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Gluten Free Products of Northern Ireland

Posted by Jenna Stevenson, Founder of BITETOSAVOUR on

Not long ago we ran an Artisan Food Shop in the Love Your Home Show in Belfast. It was an extremely busy show with thousands of people milling around, but the stand-out moments from the show were those who approached us enquiring about Gluten Free products. The reason they were stand out is because of the emotion behind the questions. Loads of people asking us about the Gluten Free options, and many delighted faces when we were able to match them with the right GF products for them. However, one family in particular inspired me to look into this further, write this piece (I promised!) and to create a clear range that would hopefully help those searching for Gluten Free products.

Coeliac vs Celiac
Apparently UK spells it Coeliac and globally it is Celiac. www.coeliac.org.uk is the authority on this so we’ll follow their lead!

“You can’t buy this mum … you might die!”

A mum, daughter (aged about 13) and auntie appeared on the stand. They held in their hand Katrina’s flour. Her brand is Gluten Free Patisserie. I know the story behind this, that she created the brand and range of products specifically for Coeliacs. Hence the brand name. The mum asked the simple question “Is this Coeliac safe?”. My reply was “Yes”. Her reply was “But it doesn’t say that it is from a certified coeliac kitchen on the packet?”. I told the story behind the brand and she seemed assured, at which point her daughter had a small melt-down. “You can’t buy this mum… you can't buy it … if it doesn’t say it isn’t safe… you might die!”

She was so agitated that the auntie took her off to calm her down whilst the mum explained that she was only just diagnosed a few days ago and her daughter was terrified that if she ate the wrong thing … she would die. The mum was brilliant. She was doing lots of research, finding out about this new ‘thing’ she now has in her life, educating her children, but stumbling upon an issue that whilst many products claim to be ‘Gluten Free’, there are very few that are ‘Coeliac safe’ i.e. from an audited Gluten Free kitchen. I promised that I would look into this, seek advice and do my best to help her and others where we can…


So, what’s the rough breakdown behind the letters ‘GF’?

There are four main categories from a consumer point of view for Gluten Free:

1. ‘Coeliac safe’ from an audited gluten free kitchen
2. ‘Coeliac safe’ certified gluten free produce (made in an audited gluten free kitchen)
3. ‘Gluten free’ but not certified ‘Coeliac safe’ (not made in an audited gluten free kitchen)
4. ‘Suitable for wheat allergies’

There may be other variations on this, but for the sake of this article and our basic classifications below to help you find the right products and producers here in Northern Ireland, this is clear. Legally also you will note the bolding of ingredients on all products now that have an ‘issue’ attached to them that might be harmful to the public.

1. ‘Coeliac safe’ from an audited gluten free kitchen

The kitchen is either 100% Gluten Free, or not. There is no in between. In ABC speak this has been set up specifically to produce for this market. It is not a kitchen that does both where there could be the slightest contamination. The companies go through a strict audited process outlined here: https://www.coeliac.org.uk/food-industry-professi...

2. ‘Coeliac safe’ certified gluten free produce (made in an audited gluten free kitchen)

To carry the ‘cross grain’ symbol the product has to be made in an audited gluten free kitchen and distributed safely. More details on this here: https://www.coeliac.org.uk/food-industry-professi...

3. ‘Gluten free’ but not certified ‘Coeliac safe’ (not made in an audited gluten free kitchen)

Many producers will make products that they would view as 100% GF, or as close to as possible, but are unable to get certification because the kitchen isn’t auditable, they are too small and can’t afford to get the certification or because they are happy that their product is safe enough for all but those on the serious end of the Celiac scale. Indeed many people will chose a Gluten Free diet for their own health and well-being lifestyle and so this is all they would need to know.

4. ‘Suitable for wheat allergies’

I found a great article on this site which sums this category up well: https://www.verywell.com/wheat-allergy-vs-gluten-... Question: What's the difference between a wheat allergy and a gluten allergy? Answer: A wheat allergy and a gluten allergy are actually two very different things. One is a diagnosable medical problem while the other is non-medical shorthand for several different possible conditions. And beware: foods that might be okay if you have a wheat allergy may not be okay if you have a "gluten allergy," (and vice versa). 


The Coeliac Safe, Gluten Free and Suitable for Wheat Allergy artisan products of Northern Ireland


> ‘Coeliac safe’ from an audited gluten free kitchen

• Moditions - http://moditions.com
• Pizzado - http://www.pizzado.com
• Ruby Blue Spirits - http://www.rubybluespirits.com


> ‘Coeliac safe’ certified gluten free produce (made in an audited gluten free kitchen)

• Moditions - http://moditions.com
• Pizzado - http://www.pizzado.com


> ‘Gluten free’ but not certified ‘Coeliac safe’ (not made in an audited gluten free kitchen)

• Amberline Preserves: https://www.facebook.com/amberlinepreserves.alici...
• Baked in Belfast - http://www.bakedinbelfast.com (except products containing Whiskey & Guinness)
• Blackfire Artisan Foods - https://www.facebook.com/Blackfirefood
• Broighter Gold - http://www.broightergold.co.uk
• Burren Balsamics - https://www.burrenbalsamics.com
• Corndale Farm Chorizo - http://www.corndalefarm.com
• Erin Grove preserves - http://www.eringrove.com
• Gluten Free Patisserie - https://www.facebook.com/glutenfreepatisserie
• Gourmet Mallow Company - https://www.facebook.com/The-Gourmet-Mallow-Compa...
• Habanero Steve - http://shop.bitetosavour.com/shop-by-brand/habane...
• Harnetts Oils: http://harnettoils.co.uk
• Just Live a Little GF Granola - http://www.justlivealittle.co
• Made with Love - https://www.facebook.com/MargaretCooperMadeWithLo...
• Margaret Cooper Handmade Jams - https://www.facebook.com/margaret.cooper.39545
• Neary Nogs Chocolate: http://www.nearynogs.com
• Panacea Drinks - http://www.panaceadrinks.com
• Papas Minerals - http://www.papasmineralcompany.com
• Pop Notch popcorn: http://popnotch.co.uk
• Red Dog Foods - http://reddogfoods.co.uk
• Ruby Blue Spirits - http://www.rubybluespirits.com


> ‘Suitable for wheat allergies’

• Amberline Preserves: https://www.facebook.com/amberlinepreserves.alici...
• Baked in Belfast - http://www.bakedinbelfast.com (except products containing Whiskey & Guinness)
• Broighter Gold - http://www.broightergold.co.uk
• Burren Balsamics - https://www.burrenbalsamics.com
• Corndale Farm Chorizo - http://www.corndalefarm.com
• Gluten Free Patisserie - https://www.facebook.com/glutenfreepatisserie
• Harnetts Oils - http://harnettoils.co.uk
• Made with Love - https://www.facebook.com/MargaretCooperMadeWithLo...
• Moditions - http://moditions.com
• Pizzado - http://www.pizzado.com
• Papas Minerals - http://www.papasmineralcompany.com
• Red Dog Foods - http://reddogfoods.co.uk
• Ruby Blue Spirits - http://www.rubybluespirits.com


I hope this article is useful to a few of you. We will of course keep it updated over the years. Feel free to make contact with me if you’d like to connect with the N.Irish GF producers as a group (to run a showcase, write an article…), if you’re a chef with a GF recipe that includes N.Irish artisan GF produce you’d like to share or if you’d like to put together NI Gluten Free hampers or food boxes. I’m more than happy to help. A few useful links I’ve found related to this article below.

Useful links
https://www.coeliac.org.uk – the authority. If in doubt please make contact. They are there to help
http://www.glutenfreeliving.com/ - this is a great site for recipes, advice etc

Special mention
Gluten Free Fi: http://www.glutenfreefi.com - a Northern Irish girl who is doing her bit to help those needing Gluten Free advice and recipes. Well worth a follow!

Bitetosavour Gluten Free Box