June 2017 – Coeliac News Roundup

A relatively quiet month for news in the world of Coeliac and all things Gluten Free, here are a few articles that caught my eye:

Medical Research

New research shows a correlation between gastrointestinal infections in childhood and development of coeliac disease. Whilst this research did not identify a causal relationship, or the reasons why this may be the case, it does suggest that there is not a particular virus or infection that can cause coeliac; rather that the state of inflammation seems to be related.

Food Products

Another Gluten Free Product Recall

Hepworth & Co Brewers have recently recalled one of their varieties of gluten free labelled beer due to ‘excessive levels of gluten’.

You won’t have missed the recent explosion of gluten free beer varieties on the market – what many coeliacs may not realise is that this is predicated on the discovery that certain brewing methods can denature the gluten proteins in barley to the point where they can be tolerated by coeliacs; the majority of mainstream gluten free beers are actually barley-based. Presumably in this instance something when wrong in the brewing process. Debate among the coeliac community continues as to whether barley-based drinks should be called ‘gluten free’ – in the UK this is permissible if the gluten content is >20ppm, although barley will still be flagged as an allergen on the label.

Are lentils and pulses safe for coeliacs?

Whilst lentils and pulses are naturally gluten free (not to mention wonderful sources of fibre and plant-based protein), those without ‘may contain’ warnings can be hard to find. I recently found a few whole wheat grains in a package without any such warning and contacted the manufacturer. This has since also happened to fellow coeliac Sue Cane, who examines the issue in this article.

The Coeliac UK recommendation is to visually inspect and wash lentils and pulses before cooking.


Eating Out

Coeliac Accreditation for Chipotle

This London chain of Mexican-style takeaway restaurants is the latest to be awarded gluten free accreditation following staff training, new procedures & audits by Coeliac UK. Their gluten free offer does not extend to offering gluten free burritos, rather you can now just feel slightly more reassured that their pre-existing rice and salad-based dishes have been prepared with reasonable measures to avoid contamination.

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