New Food Safety Program – Independent Certification Program for Gluten-Free Food Processing

September 27, 2005

The Gluten Intolerance Group® is pleased to announce our gluten-free food certification program, the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO), the first program of its kind in the world! This new independent food processing inspection program will verify that food products meet the highest standards for gluten-free ingredients and a safe processing environment. Food products meeting these high standards will receive our GF certification mark, allowing gluten-free consumers to easily identify foods that are free of gluten and possible cross-contamination from gluten.
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Key elements of the GFCO process include:

  • Ingredients review, down to the original supplier
  • Onsite inspections by experienced, trained independent (third party) Field Inspection Agents
  • Product and ingredient testing using scientifically AOAC approved testing methods
  • GFCO certification mark located on product packages for easy identification

Gluten-free you can easily see
Products labeled with the GF certification mark allow consumers to easily identify products that have been independently verified to meet the highest standards for gluten-free ingredients and safe processing environment.

First major food companies to adopt GFCO supervision and labeling
Enjoy Life Foods and PureFit Nutrition Bar are the first food manufacturers to join the GFCO supervision program. These pioneering companies will display the GF certification mark on their food products in the near future.

GFCO maintains a system of independent verification through plant visits to assure that there have been no changes that might compromise its gluten-free status. GFCO certification uses the highest standards for gluten-free ingredients and safe processing environment, and cannot be altered or compromised. The GFCO certification standards exceed the requirements of current government laws and regulations. The voluntary participation of companies in this program will ensure public confidence in the gluten-free status of their products.

The GFCO was developed in cooperation with the Food Services, Inc., a subsidiary of the Orthodox Union (the “OU” ), the world’s largest and oldest kosher certification agency. The OU’s nearly 500 field representatives, proficient in modern food production techniques and chemical and biological processes, will conduct plant inspections and product reviews for the GFCO. Like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, the logo, one of the world’s best-known trademarks, instills confidence in the purchaser that the product has passed inspection and meets high quality standards. For more information visit: http://www.oukosher.org.

The Gluten-Free Certification Organization’s (GFCO) mission is to provide an independent service to supervise gluten-free food production according to a consistent, defined, science-based standard, that is confirmed by field inspections, in order to achieve heightened consumer confidence and safety. GFCO is governed by an independent volunteer board that includes physicians, food scientists and consumers. For more information visit: http://www.gfco.org, or call 206-246-6652.

The Gluten Intolerance Group® (GIG)’s mission is to increase awareness by providing accurate, up-to-date information, education and support for those with gluten intolerance, celiac disease/dermatitis herpetiformis, their families, health care professionals and the general public. GIG’s volunteers, staff, and Board are knowledgeable, and our materials and resources are credible. GIG’s Medical Advisory Board approves all education materials.