Celiacs – How to Deal with Customer Services

What to ask to customer services if you and/or someone you know suffer of celiac disease.
The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), which took effect on January 1, 2006, requires food labels to clearly identify wheat and other common food allergens in the list of ingredients. FALCPA also requires the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to develop and finalize rules for the use of the term gluten free on product labels.

******* Points to Remember * People with celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein in wheat, rye, and barley. * Untreated celiac disease damages the small intestine and interferes with nutrient absorption. * Without treatment, people with celiac disease can develop complications such as osteoporosis, anemia, and cancer. * A person with celiac disease may or may not have symptoms. * Diagnosis involves blood tests and, in most cases, a biopsy of the small intestine. * Since celiac disease is hereditary, family members of a person with celiac disease may wish to be tested. * Celiac disease is treated by eliminating all gluten from the diet. The gluten-free diet is a lifetime requirement. * A dietitian can teach a person with celiac disease about food selection, label reading, and other strategies to help manage the disease.

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