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What are the legal requirements for gluten-free catering?

There are two key pieces of legislation that caterers need to be aware of: the allergen labelling law and the gluten-free law.

Allergen labelling laws

Under allergen labelling laws, gluten-containing cereals (wheat, rye, barley, oats) are one of the 14 allergens that must be clearly declared and highlighted within ingredient lists on food labels for pre-packed and PPDS foods.

Caterers must also have available information on gluten-containing cereals, present in any amount within the food they provide, to customers either on menus, websites or verbally.

Note: Oats are identified as gluten-containing cereal under this legislation because oats are often contaminated with wheat, barley and rye during production and processing.

Gluten-free law

The definition of gluten-free is where the presence of gluten is less than 20 parts per million (ppm) in a food product or meal. This level of gluten is considered safe for people with coeliac disease.

Caterers should take care when using the term gluten-free on menus and websites as the term is legally defined. To claim a food or meal is gluten-free, you must be able to demonstrate and prove that it contains less than 20ppm of gluten.

Useful articles

More information and guidance on how to provide gluten-free food is available in this guide from the Food Standards Agency and Coeliac UK

Or you can read our handy gluten-free guide for caterers here

We are here to help you

If you’re unsure about your legal responsibilities when catering for gluten-free consumers, get in touch with Pelican’s experts for advice and menu ideas.

We also have the latest digital tools for catering teams that will help you be compliant and share, manage allergens and nutrition needs much more easily! Contact us for a friendly demo today.

Please email our friendly team if you need any help or if you would like a system demo at and we’ll do our best to support you.

Handy references

The Food Information (Amendment) (England) Regulation 2019

(Wales) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020

(Amendment No. 2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020

(Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021

The Food Information Regulations 2014

and supported by Regulation (EU) 1169/2011.

Food Information for Consumers regulation (article 2)

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 828/2014

Coeliac UK: Guidance on Gluten-free and the law

Other Related Resources

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