How to buy safe Gluten Free Food in Supermarkets and Gourmet Stores?

gluten free certification
When buying a product labelled Gluten-free, check for the certification. This ensures that it has been tested for gluten and was given the seal of approval. These are the major Gluten Free Certifications from the Celiac Sprue Association, Gluten Intolerance Group, Canadian Celiac Association, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness,.Quality Assurance International. Most of the imported gluten free products in Trinidad and Tobago are from North America. The maximum amount of gluten allowed in products certified by CSA is 5ppm while GIG, CCA and QAI allow 10ppm. The FDA considers 20ppm safe so CSA, GIG, CCA and QAI have really high standards. Read more about the testing methods in this chart by Tricia Thompson, MS, RD. According to Anderson, gluten free does not mean it is totally free of gluten, there could be some traces. There are people who are very sensitive and could react to this. USA, Canada and some EU countries consider products with 20ppm or less gluten as gluten free. Click here to read more about Gluten PPM in food. Also check out Gluten PPM Table to see the amount of gluten in well-known gluten free products.
Any gluten free product created in Trinidad and Tobago would most likely not be certified as a safe gluten free product. It would be based on the opinion of the creator. There is no Gluten Free or Celiac Associations in Trinidad and Tobago and we do not have the testing facilities / equipment for checking products for gluten. Be careful when buying local products that claim they are gluten free. If an individual makes gluten free products, i.e. baked goods, ask questions about what brand of flour they use, if they use gluten free baking powder, yeast, etc. If you are allergic or intolerant to other foods, such as dairy, egg, soy, tree nuts, etc, Do Not be afraid to ask questions about the ingredients since your health is involved. If someone is reluctant about informing me about how they prepared the gluten free food, I would not eat it.

Personally, I prefer to buy baked goods from persons who have Celiac Disease, or family members with the disease, or Gluten Intolerance because they know what ingredients are safe and would be more cautious when preparing the food. They would have a better understanding of the suffering gluten exposure can cause since they have been personally affected.

If someone is making gluten free products because it is getting popular or for persons who can eat normal products but just want to eat gluten free and they also make normal products with gluten; I will avoid their stuff for my safety. There is a chance that the food could get contaminated with gluten, i.e. just by using the same wooden utensils that were used before with wheat, rye, barley, etc. There is no association in Trinidad and Tobago that certifies restaurants or test foods to check for the presence of gluten.

If you are unsure about the gluten free food with no certification, you should try out the Home Test Kits for Gluten such as the EZ Gluten® Test Kit and GlutenTox Home Test Kit. The test results tend to be accurate according to the reviews.

These are the certification seals or symbols to look out for on Gluten Free product packaging:

References and Recommend Reads:


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