5 controversial products in Italy: they are gluten-free products? Can celiacs eat them? –
Today we talk about 5 very controversial products in Italy: we receive many questions about these products and in all the groups and pages frequented by celiac people are always “hot topics“.
5 controversial products in Italy: they are gluten-free products?
McDonald’s French Fries
In Italian McDonald’s, the only food guaranteed and therefore easily eatable by people with celiac disease is Schär’s packaged sandwich. Everything else is NOT guaranteed.
The French Fries would be gluten-free at the origin, but the problem arises at the time of cooking. McDonald’s company doesn’t guarantee, in Italy, the non-contamination in the various points of sale.
So what to do? The only solution is to ask at the point of sale where you can find out if they are attentive to the cross-contamination and especially if they know what it is and how to manage it: at that point, the decision is personal, whether to risk it or not and eat them 🙂
Lindt in Italy has decided not to put the word “gluten-free” on its products, apparently for marketing reasons. On their website, however, they have published a section dedicated to “products for celiacs“, with 4 PDFs that collect many products that the company guarantees as safe for celiacs::
So where does the “dispute” over these products lie?
Under the new European regulations, products at risk must be marked “gluten-free” in order to be safe for people with celiac disease. This is also a guarantee of safety in terms of contamination (guaranteeing the 20 ppm limit).
Therefore also the guideline of AIC (Italian Association of Celiac Disease) is that, with regard to “risk” products, to consume only those with the inscription “gluten-free” and AIC has decided to include, in its “Prontuario degli alimenti” (handbook of foods), only the products bearing the inscription.
Not all national coeliac associations follow these guidelines and in some states such as France, Germany or Switzerland, coeliac people read the ingredients and only be careful that there are no prohibited ingredients inside or the inscription “may contain traces of gluten“.
So what about Lindt chocolate? Here too it’s a personal choice whether or not to trust the company and what it says, guaranteeing some products as safe for people with celiac disease, while not wanting to affix the inscription.
Coca-Cola Light and Zero
Referring to the Italian ABC of celiac disease, classical Coca-Cola is allowed, without the need to have the inscription “gluten-free” since it’s a carbonated beverage without the addition of sweeteners, therefore safe for celiac people.
What about Coca-Cola Light and Zero?
Light and zero carbonated drinks, with the addition of sweeteners, on the other hand, are a product at risk and therefore require the word “gluten-free” to be consumed by celiacs.
Coca-Cola Light and Zero don’t have the writing gluten-free so there is no guarantee of safety on contamination and/or presence of gluten.
Again the company, when approached, says that their products are all gluten-free, but they don’t put the inscription on the packaging.
Mon Chéri and Pocket Coffee by Ferrero
These two much-loved chocolates were until 2017 on AIC’s food handbook, so they were consumed by celiacs, but since AIC decided to include in its handbook only the products that put the word “gluten-free” on their package, the situation has changed: Ferrero has not put the word on the packaging of these two products and it’s not clear whether the thing was done because the production lines are no longer safe or because of a question of marketing or packaging.
Also, in this case, the company, when contacted, responds that they are always gluten-free, but celiac can’t be 100% sure having seen these products disappear from the handbook and not finding the inscription on the packaging, written however on other their products such as Nutella (fortunately! 😉 ).
Campari and Aperol
These drinks, like all spirits added with flavorings or other substances, are considered “at risk” for coeliac disease, so their consumption is recommended only in the presence of the inscription “gluten-free“, which unfortunately these drinks very popular and basic ingredients for many cocktails do not contain.
The situation is more or less the same as for the Pocket Coffee in the paragraph above, they were in the handbook, but as a result of the new regulations they didn’t put the gluten-free inscription on the bottle, so they are no longer considered safe, although the company continues to declare them gluten-free.
How do you behave with all these products? Do you consume them equally or not? Are there different rules for these products in your country?