Gluten free…but not suitable for coeliacs

Coeliac Association Malta

The Association keeps receiving, either by word of mouth or through posts on various social media
pages, information on an ever-increasing number of manufacturers and eateries that are offering
gluten free food.

Whilst this should be quite encouraging, we are also disheartened by the frequent reports where,
restaurants in particular, respond with the phrase “Yes, gluten free. But not suitable for coeliacs”.

We cannot but keep repeating that European, and therefore Maltese law is quite explicit on the
meaning of the phrase gluten free.

The use of this phrase legally binds the manufacturer or producer that any food item referred to in
this manner may contain up to a maximum 20 parts per million (20ppm) of gluten and, therefore,
is suitable for coeliacs.

No one, be it a restaurateur, producer or retailer can change the legal meaning and that there are
no two ways about it; it either is suitable for coeliacs or else it definitely isn’t gluten free.

We are certain that this is not going to be easy to resolve but we also firmly believe that, if every
one of us forcibly raises the issue whenever encountering such statements and then notifies the
Association with the details, we will then be able to publicly show the extent of this abuse thereby
creating enough pressure on the health authorities to put a stop to this by enforcing the law.

This is our problem and it is up to us to identify as well as report each and every incident until the
necessary enforcement is not only in place but effective protection for coeliacs is also continuously

Free free to report any incidents via our Contact page or by email: We also welcome any restaurant owners wishing to collaborate with us to improve the situation.