Why do I need Gluten-Free Certification?
Gluten-intolerant individuals and those with celiac disease cannot rely on allergen-free products that only address wheat. There are many lesser-known sources of gluten, such as rye, barley, triticale, spelt, farina, kamut, farro, and couscous. SCS Gluten-Free accounts for these, and any potential vectors for introduction into the supply chain. Backed with finished product and raw material testing, SCS Gluten-Free is a process-based certification that uses proven and trusted methodologies to ensure consumers receive products that meet the most restrictive gluten-free requirements available.
Does my facility require an on-site inspection?
Facilities that are dedicated to the production of gluten-free foods and do not allow gluten-containing ingredients or oats within the facility are eligible for a virtual inspection. Facilities that use gluten-containing ingredients or oats in non-certified products in the facility will require an on-site inspection by an SCS auditor to ensure segregation and clean-out procedures are adequate and being followed.
How is SCS Global Services Gluten-Free standard different than other Gluten-Free standards such as GFCO, GFCP and NSF?
SCS’ gluten-free standard has some requirements that are stricter than Codex, USA, Canada, the EU and many other country standards. For instance, while the Codex standards, developed by the World Health Organization and UN Food and Agriculture Organization, allow up to 20 parts per million of gluten, SCS Gluten-Free certification requires that foods meet a standard twice that strict – no more than 10 parts per million. In our years of gluten-free certification, we have found that some standards often put unnecessary hurdles in the way of audits while not necessarily focused on areas of higher risk. As a risk-based certification, SCS looks at all operations, determines the risk of contamination, and then determines whether a virtual or onsite audit is required. We also look at all ingredients used in production, not solely at whether or not a facility handles gluten.
We are a US company and want to make sure we are following FDA regulations. Does the SCS gluten-free certification provide us with that assurance?
Yes. In fact, US FDA rerulations do not require 3rd party certification or validation and provide no direction on which certification protocol or testing model to follow. This leaves room for self-made labeling claims, which are often times not reliable. SCS gluten-free certification assures that the auditing and testing are done correctly and labeling claims are accurate.
How are SCS Gluten-Free audits different from other gluten-free standard audits?
First of all, not all of SCS audits are onsite. Some are virtual based on many variables at the facility. SCS also focuses on best-in-class testing practices, making sure clients are not only testing, but testing correctly, using ISO certified labs and AOAC certified test kits that help us ensure greater testing accuracy. We follow up on all testing protocols, keep testing on schedule, and provide year-over-year review so that there is a compendium of data to clearly show that all certification criteria was consistently met to ensure the safety of consumers.
Do all of our products have to be Gluten-Free in order to get certified, or can individual products be certified Gluten-Free?
No, all products at your facility do not have to be gluten-free, as long as they are labeled correctly and there is no cross contamination with the certified gluten-free products.
We are a facility that does not handle gluten, but we would like to get certified. Does SCS have to come onsite to do the auditing?
No, for facilities that do not handle gluten, SCS can certify based on a virtual audit.
What is SCS’ role in safe food labeling?
SCS is a certification body that carries out the rigorous audits and assessments required for food and beverage products to be certified under the SCS Gluten-Free Certification label. SCS offers a full suite of globally-recognized food and agricultural services under well-known certification labels such as Sustainably Grown®, USDA Organic, Non-GMO Verified, GlobalGAP, SQF, Fair Trade USA, EFI, and more. In addition, we provide training and professional consultation services. SCS is ISO-17065 certified by the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB).