Australian and New Zealand Food Labeling

March 25, 2010

In My Medicine CabinetFood labeling in Australia and New Zealand is governed by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). In regards to gluten free labeling, the FSANZ has two standards – gluten free labels and low gluten labels. For a product to be labeled ‘gluten free’ it must not contain any detectable gluten and not include oats or malt. Food labeled ‘low gluten’ must not contain more than 0.02 per cent gluten.

In Europe, their gluten free labeling laws are a lot stricter – with any food containing gluten having to be clearly labeled. It must be within either the ingredients list or the nutritional information panel. This however is not the case in Australia and New Zealand. Therefore, it is highly advisable to ensure you carefully read all food labels if you are gluten sensitive or gluten intolerant.

This careful examination of product labels so not be only conducted to food labels, as many prescriptions, and cosmetics – such as shampoo, lotions, lipsticks etc. The best way to ensure the medications you’re taking are gluten free is to talk to your pharmacist and check with them, as many medications have coatings that contain gluten.

You may be wondering how having gluten in cosmetic products could be a problem, as obviously you do not eat any cosmetic products. But if have Celiac Disease and develop a skin disorder such as dermatitis herpetiformis, acne, psoriasis, eczema, or any other kind of dermatitis it could be a problem. With any of these skin disorders gluten can be absorbed through the open lesions, so you should read labels to check for gluten if you’re prone to a skin disorder. However, having said this there hasn’t yet been any research done on the effect of gluten absorbed through the skin. But if you do have dermatitis herpetiformis, I recommend you use gluten free cosmetics and shampoos to be safe.

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