Science-Based Auditing, Testing and Reporting Protocols Reinforce Industry Best Practice
SCS Global Services, an international leader in sustainability and food quality standards development and third-party certification, today announced the launch of a new Gluten-Free Certification Standard to drive greater adoption of industry best practices with regards to auditing, testing and reporting. The standard goes beyond current U.S. FDA regulatory guidelines, which require no more than 20 parts per million (ppm) gluten to be considered “gluten-free”, opting instead to require manufacturers and facilities to demonstrate that products contain no more than 10 ppm in an effort to support the growing global health concerns of those impacted by Celiac disease, gluten intolerance and gluten sensitivity.
In developing the new standard, SCS drew upon extensive experience as an accredited Conformity Assurance Body (CAB) to other gluten-free certification standards, including the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO) program and multiple country standards. Using a risk-based approach to assess which sites require onsite audits and which can be audited virtually, the new standard sets the stage for a business-friendly, gluten-free auditing and certification process that delivers the highest level of accuracy and a system of checks and balances that ensures non-contamination and reporting transparency.
“We’ve taken the best attributes of current global gluten-free standards, removed elements that are unnecessary burdens for corporations and food manufacturers and have no benefit for consumers, and placed greater emphasis on areas of higher risk to the gluten-sensitive consumer that weren’t necessarily being addressed in other standards,” notes Brandon Nauman, Director of Food Labeling Programs at SCS. “We’ve put together an extremely comprehensive standard that requires more stringent testing, greater reporting and report accountability, and added measures to monitor facilities and manufacturers year-over-year to ensure that the safest practices are put into place and that certification labels truly reflect gluten-free products manufactured to the highest standards.”
Accurate labeling and trustworthy gluten-free certifications provide essential assurance for those who are struggling with gluten intolerance or allergy and rely on science and testing to demonstrate safety. The industry is rife with self-declared gluten free claims that are product-based rather than process-based, which do not account for gluten contamination points within manufacturing facilities. At a time when consumer demand for greater transparency in food manufacturing, labeling and consumption of gluten-free products has increased, the SCS Gluten-Free Certification Standard delivers the third-party assurance and verification necessary to ensure corporate accountability and support consumer objectives.
According to Lucy Anderson, Program Manager of the Gluten-Free Certification Program at SCS, “We really tried to position this standard from the perspective of the consumer and to adapt it to the use of modern auditing principles. Whether we’re conducting audits onsite or virtually, we ensure that products, risky ingredients and equipment used for processing are tested, and we’re able to monitor the test taking. Testing requires ISO accredited labs or AOAC certified test kits, and we evaluate the process in real time to ensure that the testing is thorough and accurate.”
Built on 30+ years of auditing and certification knowledge from one of the most trusted certification bodies in the world, the SCS Gluten-Free Certification Standard is the latest addition to SCS’ comprehensive family of food labeling standards, such as USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Sustainably Grown®, and a broad array of food safety and quality programs within the SCS certification wheelhouse.
Companies interested in learning more about SCS’ Gluten-Free certification can visit www.scsglobalservices.com/services/gluten-free-certification.
About SCS Global Services
SCS Global Services is a global leader in third-party food quality, environmental and sustainability certiﬁcation, auditing, testing and standards development. Its programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in food and agriculture, natural resource management, green building, product manufacturing, forestry, consumer products, and more. Headquartered in Emeryville, California, SCS has representatives and affiliate offices throughout the Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe and Africa. Its broad network of auditors are experts in their fields, and the company is a trusted partner to companies, agencies and advocacy organizations due to its dedication to quality and professionalism. SCS is a chartered Beneﬁt Corporation, reﬂecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices.
For more information, visit www.scsglobalservices.com