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Grill'd Gluten Free Burgers and Buns - NOT Gluten Free!
Grill'd is a fairly modern burger franchise that offers a range of burgers and buns. They are situated at various locations throughout Australia including Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. There is plenty of variety to choose from and the staff always pride themselves in preparing the best burgers in town! They also offer Gluten Free Buns in all their stores. It's great to see more businesses offering gluten free fare. I only wish we had one here in Canberra, for that matter. I'd be sure to join in with the crowd!
[ED: Grill'd is set to have two stores open in Canberra at Westfield Belconnen (April 2011) and Westfield Woden (June 2011)!]
Not only do they carry gluten free buns, their fries are also gluten free (i.e. fried in their own oil). They also offer a good variety of burger salads and filling options that, when combined with a gluten free bun or made without one, are suitable for coeliacs as well!
OR ARE THEY?
'Gluten Information' from Grill'd Burgers
After having looked more closely at the nutrition page on the Grill'd website, I discovered that, as with many establishments offering 'so-called' gluten free fare, there were some concerns regarding whether these products would actually be completely gluten free. They claim that the buns ARE gluten free, yet they claim the burgers/fillings to only be 'gluten friendly'. They then advise customers of the following: "Please note we toast our Gluten Free* buns in the same toaster as other breads, so they'll contain traces of gluten".
In the FAQ Section, they answer further questions regarding how safe these products actually are on the gluten free diet.
Excerpt from Nutrition Page:
Is the Gluten Free* bun suitable for coeliacs?
"Our Gluten Free* buns are NOT suitable for coeliacs (those people who cannot process gluten) due to cross contamination risk. They are wheat free and ARE therefore suitable for those people with a wheat intolerance/following a wheat free diet. *may contain traces of gluten as these buns are put through the same toaster as our Panini and Traditional buns."
Gluten Free Labelling Laws
Excerpt from FSANZ (page 15) http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/_srcfiles/ACF2A90.pdf
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.
Clearly, as can be seen from above, it is evident that Grill'd is not adhering to any part of Standard 1.2.8 with regard to gluten free labelling. There are many instances with regard to this.
Firstly, Grill'd is claiming their meats, patties and salads to be 'gluten friendly' and NOT gluten free or low in gluten. Use of the 'gluten friendly' term, as you may not yet realise, is ILLEGAL in Australia. It is against the law to label any food item as 'gluten friendly'.
Secondly, Grill'd is claiming their buns to be gluten free. These buns are pre-made and are gluten free upon arrival. That soon changes once they are passed through the SAME TOASTER as everything else, including their wheaten buns (not to mention that absolutely NO precautions are taken such as lining the toaster with any protective material. At least they COULD possibly use some Toastabags or Magic Cooking Products, rather than fully neglect their coeliac market (as they are doing). Then they'd have their procedures pretty well in order with regard to this matter.
Finally, claiming that the buns are gluten free (and that the rest of their items are the retarded status of 'gluten friendly'), and then stating that they are NOT SUITABLE FOR COELIACS due to cross-contamination is WRONG!
Leave your views below and bring some of your experiences to the show. I think it absolutely STINKS that Grill'd is tainting the whole gluten free picture to represent the gluten free market as something IT IS NOT! It comes across as if they are simply treating us like a we're a chunk out of the market to satisfy, with absolutely NO concern for our health or wellbeing!