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La Porchetta - A Coeliac (gluten free) Aggravator

Updated on April 3, 2011

GF = Gluten Free, but NOT a gluten free environment

I see that the chain Italian restaurant "La Porchetta" is now using GF to promote their menu items to our target Coeliac market. It looks like there is some selection of fine gluten free italian food to indulge on...

That is, until you read the fine print on the bottom of the page. "GF = Gluten Free, but not made in a gluten free environment". Having come across this, I was horrified to see the 'gluten free' term improperly used, once again.

Labelling Laws in Australia

16 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, or their products.

Page 15 of the PDF file. From Food Standards Australia and New Zealand.

Clearly it can be seen that you cannot decalre something as gluten free if it isn't actually gluten free. It is against the law. Illegal. END OF STORY.

There are to be no 'buts' if a product is labelled as gluten free.  My suggestion is to remove the GF symbols away from the applicable items on your menu, and leave the initiative to the customer.  Clearly, the law is not being followed in this regard.  It is false advertising to call something 'gluten free' when it isn't completely gluten free


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    • infonolan profile image

      infonolan 5 years ago from Australia

      Really sorry to hear that, Jane. Especially after you made such an effort, too! Hope you're well. :)

    • profile image

      Jane 5 years ago

      Ordered an advertised G/F meal of a menu at Relish restaurant/cafe in Hawthorn, Victoria, made several inquiries regarding this meal & even the supplier of coated crab cake only to find that it was crumbed in bread- wheat based. A blatant lie & disregard to gluten intolerant customers.

    • infonolan profile image

      infonolan 6 years ago from Australia

      Chicka, in case you weren't aware, advertising a product as gluten free (or even using the gluten free term when describing a product as such) is illegal in Australia. The disclaimer they are using simply states that they do not believe that they are capable of taking adequate care with gluten free orders.

      There are businesses who ARE trutheful in their gluten free advertising, however. Muffin break is one of these and they take a great deal of care in the preparation of their gluten free muffins all over Australia on a daily basis.

    • profile image

      Chicka 6 years ago

      That makes no sense... How can a restaurant that makes normal pizza and pasta have a completely Gluten free environment? They clearly make the pizza dough out of flour. Coeliac's (such as myself)need to use their brains, the items are gluten free. They are made to be Gluten Free. But for the hyper sensitive they are stating that if there is a microparticle of flour that floated from the dough mixer onto your gluten free food, it can happen. I would suggest that anybody with an ounce of intelligence would know their own sensitivity, and decide whether thay can eat in a restaurant that uses wheat flour or not.

    • infonolan profile image

      infonolan 7 years ago from Australia

      It WOULD be a bummer to eat something you have been told is gluten free and then have a reaction. That's why La Porchetta have covered their butts (so to speak). They have promoted 'gluten free' options on their menu but have ALSO advised that these meals are not prepared in a gluten free environment!

      In Australia (where I live) a product can only be declared as being 'gluten free' if it is 100% free of gluten (no ifs, buts or whatevers). We, as Coeliac Consumers should be able to trust that any item marked 'gluten free' is, in fact, gluten free! SIMPLE!

      This is mainly what I am taking objection to! We are being exploited as individuals with simply a 'little bit of an intolerance' with gluten! These places like La Porchetta, etc. are not only misleading us coeliacs but the whole of society as to the severity of Coeliac Disease! They are blatantly denying that there is a problem by marking an item as 'gluten free' when it may be contaminated from gluten.

      This is not the only business. There are many others. This is just one of them, and I will keep fishing them out and laying them on HubPages because quite frankly, I have had absolutely enough of this 'gluten free' false advertising and until these places are sorted out, these hubs will stick around for as long as it takes these establishments to listen!

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 7 years ago from Northern, California

      My girlfriend has to avoid gluten foods. It would be a bummer to eat something you were told is gluten free and have a reaction later...seems a risky endeavor at best!