NFCA to Conduct Further Study on Amber Designation
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) launched its Tiered Credentialing system in April 2012 in response to a growing concern in the restaurant industry around cross-contamination. While the NFCA recognizes the importance of alerting consumers to cross-contamination risks, the community response has prompted NFCA to reconsider the Amber Designation and related product labeling as an effective method to communicate these risks.
Given the public response and recent developments in this field, NFCA is suspending the use of “Amber” designation to describe a restaurant or foodservices establishment. We will conduct a review to determine the most effective and clearest way to warn the community of the risk of cross-contamination and the use of the phrase “Gluten Free.”
While we regret that confusion may have occurred in relation to the Amber Designation, we do welcome and appreciate the attention this important issue of gluten sensitivity and celiac disease has received through this dialogue. We note that the education of the public, healthcare providers, the restaurant and foodservice industry, and those who are affected by gluten-related disorders has been enhanced by this recent media coverage concerning these designation and labeling issues, as have the interests of those maintaining a medically necessary gluten-free diet.