Q: Do you have any lists or publications available that I can use to look up gluten-free status of foods?
We do not recommend relying on lists or publications for gluten-free status as manufacturers can change the ingredients in a product at any time and a list may not be updated frequently enough to reflect these changes. The most efficient way to find out if a product is gluten-free is to read the ingredient label carefully. If it is not clear if the product is gluten-free we recommend to contact the manufacturer directly.
Ways of Finding Information & Product Research for Gluten-Free Status
- Look for a gluten-free label/statement.
- Foods that are NOT labeled gluten-free must be investigated on an individual basis by contacting the manufacturer.
- Read ingredients carefully for wheat, barley, and rye derived ingredients, Wheat is required to be listed on the label, but barley and rye are not. Find more information on labeling here: https://nationalceliac.org/celiac-disease-questions/manufactured-in-shared-facility/ and here: https://nationalceliac.org/blog/email-newsletters/confusion-about-food-labeling/
Calling the manufacturer (this is usually the quickest way)
- The manufacturer’s phone number can usually be found on the product label or their website.
- Ask the customer service representative for gluten-free status of their product.
- Questions to ask if product is NOT labeled gluten-free (safety determined on an individual basis):
- Does the product contain any wheat, barley or rye ingredients?
- Is gluten used on the same belt/equipment?
- Do you have a cleaning process between products
- What are your procedures for preventing cross-contact?
The manufacturer website (often listed on the product)
- Look for their “FAQ” section.
- Use the search function to locate the product and information on their website.
Email the manufacturer
- Email can be found on their product or their website.
- Note that an answer may take a lot longer than calling.
Oats are a bit more complicated. One of the biggest issues with oats is that a lot of sources of oats have had cross-contact with gluten-containing grains - even some that are labeled gluten-free. Some companies use mechanical or optical sorting to remove wheat, barley and rye from commercial oats. However, this method is sometimes not adequate to remove all gluten. At NCA, we recommend sources of oats that have used the “purity protocol” as well as oats that have been rigorously tested to verify that they contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten.
The purity protocol includes oats that have been grown in dedicated gluten-free fields, as well as processed, transported and stored separately from wheat, barley and rye. We also recommend that the oats are batch tested to confirm gluten-free status. Oats need to contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten to be considered gluten-free.
Always discuss with your healthcare provider before introducing oats.
Here is a link to our stance on oats:
Here is a list of companies that use the purity protocol:
Note: This information is provided by NCA and Katarina Mollo MEd, RDN, LDN, NCA's Director of Education. This information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for personalized medical advice or replace any medical advice provided directly to you by your health care provider. No liability is assumed by the NCA or Katarina Mollo, MEd, RDN, LDN by providing this information.