Gluten-free standards: at PCC and across the US
PCC Natural Markets identifies products as gluten-free in our stores and in our product databases based on the information provided by our vendors.
Foods are marked with an orange-colored shelf tag if their label states that they are gluten free. PCC refrains from adding orange "gluten-free" shelf tags to products that typically are gluten-free by nature, such as bottled water and most dairy items, even if the packaging is labeled gluten-free.
PCC merchandisers are in close contact with both gluten-free organizations and vendors to stay at the forefront of the latest developments. Read PCC's letter to the FDA »
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines "gluten free" foods as meaning the food is either inherently gluten free (such as rice), or a food that does not contain a gluten-containing grain (such as wheat, barley, or rye); and states that "any unavoidable presence of gluten" — such as foods made in a shared facility — must be less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. The FDA's new gluten free labeling standard goes into effect in August 2014.
This new labeling rule only applies to FDA-regulated foods, and therefore does not apply to foods regulated by the USDA (meat, poultry) or to alcoholic beverages.
Most food companies are either already complying with the FDAs labeling guideline or else are moving towards the new rule. The European Codex Alimentarius (food guidelines crafted by the World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) also uses the 20 ppm standard for gluten free label claims.
The FDA does not require manufacturers to test their products prior to making gluten free claims. We recommend that our customers who shop for gluten-free items continue to review product ingredient lists on their own to ensure their personal health.
PCC offers free Gluten-Free Walk, Talk and Taste classes with even more tips to help shoppers identify products that may work best for them.