If you’ve been to Safeway recently, you may have noticed new tags on their shelves. These tags are part of their Simple Nutrition program which is designed to help you make better nutrition choices. It includes a “Gluten Free” tag category. You can view and read about the other shelf tags here.
It is important to note that the gluten-free category is defined by products that are identified as gluten-free by the manufacturer. Since there are no laws currently regulating the use of the term “gluten free” on labels, you still need to use caution and read labels.
Also, keep in mind that many products at the grocery store are gluten free, but are not identified as such by the manufacturer, and therefore will not have a gluten free tag such as this pineapple.
The tags can be helpful, particularly for people new to the gluten-free diet. While I have never known any ketchup to contain gluten, it might be helpful to some to see that a particular brand is identified as gluten free by the manufacturer.
It’s probably more helpful with items that do often contain gluten, such as frosting. Many cans of frosting have wheat listed on the label, but some brands are gluten free. In years past I have stood in the isle reading lots of frosting labels. Having tags that identify gluten-free items does not eliminate the need to read labels, but it narrows down how many you need to read.
There is also the possibility that an item will be tagged wrong or that you will misunderstand which product the label is referring to. So please, don’t depend entirely on these labels. They should be a time saving guide but not your sole source of information for determining if a product is gluten free.
The Giveaway: I have a $25 Safeway gift card (provided by Safeway) to give to one reader. The giveaway is limited to US residents.
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Disclaimer: I was provided with a $25 gift card that I used while checking out the Simple Nutrition tags. The opinions in this post are my own.