foods brand Pie Crusts described below. The affected product contains egg which is not declared on the label.

The following product, which is sold frozen, is affected by this alert:

Product Size UPC Best Before Dates
Kinnikinnick Foods Pie Crusts 290 g
(Each package contains 2 – 8″ pie crusts)
6 20133 00600 9 2013NO20
2013NO21
2013DE11
2013DE14

This product has been distributed in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario, but may have been distributed nationally.

There have been no reported reactions associated with the consumption of this product.

Consumption of this product may cause a serious or life-threatening reaction in persons with allergies to egg.

The manufacturer, Kinnikinnick Foods Inc., Edmonton, AB is voluntarily recalling the affected product from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information, consumers and industry can call one of the following numbers:

Kinnikinnick Foods Inc. at 780-424-2900 or by e-mailing [email protected]

CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 / TTY 1-800-465-7735 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday).

Gluten Alert: M&M Meats Marinated Barbecue Chicken Kabob

M and M Recall
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and M&M Meat Shops Ltd. are warning people with allergies to mustard and gluten not to consume M&M Meat Shops brand Marinated Barbecue Chicken Kabob, described below. The affected product contains mustard and gluten which are not declared on the label.

All codes of the affected product, M&M Meat Shops brand Marinated Barbecue Chicken Kabob, are sold in 142 g (5 oz) packages. This product has been distributed nationally only through M&M Meat Shops retail stores.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

Consumption of this product may cause a serious or life-threatening reaction in persons with allergies to mustard and gluten.

The retailer, M&M Meat Shops Ltd., Kitchener, Ontario, is voluntarily recalling the affected product from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information, consumers and industry can call one of the following numbers:

M&M Meat Shops Public Relations – Strategic Objectives 647-274-8868;

CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 / TTY 1-800-465-7735 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday).

Campbell's Soup Recall: Golden Autumn Carrot Soup

Campbells V8 Carrot Soup Recall

Campbells V8 Carrot Soup Recall
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a recall for Campbell’s Golden Autumn Carrot Soup due to an undervalued allergen: Gluten

See full details below.

Reference Number: 7569
Recalling Firm: CAMPBELL COMPANY OF CANADA
Date of Recall: 11/16/2012
Recall Classification: 3
Distribution : National
Extent of the Product Distribution : Retail

Brand Name Common Name Size Codes(s) on Product UPC Reason for Recall:
CAMPBELL’S V8 GOLDEN AUTUMN CARROT SOUP 500mL BEST BEFORE DEC 13 2012 0 63211 18274 3 Allergen – Gluten

If you require additional information about an individual recall, please contact the CFIA.

 

Undeclared wheat in Piller's pepperoni

Courtesy CFIA

pillers pepperoniOTTAWA, October 19, 2012 – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Piller’s Fine Foods are warning people with allergies to wheat and / or sensitivity to gluten not to serve or consume Piller’s brand Sub Pac Classic and Sliced Pepperoni products described below. The affected products contain wheat which is not declared on the label.

The following Piller’s brand luncheon meat products are affected by this alert.

Product Name Size UPC Best Before Date
Pepperoni Sliced 6 x 500 g 0 69401 04605 5 2012 NO01
2012 NO20
2012 NO27
2012 DE03
2012 DE05
2012 DE13
Sub Pac Classic $5 (Pepperoni, Luncheon Meat, Smoked Ham) 400 g 0 69401 03613 1 2012 OC18
2012 NO19
2012 NO20
2012 NO27
2012 DE05
Sub Pac Classic (Pepperoni, Luncheon Meat, Smoked Ham) 250 g 0 78427 03605 6 2012 SE11
2012 SE20
2012 SE26
2012 OC11
2012 OC25
2012 NO01
2012 NO12
2012 NO20
2012 NO23
2012 NO27
2012 DE07

pillers pepperoni recall

These products were distributed in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. However, they may have been distributed in other provinces.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.

Consumption of these products may cause a serious or life-threatening reaction in persons with allergies to wheat. Also, these products represent a health risk to gluten sensitive individuals / Celiac sufferers.

Piller’s Fine Foods, Waterloo, ON is voluntarily recalling the affected products from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information, consumers and industry can call one of the following numbers:

Piller’s Fine Foods at 1-800-265-2628, weekdays between 8:30 am – 5:00 pm or
Voice mail may be left at 519-743-1412 ext. 351;

CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 / TTY 1-800-465-7735 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday).

CFIA tests pre-packaged ground spices for gluten

CFIA News Release

cfia logoAugust 15, 2012, Ottawa: As part of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) routine testing of various food products, a study released today found that more than 99% of pre-packaged ground spice samples tested for gluten would not pose a risk to gluten-sensitive consumers.

A total of 268 imported and domestic pre-packaged ground spices were collected from retail stores in 2010-2011. Health Canada determined that the very low but detectable levels of gluten in 62 of those samples, and the small amount of spice typically consumed in a meal, would not pose a health risk to sensitive consumers. One sample of mace was recalled due to a high level of gluten. This demonstrates the strength of the Canadian food safety system in identifying these foods and removing them immediately from the marketplace.

Pre-packaged ground spices sold in Canada are not permitted to contain any other ingredients. However, occasionally spices may contain undeclared gluten, either intentionally added during packaging or from cross contamination during food production. This is contrary to the Food and Drugs Act and may pose a health risk to sensitive individuals.

When there is a detection of elevated levels Health Canada completes an assessment to determine if the specific level poses a health risk, based on the contaminant’s level, expected frequency of exposure and contribution to overall diet. These factors help determine whether further action is needed, up to and including product seizure and/or recall. If a human health risk is found, a public recall notice is issued immediately.

The results have been shared with the food and consumer products industry to support their ongoing food safety activities.

Further information on this survey report is available on the CFIA website.

Defining gluten-free in Canada

As more web-based information has become available, there is increased misunderstanding of the term ‘gluten-free’. Many of the websites are international. The definition of gluten-free they will be using will either reflect the standard of practice for that country or, in many cases the information will be provided using the international FAO/WHO Codex definition as the standard of reference. This definition allows a much higher gluten content (200 ppm) than is allowed in Canada.

What is Canada’s definition for gluten-free?

The requirement for a gluten-free product, as stated in Canada’s Food and Drug Regulations (B.24.018) is as follows: No person shall label, package, sell or advertise a food in a manner likely to create an impression that it is a gluten-free food unless the food does not contain wheat, including spelt and kamut, or oats, barley, rye or triticale or any part thereof.

The test presently used by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to determine the gluten content of foods has a sensitivity to a minimum of 20 ppm, which is the current allowable tolerance for Canadian products. This standard is currently under review.

Manufacturers of gluten-free foods must ensure that all ingredients in the gluten-free foods are gluten-free. They must also ensure that no cross-contamination occurs in the production facility, including facilities where gluten-containing products are also handled. Merchandising outlets (wholesale and retail) must assure that gluten-free products are handled in a manner that assures that they remain gluten-free. These standards are set out in Good Manufacturing Guidelines contained in the Code of Practice, General Principles of Food Hygiene for use by the Food Industry in Canada (CFIA).

Imported products that are labeled as gluten-free must meet the Canadian definition for gluten-free. It is the responsibility of the importer to assure that the imported products meet these requirements.

What does this mean to a provider of gluten-free foods?

If a product, domestic or imported, is sold in Canada and is labeled gluten-free, it must meet the Canadian standard. If you are aware of products that are being sold as gluten-free that do not follow this regulation, you should report your concerns to a Manufactured Food Officer of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency at 1-800-442-2342.

If you are purchasing products outside of Canada, they will be manufactured to meet the standards of practice for that country. These standards may not comply with the Canadian standards. Care must be taken in the use of these products.

Shelley Case, RD, author of the Gluten-Free Diet, has provided a great deal of very well researched information in the most recently revised printing of her book reflecting the different standards of practice for many other countries (www.glutenfreediet.ca).

Know your sources
When making inquiries about gluten content in manufactured products, the best information will come in writing and come from the manufacturers’ representatives. Please remember that manufacturers can and do change ingredients in their products. Inquiries may need to be refreshed regularly.

Many manufacturers are now providing web based statements of product content, identifying those that are suitable for use in the gluten-free diet in their web portfolios. Many international manufacturers will make their statement referencing the Codex standard.