Coeliac Convention 2014
Coeliac Convention 2014
I had the pleasure of being invited to the Coeliac Convention 2014 in the Silver Springs Conference Centre, Cork on October 4th 2014. The Coeliac event in association with SuperValu attracted over 320 attendees. There was an atmosphere of anticipation where family and friends reconnected with a common drive for information and updates on all things coeliac. An area downstairs called Ballynogluten stalls was set up like a farmers market, the 26 Food stalls supplied gluten free food products with yummy free tastings and some had special offers on products for sale that day. Some of the many gluten-free Food Samples were sausages & puddings, chicken nuggets, delicious cakes, homemade pastry, flapjacks, crisps, even beers. A lot of these food companies currently supply to Supervalu, Dunnes and Tesco as well as smaller health food stores around the country. The majority of the food companies I spoke to have already updated their labels and implemented the Food Information to Consumers (FIC) regulation 1169/2011. A few companies were taking the opportunity to rebrand or redesign their packaging while implementing the regulation. The deadline for implementation of FIC is 13th December 2014; so the pressure is on to get your labels in order. I have included the list below for any of you who could not make the convention. There were cookery demonstrations for adults and kids, kids crafts and a gluten-free buffet lunch.
Upstairs there were a series of talks on ‘Being a happy coeliac’ with RTE’s domestic Diva’s. Also panel discussions with Anne Manning, Dr. Nick Kennedy and Niamh O’Connor (Clinical Dietician) who answered coeliac related questions from attendees on the day. One question was posed to the panel regarding food regulation and why there are both gluten-free and low gluten products? Who are the low gluten products aimed at? Can you be ‘a little bit’ Coeliac? Dr. O’ Connor said there was no threshold, either you are coeliac or not, in which case if you are coeliac you have to go gluten-free.
The new regulation (Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 828/2014) published last July gives definitions for statements on food labeling such as ‘Gluten-free’ (<20mg of gluten/kg) and ‘low gluten’ (<100mg of gluten/kg). In addition the regulation requires oats presented as gluten-free or low gluten must be specially produced to avoid cross contamination during harvesting and the gluten content of these oats must not exceed 20mg/kg. This implementing regulation will apply from 20th July 2016.
While the panel were dealing with queries on stage it was lovely to see the kids pop in and out of the conference room with their white chef hats delighted to show their parents what they had made at the gluten-free cookery class.
Well done to the organizers Coelicac Society of Ireland and the sponsor SuperValu. The event was very well attended and a great information day for Coeliacs.
After the 13th December deadline companies such as SuperValu will not stock your product on their shelves unless the label is compliant. If you are a food company who needs to update your labels to the new regulation or need an expert to review your labels for compliance get in touch with Themis Food Advisory. We offer a product label review service.
Don’t Delay, Start Today!
Coeliac Society of Ireland. http://www.coeliac.ie/
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 828/2014. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32014R0828&from=EN