COELIACS BEWARE: Gelatissimo Gelati/Gelato are NOT Gluten Free!

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Gelatissimo is an Australian ice cream retail chain with parlours existing at various shopping centres all around Australia (mainly in state capital cities).

The quality of their ice cream here in Australia is virtually unsurpassed by any other brand in this country. All ice creams are made on premises at all outlets every day. There are many flavours, some of which include mint chocolate, choc chip, and macadamia and caramel. The flavours were very tempting, indeed.... Mmmmm.... (they even use separate scoops)!

Upon ordering my ice cream I asked about gluten free ice creams and was told that a vast majority of them ARE gluten free, which was what I half expected.  The server asked if I wished to see the 'gluten free' matrix.  I did, and so he got it for me.  I then looked on the allergen matrix to see which ice creams were gluten free.  I saw lots of "Yes"s down the gluten free column with a couple of "No"s.

"Great", I thought. Just when I was about to order. I then saw a statement in 'rather small' writing saying (along these lines),

"Warning!
Whilst we make every effort to ensure the above information is correct, consumption is at the consumer's own risk.  Consumers are advised to avoid consumption of this product if there is any possibility of an allergic reaction to a food product.
"

Firstly, what an uninviting statement. What are they saying? They can't guarantee the ice creams to be gluten free, yet they claim them to be 'gluten free' on their matrix (and then add a disclaimer below!!)?

Sample Allergen Listing - Current

 
Gluten Free
Milk
Chocolate
Yes
Yes
Cookies and Cream
No
Yes
Vanilla
Yes
Yes
Blood Orange
Yes
No
Warning! Whilst we make every effort to ensure the above information is correct, consumption is at the consumer's own risk. Consumers are advised to avoid consumption of this product if there is any possibility of an allergic reaction.

This is a very unprofessional way to address this issue and it is ILLEGAL to say that something is gluten free when it might not be. They also mention that traces of allergens may be present in their ice creams in their disclaimer.

This is FALSE ADVERTISING. It is against the law to claim that food items are gluten free if they aren't. It does not matter whether the business is 'making life easier' or not. It is illegal to falsely claim 'gluten free' status on your items (even in just an allergen matrix) if the item 'may have come into contact with...'.

I am not one bit happy with this business at the moment and would urge one with coeliac disease or food allergies to proceed at these outlets with a great deal of caution, if at all.

The table below illustrates a format in which I feel is ideal for such measures. It is legal and does not air on false advertising:

Yes = Contains Allergen

 
Gluten
Milk
Chocolate
 
Yes
Cookies and Cream
Yes
Yes
Vanilla
 
Yes
Blood Orange
 
 
Please Note: All flavours may contain traces of allergens. We do our best to ensure that the information in this guide is up to date, however cannot guarantee accuracy in data. Consumption is at the individual's own risk.

Leave your views below and I shall respond.  It saddens me that the implications of Coeliac Disease are taken so lightly in this day and age and I wish businesses would be more knowledgeable and understanding of our needs before just jumping on a bandwagon and /*misusing*/ the gluten free term.  I think it STINKS that we're just being treated like nothing more than a chunk out of the market to satisfy.

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Comments 20 comments

HanSolo 5 years ago

are you serious? Do you honestly expect this ice cream chain to take every single precaution to ensure you that there is absolutely NO chance of ANY other ice cream EVER touching your non-gelatin scoop? Wow, your ridiculous. You need a reality check. Also, this is not advertising, and it is perfectly legal to make a disclaimer. How about you check your facts next time before spewing bullshit.


infonolan profile image

infonolan 5 years ago from Australia Author

HanSolo - if they declare ANY of their gelati as being 'gluten free', I DO expect it to be just that. So yes I am serious. If they cannot take every single precaution to ensure you that there is absolutely NO chance of ANY gluten coming in contact with their gluten free flavours, they are falsely and ILLEGALLY labelling their ice creams as 'gluten free'!

The strategy is very simple. All they need to do is eliminate the 'gluten free' term and list from their allergen matrix and THEN they will no longer be falsely or illegally advertising their products as 'gluten free'. What part of this do you not understand?


HanSolo 5 years ago

Ok, what would you consider to be "every single precaution"?


infonolan profile image

infonolan 5 years ago from Australia Author

HanSolo - I do not expect them to take "every single precaution" at all. I do not have a problem with the fact that cross-contamination is an issue, as long as they do NOT make a 'gluten free' claim!

Because they are making a gluten free claim, I expect that every single flavour marked 'gluten free' IS exactly that. GLUTEN FREE (no disclaimers attached).

In Australia, it is ILLEGAL to use the 'gluten free' claim on ANY food item sold unless it actually IS gluten free.

All they need to do is remove the 'gluten free' term if they can't guarantee it. That's all I ask!


HanSolo 5 years ago

Ok, well I work at a Gelatissimo which obviously brought me here, and I can personally say that cross contamination is NOT an issue at all. We clean the machines after making each batch of gelato and go to each precaution possible to minimize this. All im saying is that there is not any way to ensure that every single molecule that contains any bit of gluten will stay away. Idk, seems pretty ridiculous to me. Like people with nut allergens, there has to be disclaimers for people like you so you know that yeah, someome may have entered a factory making a food that had eaten some nuts that your allergic to or something ridiculous like that. Just be reasonable!


infonolan profile image

infonolan 5 years ago from Australia Author

HanSolo - It's simple. All that Gelatissimo needs to do is remove the "GLUTEN FREE" term from their allergen matrix.

I can understand that there is always a risk when the environment is not totally gluten free, however there are very strict laws that govern 'gluten free' labelling on foods served or supplied to the Australian market.

Excerpt from FSANZ (page 15) http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/_srcfiles/ACF2A90....

Gluten Free Labelling Laws

Claims in relation to gluten content of food

(1) Claims in relation to the gluten content of food are prohibited unless expressly permitted by this code.

(2) A claim to the effect that a food is gluten free must not be made in relation to a food unless the food contains –

-- (a) no detectable gluten; and

-- (b) no –

-- -- (i) oats or their products; or

-- -- (ii) cereals containing gluten that have been malted/their products.

(3) A claim to the effect that a food has a low gluten content must not be made in relation to a food unless the food contains no more than 20 mg gluten per 100 g of the food.

-- (a) more than 20 mg gluten per 100 g of the food; and

-- (b) oats or malt

(4) A claim to the effect that a food contains gluten or is high in gluten may be made in relation to a food.


HanSolo 5 years ago

well I guarantee you that theres not enough to be detectable, thereby making it perfectly legal, which would explain why they have not been prosecuted yet.


infonolan profile image

infonolan 5 years ago from Australia Author

Perhaps they could then remove the disclaimer from their allergen matrix then?


HanSolo 5 years ago

yes they could. I win! ;)


infonolan profile image

infonolan 5 years ago from Australia Author

only if they do remove it though ;)


HanSolo 5 years ago

anything containing "traces" of gluten can still be classified as gluten free.


infonolan profile image

infonolan 5 years ago from Australia Author

@HanSolo, only if those "traces" of gluten occupy less than the limit of detection (i.e. less than 3 parts per million (ppm) gluten in the final product). In Australia, it is only products with less than 3ppm gluten that can legally be classified as 'gluten free'.


HanSolo 4 years ago

But we do have less than that! In our gluten free ice creams I mean, in the others we have about one sampling spoonful of gluten, which is used to keep the ice cream from falling apart.


infonolan profile image

infonolan 4 years ago from Australia Author

Which ice creams are these then? That is shocking!


HanSolo 3 years ago

Let me clarify, we do not put ANY gluten into our gluten free ice creams (obviously), otherwise we put in a small spoonful. Since the amount of gluten in our gluten-free gelato is non-existent or undetectable, the disclaimer is more as a service to the customer, but is not necessary. All our gelato is made within the allowable limit in regards to gluten and is therefore perfectly legal. Case closed.


infonolan profile image

infonolan 3 years ago from Australia Author

Have your "GF" products ever been properly tested for gluten?


HanSolo 3 years ago

Yes, and the amount is undetectable, which is why they are called "gluten-free".


infonolan profile image

infonolan 2 years ago from Australia Author

Well the burden of proof lies on you.


HanSolo 2 years ago

How so? If anything, the burden of proof would lie on you, as we have tested and are legally allowed to display our gluten free products as gluten free. If you disagree, by all means please test and get back to us.


infonolan profile image

infonolan 2 years ago from Australia Author

I rest my case...

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