General Mills Drops Cheerios Gluten-Free Claim

Canadian Celiac Association News Release

gluten-free-cheeriosOctober 20, 2017 (Mississauga, ON) The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has made an announcement that the words “gluten-free” will be removed from all Cheerios package sold in Canada by January 1, 2018.

The Canadian Celiac Association first objected to the claim in August 2016 and strongly recommended that people with celiac disease not consume the cereal, even though the box was labelled “gluten free”.

The announcement came in a letter addressed to a Canadian consumer who was one of many customer complaints to be filed against the products.

“We are delighted to hear that the regulators have determined that the claim must be removed from the packages”, said Melissa Secord, Executive Director of the Canadian Celiac Association.  “Based on the advice of the members of our Professional Advisory Board, the experts of the Gluten-Free Certification Program, and other professionals working in the field, we believe that there is not adequate evidence to support the claim. When added to many reports from consumers with celiac disease reacting to eating the cereal, we believe this is the safe recommendation for Canadians.”

The CCA will follow up closely with the CFIA and Health Canada to continue to monitor this decision along with other products sold in Canada to ensure access to safe foods for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities.

The CCA is currently working on a grant from Agriculture and Agrifood Canada to examine the scope of gluten contamination in oats grown in Canada, and to determine where the contamination occurs as the oats a processed (field, harvest, transport, processing). The project is scheduled to be completed in March 2018.

Celiac disease is a medical condition in which the absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged by a substance called gluten. This results in an inability of the body to absorb nutrients: protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for good health.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, triticale, barley. In the case of wheat, gliadin has been isolated as the toxic fraction. It is the gluten in the flour that helps bread and other baked goods bind and prevents crumbling. This feature has made gluten widely used in the production of many processed and packaged foods.

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

Dumplings and potstickers recalled due to undeclared wheat

CFIA Recall Notice

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has recalled various dumpling and potsticker products due to undeclared soy, wheat, and shellfish.

The products were distributed in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Product List

Brand Name Common Name Size Codes(s) on Product UPC Reason for Recall:
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. PORK, VEGETABLE AND CHIVES DUMPLINGS kg Lot: B011 None / Aucun Allergen – Soy
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. PORK, VEGETABLE AND CHIVES DUMPLINGS kg Lot: B011 None / Aucun Allergen – Wheat
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. PORK, VEGETABLE AND CHIVES DUMPLINGS kg Lot: B011 None / Aucun Labelling
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. KOREAN KIM CHI PORK DUMPLINGS kg Lot: B047 None / Aucun Allergen – Soy
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. KOREAN KIM CHI PORK DUMPLINGS kg Lot: B047 None / Aucun Allergen – Wheat
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. KOREAN KIM CHI PORK DUMPLINGS kg Lot: B047 None / Aucun Labelling
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. JAPANESE STYLE PORK AND BEEF DUMPLINGS kg Lot: B138 None / Aucun Allergen – Soy
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. JAPANESE STYLE PORK AND BEEF DUMPLINGS kg Lot: B138 None / Aucun Allergen – Wheat
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. JAPANESE STYLE PORK AND BEEF DUMPLINGS kg Lot: B138 None / Aucun Labelling
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. VEGETABLE AND CHICKEN DUMPLINGS kg Lot: B172 None / Aucun Allergen – Soy
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. VEGETABLE AND CHICKEN DUMPLINGS kg Lot: B172 None / Aucun Allergen – Wheat
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. CHICKEN AND VEGETABLE POTSTICKERS kg Lot: B143 None / Aucun Allergen – Crustacean/Shellfish
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. CHICKEN AND VEGETABLE POTSTICKERS kg Lot: B143 None / Aucun Allergen – Soy
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. CHICKEN AND VEGETABLE POTSTICKERS kg Lot: B143 None / Aucun Allergen – Wheat
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. PORK AND CHIVES POTSTICKERS kg Lot: B208 None / Aucun Allergen – Soy
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. PORK AND CHIVES POTSTICKERS kg Lot: B208 None / Aucun Allergen – Wheat
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. PORK AND VEGETABLE POTSTICKERS kg Lot: B118 None / Aucun Allergen – Crustacean/Shellfish
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. PORK AND VEGETABLE POTSTICKERS kg Lot: B118 None / Aucun Allergen – Soy
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. PORK AND VEGETABLE POTSTICKERS kg Lot: B118 None / Aucun Allergen – Wheat
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. BEEF AND CELERY POTSTICKERS kg Lot: B039 None / Aucun Allergen – Soy
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. BEEF AND CELERY POTSTICKERS kg Lot: B039 None / Aucun Allergen – Wheat
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. PORK AND MUSHROOM POTSTICKERS kg Lot: B209 None / Aucun Allergen – Crustacean/Shellfish
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. PORK AND MUSHROOM POTSTICKERS kg Lot: B209 None / Aucun Allergen – Soy
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. PORK AND MUSHROOM POTSTICKERS kg Lot: B209 None / Aucun Allergen – Wheat
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. PORK AND VEGETABLE DUMPLINGS kg Lot: B011 None / Aucun Allergen – Soy
PREPARED FOR SIWIN FOODS LTD. PORK AND VEGETABLE DUMPLINGS kg Lot: B011 None / Aucun Allergen – Wheat

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.

Undeclared gluten in Hempola hempseed flour

ALLERGY ALERT –
UNDECLARED WHEAT GLUTEN IN HEMPOLA BRAND GLUTEN-FREE HEMPSEED FLOUR

OTTAWA, April 1, 2010 – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Hempola Inc. are warning people with allergies to wheat and gluten not to consume the Hempola brand Gluten-Free Hempseed Flour described below. The affected product may contain wheat gluten which is not declared on the label.

All lot codes of the Hempola brand Gluten-Free Hempseed Flour, sold in 454 g packages bearing UPC 6 23188 78923 1 are affected by this alert. This product has been distributed in Ontario.

There has been one reported allergic reaction associated with the consumption of this product.

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

The manufacturer, Hempola Inc., Barrie, ON 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:

Greg Herriott, Hempola Inc., at 416-587-1446;
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).

For information on Wheat, one of the nine most common food allergens, visit the Food Allergens web page at: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/labeti/allerg/allerge.shtml.

For information on all food recalls, visit the CFIA’s Food Recall Report at:
http://active.inspection.gc.ca/eng/corp/recarapp_dbe.asp.

Two El Peto products recalled

HEALTH HAZARD ALERT
VARIOUS FOODS CONTAINING HYDROLYZED VEGETABLE PROTEINS (HVP) RECALLED BY BASIC FOOD FLAVORS INC. MAY CONTAIN SALMONELLA BACTERIA

OTTAWA, March 20, 2010 – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume the foods described below because these products may be contaminated with Salmonella. These foods contain dry powder and paste hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) ingredients which have been recalled in the U.S. and Canada by Basic Food Flavors Inc. due to Salmonella contamination.

This is an ongoing food safety investigation. The CFIA is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to identify and remove all affected products imported into Canada from the U.S. The CFIA is also working with Canadian manufacturers to recall foods containing affected HVP ingredients. As more products are identified, the CFIA will continue to update its list of recalled products.

The following foods, manufactured in Canada, are affected by this alert:

El Peto Products Vegetable Soup Mix (Gluten-free)
Size 280 g
UPC Code 7 72573 40443 0 09357
Code 10026, 10041, 10056

El Peto Products Onion Soup Mix (Gluten-free)
Size 300 g
UPC Code 7 72573 40446 1 10027
Code 10062
These products may have been distributed nationally

For the complete list of recalled products, including those listed above; please visit our Web site at: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/corpaffr/recarapp/2010/salmonellaprotbe.shtml

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

Food contaminated with Salmonella may not look or smell spoiled. Consumption of food contaminated with these bacteria may cause salmonellosis, a food borne illness. In young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems, salmonellosis may cause serious and sometimes deadly infections. In otherwise healthy people, salmonellosis may cause short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhoea. Long-term complications may include severe arthritis.

The manufacturer 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).

For information on Salmonella, visit the Food Facts web page at: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/concen/cause/salmonellae.shtml

For information on all food recalls, visit the CFIA’s Food Recall Report at: http://active.inspection.gc.ca/eng/corp/recarapp_dbe.asp

To find out more about receiving recalls by e-mail, and other food safety facts, visit our web site at: www.inspection.gc.ca