"Why is there a difference between gluten-free product labeling and certified-gluten-free? I was told if packaging just says 'gluten free' and not 'certified gluten free' that it could still have gluten in it. How does that make sense?" -- from Facebook fan Joey Brown.
This is quite a confusing topic. Unfortunately, a “gluten-free” label can have many meanings. Do not assume gluten free means the complete absence of gluten. “Certified gluten free” means that the product has been tested by a third party and was shown to contain less than a limited quantity of gluten.
In addition, these third-party organizations will test and certify the facilities that gluten-free products are made in. Having a certification requires periodic testing of the facility and products.
For example, Cup4Cup is certified “WRBO-Free” by the Celiac Sprue Association, meaning that all Cup4Cup facilities and products are “free of wheat, barley, oats, and rye.” Our products all test below 5 parts per million (ppm) gluten and our facility is dedicated gluten free and audited periodically.
In essence, a gluten-free certification is reassurance that the product you are buying is indeed gluten free. The FDA requires a gluten-free-labeled product to test below 20 ppm gluten; however, this level of gluten can still be dangerous to some people on a gluten-free diet.