Gluten Free Surveillance Survey

Published on 10 May 2017

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 The City of Busselton Environmental Health Service recently carried out a mini food surveillance survey to determine if products labelled ‘Gluten Free’ were actually ‘Gluten Free’. The results were pleasing with all products sent for testing revealing they did not contain gluten and were correctly labelled.

Food businesses that process and produce foods are required to label packaged foods according to the requirements of the Food Standards Code. Environmental Health Officers work with food businesses to ensure the correct information is contained on food labels.

Ms Jane Cook, Senior Environmental Health Officer at the City of Busselton, said "We randomly selected and purchased ten products made locally including chocolate brownies, muffins, macaroons, biscuits, bread and a hamburger that were labelled ‘gluten free’. These items underwent chemical testing for the presence of gluten. None of the products tested contained gluten which is very positive and pleasing, as often gluten from other products and the environment is difficult to manage when making a gluten free product."

Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia reports the most common allergens as peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, eggs, milk, sesame, wheat and soy. In addition, people with food allergies have to rely on food labels and food outlet staff providing accurate information to them when making their decisions on whether or not a meal or packaged food is safe for them to eat. The association reinforces the importance of consumers with allergies having access to information that will enable them to make an informed decision on the level of risk associated with eating certain foods.

Kaye Hamilton, a local Dunsborough resident diagnosed with Coeliac Disease, relies on the information food businesses place on labels. "I find it very encouraging to hear the testing undertaken by the City’s Environmental Health Officers revealed correct labelling of gluten free products. It is important for me to receive correct advice about ingredients to help me manage my health".

The City’s Environmental Health Officers can be contacted on 97810 471 for further information about food safety and labelling.

Caption: Abbey and Jill Marshall from Everyday Gourmet WA, Fig Tree Lane Busselton, with a selection of gluten free products

Outcomes and objectives outlined in this statement align with Key Goal Area 1 in the City of Busselton Strategic Community Plan (2017): Welcoming, friendly and healthy.

Ends. Media enquiries can be directed to media@busselton.wa.gov.au