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The FDA has spoken!

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If you’ve checked your Twitter feed today, you may have noticed one trending topic: the FDA has issued a ruling defining the term “gluten-free” for voluntary food labeling. 

Here at Emport, LLC, we’re very excited about the new ruling. We know you might not have time to read all 95 pages of it, so here are a few highlights from the full document:

  • items must contain less than 20ppm gluten
  • the compliance date of the rule is next year, on August 5, 2014
  • manufacturers may use oats, provided the final product remains below 20ppm
  • manufacturers may not use ingredients derived from gluten-containing grains, if those ingredients have not been processed to remove gluten
  • manufacturers may use ingredients derived from gluten-containing grains, if those ingredients have been processed to remove gluten and the food contains less than 20ppm
  • additional guidelines will be published to assist manufacturers in compliance regarding ingredients that have been hydrolyzed or fermented
  • “FDA guidance suggets that any use of an FDA-defined food labeling claim … on restaurant menus should be consistent with the respective regulatory definitions” (page 71)
  • manufacturers may determine their own safety protocol to ensure that products are in compliance with the ruling

GlutenTox Pro and GlutenTox Sticks can help you monitor your facility’s gluten-free protocol. 

If you are a restaurant with a gluten-free menu or a manufacturer of gluten-free items and you would like to discuss how GlutenTox can fit into your safety protocol, please feel free to contact us via phone or email.

If you’d like to read the FDA’s press release, you can do so here. For the full ruling (95 pages!), click here.

The FDA has spoken!

8220889_m73ecc7a47465

If you’ve checked your Twitter feed today, you may have noticed one trending topic: the FDA has issued a ruling defining the term “gluten-free” for voluntary food labeling.

Here at Emport, LLC, we’re very excited about the new ruling. We know you might not have time to read all 95 pages of it, so here are a few highlights from the full document:

  • items must contain less than 20ppm gluten
  • the compliance date of the rule is next year, on August 5, 2014
  • manufacturers may use oats, provided the final product remains below 20ppm
  • manufacturers may not use ingredients derived from gluten-containing grains, if those ingredients have not been processed to remove gluten
  • manufacturers may use ingredients derived from gluten-containing grains, if those ingredients have been processed to remove gluten and the food contains less than 20ppm
  • additional guidelines will be published to assist manufacturers in compliance regarding ingredients that have been hydrolyzed or fermented
  • “FDA guidance suggets that any use of an FDA-defined food labeling claim … on restaurant menus should be consistent with the respective regulatory definitions” (page 71)
  • manufacturers may determine their own safety protocol to ensure that products are in compliance with the ruling

GlutenTox Pro and GlutenTox Sticks can help you monitor your facility’s gluten-free protocol.

If you are a restaurant with a gluten-free menu or a manufacturer of gluten-free items and you would like to discuss how GlutenTox can fit into your safety protocol, please feel free to contact us via phone or email.

If you’d like to read the FDA’s full ruling, visit the Federal Register.

Our new site

We have been working to update our site, and we are almost there!

There are still a few things that need to be worked on, and if you spot anything, just shoot us an email.

EDIT 8/31/12: If you find a glitch, and email us (or Tweet it, or Facebook it, we’re hep to the social media), we’ll thank you with a coupon for free shipping on any GlutenTox Home order!

Fall Internship Available in Pittsburgh

We are very delighted to be on the lookout for a fall intern in Sales/Marketing/Business Development here in our Pittsburgh office. If you are (or know of) a college student who is on the lookout for a pretty sweet for-credit internship, read on!

What we do:

Well, OK, if you’re reading this you already know what we do!

What you’ll do:

It sounds trite, but this internship will be largely what you make of it. There are opportunities for you to learn about PR (social media management, press releases, pitching stories, etc.), Marketing (both B2C and B2B, ie to individuals who might benefit from GlutenTox Home in their families and also to companies and cafeterias that might benefit from using GlutenTox Pro or Sticks to test for gluten in their products and gluten-free menu items), and Sales/Business Development (help us strategize and implement outreach plans for new parts of the marketplace).

There are also going to be days that involve some light admin work, some eating gluten-free food, and some stuff we can’t predict yet. You won’t be making coffee for people, we can promise you that much (but we have a Chemex and a very good grinder, and are happy to show you how they work).

What characteristics you’ll possess:

  • be motivated, independent, and detail-oriented
  • have impeccable writing skills
  • feel comfortable on a computer (basic Internet & Microsoft Office)
  • enjoy talking to strangers (see “social media management” above!)
  • be able to come to our office on Penn Ave in Garfield 2-3x weekly (10-15 hours/week)
  • be able to focus in a sometimes-chaotic environment

Bonus points but by no means required:

  • general familiarity with the gluten-free diet / celiac disease

If interested, send resume and cover letter to us via email. Cover letter doesn’t have to be formal, but it does have to A) give us a feel for your writing style and B) explain why this internship sounds like a good fit to you. If you’re a Pitt or CMU student, this information is also available via your school’s internship database.

More GlutenTox on the Web, Less Gluten in Our Foods

We’ve been a little quiet about it, so you might not have heard: finally we’ve launched our second website!

If you visit glutentoxpro.com, you’ll find a host of information about our professional gluten test kits. Not only are there details about GlutenTox Pro — our most popular kit, which combines the ease and accuracy of GlutenTox Home with some special features designed just for commercial kitchens and gluten-free manufacturers — but details about GlutenTox Sticks and the GlutenTox Reader as well (more* on those in a minute).

To coincide with the launch of the website, we’ve also introduced a new video that explains just how easy GlutenTox Pro is for detecting gluten contamination in foods, drinks and also on surfaces. Take a look (and a listen!) on YouTube!

*Although GlutenTox Pro is our most popular kit, we’re also delighted to offer GlutenTox Sticks for facilities that have access to lab equipment and require an extra degree of fine-tuning for their test results. Plus, GlutenTox Sticks can be used in conjunction with the GlutenTox Reader, a simple device that provides a precise, quantified result (eg, your sample has 16 PPM gluten) in seconds.

If you know a gluten-free manufacturer or a restaurant that serves gluten-free meals, ask them if they are doing any testing on-site. They might already be using GlutenTox — but if they aren’t, send them on over to check our gluten test kits out!

We used GlutenTox Home to test Domino’s Gluten-Free Pizza…

Well, curiosity finally got the best of us: we bought one of Domino’s gluten-free (but not celiac-safe) pizzas to check out here in the Emport offices. After carefully following the commentary (and checking out these lab results ordered by CeliAct, which did not use the G12 antibody and which we were completely unaffiliated with), we weren’t expecting to find oodles of gluten. But we also weren’t ready to chow down without doing some more research.

First, some background information. About a week ago, one of us (Emily, who’s also writing this post) walked into our local Domino’s and asked about the pizza. The woman behind the counter mentioned that they had separate trays and a separate pizza cutter in the back. Cue pleasant shock and surprise.

So, today I (Emily) went online and ordered a pizza. Half with no cheese — the better to test the crust — and half with cheese, spinach and mushrooms. I didn’t call to ask about the preparation, but when I went to pick the pizza up I did. This time, the employee confirmed the separate pizza cutter but said they did not have special trays.

For our first test, we took a few square inches of pizza crust from a cheeseless slice, scraped the tomato sauce off, and chopped everything up finely. For our second test, we took a hunk of cheese with spinach and mushroom and did the best we could to chop that up — a difficult task, but since our primary concern was surface contamination we weren’t too stressed about getting everything pulverized. If there were crumbs, they would come off during the extraction process. Read More…

GlutenTox Home Gluten Test Kit is a Qualified Medical Expense

The ever-lovely Heidi over at Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom has graciously agreed to have me (Emily) as a guest-blogger. Mostly I’m going to chat about gluten detection and the science behind gluten test kits for home/industry — but not today.

Today’s post is all about Health Savings Accounts, Health Reimbursement Agreements, and Flex Spending Accounts (HSA, HRA, FSA). Did you know that GlutenTox Home is a Qualified Medical Expense for account-holders, provided they have a medically-diagnosed need for a gluten-free diet (eg, celiac disease)? Read on to learn more about these accounts and how they can help those of us on gluten-free diets.

As an added bonus, the post contains a schmancy discount code for free shipping on your GlutenTox Home test kits — but you’ll have to head over there to find the code!

News from Spain: GlutenTox Home to the Rescue!

GlutenTox Home to the rescue!

The Spanish celiac community was in a bit of a tough spot the other week: Mercadona, one of the country’s largest supermarket chains, had released a duo of gluten-free frozen pizzas. However, the Federation of Spanish Celiac Associations (FACE) didn’t want to include the pizzas on their list of safe foods.

Why not? Well, it depends on who you talk to, but one reason was the inclusion of a starch derived from wheat on the ingredient list — yes, that’s right, gluten-free wheat starch. Now, people with celiac disease from all over Spain were (safely) eating the gluten-free pizza, and Mercadona has a reputation for being extremely vigilant about their gluten-free labeling, but there were still concerns.

Happily, a journalist had heard of GlutenTox Home, got in touch with Biomedal, and ran some tests. The verdict? The pizza was gluten-free as labeled. Now if only they would open a Mercadona in the US!

For more information, check out the original post with GlutenTox test results, and FACE’s comments on the subject.

Portland Gets Gluten-Free Subway Sandwiches

Pretty exciting news, at least for anyone in the Portland area:

Subway is offering gluten-free bread and brownies at 100+ locations in the Portland/Bend metro area. This is the second market to test the product, after Dallas earlier this year.

Subway seems to be taking all possible precautions to ensure the safety of gluten-free customers, which is always a relief to see — including baking the bread at a certified facility. As always, GlutenTox Home is here to help if you have cross-contamination concerns at home or on the go.

To see the sandwiches up close and personal, check out this spot on KATU’s AM Northwest.

Testing Shampoo or Makeup for Gluten? Yes You Can!

Rossetti Are you being glutened by your cosmetics? Is your shampoo making you sick? Does your lipstick contain hidden gluten? If you’re confident in your gluten-free diet but still experiencing symptoms, you might want to test your household products for gluten (with our GlutenTox test kit, of course!).

The relative toxicity of cosmetics and personal-care products is one of the great celiac controversies. Most research suggests that gluten is too large to be absorbed by the skin, and that cosmetics containing gluten shouldn’t be an issue unless they are ingested. What’s more, the amount of gluten in any cosmetic would very likely still fall well under the amount most celiacs can handle in a given day.
Read More…