Warning: Now some things are Gluten Free but not Wheat Free – No Allergen Food
It is possible in some items to use wheat ingredients but process the item to the point where the gluten level is below the federal limits.
The story of how I discovered this:
I do not have celiac disease but I do have a tested allergic reaction to wheat in foods. I also know that eating foods containing wheat gives me problems. The easiest way of avoiding wheat at restaurants has been to ask for gluten free versions. They understand this somewhat and can generally handle this. Some places will not serve you anything for fear of making someone sick. My usual statement is: I am mildly allergic to wheat, so do you have anything gluten free.
I was at a restaurant a couple of weeks ago and the waitress suggested that I order one of their gluten free beers. Since I did not have to drive that night I thought I would give it a try. Most gluten free “beers” are not technically beer. Usually it is some form of hard cider where wheat ingredients are not included. The bottle delivered was labeled “Omission Beer” and tasted like a real beer. It was quite good actually.
Later looking at the bottle, I discovered that the beer did contain barley and that the company uses some sort of proprietary process to remove the gluten from the beer (or perhaps prevent it from being included) they then send a sample from each batch to an independent testing lab to verify that the batch has levels below the government standards for gluten free food products.
I have several problems with this.
The waitress told me it was gluten free. The label states that it might contain gluten. The site has disclaimers to the effect that the item is not guaranteed to be gluten free. It is probably safe for people most people with celiac disease to drink. However, the company does not guarantee this. There is some evidence that even 10 PPM of gluten on a daily basis can be harmful.
My limited research has shown that most (but not all) wheat allergies are caused by the same proteins that lead to celiac disease. However a person could have a reaction based on other proteins in the beverage.
I have seen some hints of regulations that would allow more gluten (up to 200 PPM) in foods where the gluten has been removed.