The guide was produced with the support from Coeliac UK, the Anaphylaxis Campaign and the British Retail Consortium.
FDF director of regulation, science and health, Barbara Gallani said that the guide would help manufacturers of all sizes make informed labelling decisions.
“As consumers are increasingly seeking clear information about various allergenic ingredients within the foods they purchase, it is important that food manufacturers provide labels that are legally compliant and make it easier for consumers to find and understand allergen information so they can make safer food choices,” she said.
Coeliac UK CEO, Sarah Sleet said: "The Charity supports the new best practice guidance for the industry and the introduction of an approach to limit the use of 'may contain gluten' statements on packaged foods which will be welcomed by everyone with coeliac disease.”
It is no longer permitted to state ‘gluten’ without a reference to a specific cereal in the ingredients list, according to the guide.
And while it is optional to add the world ‘gluten’ in brackets after the name of the cereal, FDF suggests that best practice is merely to highlight in bold the name of the cereal.
“This ensures consumer understanding by encouraging the reading of the ingredients list for the presence of the specific gluten containing cereal. This in turn reduces the risk to individuals looking for the word “gluten”, which may not be listed,” it says.
Allergens must be listed in bold each time they appear:
The specific name must be given, as well as a reference to the cereal family:
There is also a simple diagram to help manufacturers decide which claim is most suitable for their products - gluten-free, very low gluten, no gluten-containing ingredients or no authorised claim.
Coeliac UK's website also contains information for food industry professionals, including retailers, manufacturers, caterers and restaurateurs, as well as a food and drink directory with 15,000 processed and packaged foods that are suitable for coeliac sufferers.
The full FDF guide can be downloaded here.