Some Lay’s Products Now Officially Gluten-Free!

The Canadian Celiac Association made an exciting announcement yesterday: some Lay’s potato chips are now certified gluten-free! (Read the release here.)

Here is the list of flavors:

  • LAY’S® Cheddar & Sour Cream Simulated Flavor Potato Chips
  • LAY’S® Classic Potato Chips
  • LAY’S® Dill Pickle Simulated Flavor Potato Chips
  • LAY’S® Fries & Gravy Simulated Flavor Potato Chips
  • LAY’S® Lightly Salted Potato Chips
  • LAY’S® Ketchup Simulated Flavor Potato Chips
  • LAY’S® Old Fashioned Bar•B•Q Simulated Flavor Potato Chips
  • LAY’S® Roast Chicken Simulated Flavor Potato Chips
  • LAY’S® Salt & Vinegar Simulated Flavor Potato Chips
  • LAY’S® Sea Salt & Pepper Simulated Flavor Potato Chips
  • LAY’S® Smokey Bacon Simulated Flavor Potato Chips
  • LAY’S® Sour Cream & Onion Simulated Flavor Potato Chips
  • LAY’S® STAX® Bar•B•Q Flavour Potato Chips
  • LAY’S® STAX® Cheddar Flavour Potato Chips
  • LAY’S® STAX® Original Flavour Potato Chips
  • LAY’S® STAX® Salt & Vinegar Simulated Flavour Potato Chips
  • LAY’S® STAX® Sour Cream & Onion Flavour Potato Chips
  • Wavy LAY’S® Smoky Bar•B•Q Flavor Potato Chips
  • Wavy LAY’S® Original Potato Chips

Note that STAX are in the list, which is great since Pringles are not gluten-free. My stomach thanks you Lay’s!

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  1. #1 by Dave on June 7, 2012 - 12:59 pm

    Woohoo, great news!! 🙂 I wonder…does that mean if I run down to the store right now, and buy one of these, it’ll be GF? Or are they just instituting their GF production now, and it’ll take some time to see the GF stuff in stores?

    And of course if CCA is certifying it, I’m assuming these will be produced on dedicated lines? Maybe that’s a poor assumption on my part, I don’t know?

    • #2 by glutenfree4hfx on June 7, 2012 - 2:15 pm

      Actually, I bought a snack size bag last month that was labelled gluten-free, so I am sure there are some on the shelves now.

      I am not a food labeling expert, but as I understand it, these products were always gluten-free. They just hadn’t been tested and certified before. http://www.fritolay.com/your-health/canadian-products-not-containing-gluten-ingredients.html has more information, but it is slightly out of date (May 2012) and does not reflect the new certification.

      • #3 by Dave on June 7, 2012 - 2:41 pm

        I’m no labelling expert either, but from what I understood in the past, because the chips were not made on dedicated lines, they could not be considered truly GF (and I would not want to take that chance anyway). So that’s why I’m curious whether the new CCA certification means that the CCA knows that they’re not made on dedicated lines and are certifying them as GF anyway…or whether it means that they now are made on GF lines and are thus only now candidates for the CCA certification. A fine point, perhaps, but an important one to many! 🙂

      • #4 by glutenfree4hfx on June 7, 2012 - 5:36 pm

        Yes, it certainly is important. I’d suggest contacting PepsiCo or the Canadian Celiac Association for more details on the certification program. 🙂

  2. #5 by Dave on June 7, 2012 - 5:50 pm

    Well, that was a good suggestion. I found details of the certification program easily enough on CCA’s website. This would seem to be the relevant paragraph:

    “Does recognition and certification apply only to dedicated lines?
    Dedicated lines and equipment used for gluten-free products greatly reduces the chances of cross- contamination. However, experience has shown that harmful residues in multi-ingredient production processes can be controlled or eliminated. As example, with appropriate cleaning methods and other procedures such as staging whereby non-gluten free products are manufactured after gluten-free products have been cleared out of the area, gluten-free integrity can be maintained. The company’s gluten-free management system would clearly need to include standard operating procedures possibly including equipment testing to verify that these lines can be safely used to produce gluten-free products.”

    And these are the steps that a business needs to take to achieve CCA certification:
    1. Develop a gluten-free management system for the facility.
    2. Have an on-site audit by a specially trained auditor.
    3. Apply to the CCA for permission to use the GFCP symbol.
    4. Have an annual audit to confirm that they are complying with the requirements of the program.

    (from http://www.celiac.ca/index.php/about-the-cca/certification/)

    So…basically there’s no guarantee that the chips are made in a dedicated facility (and indeed in Lays’ case I would assume they are not), but there is supposed to be enough of a cleaning program in place (or separation of gluten and non-gluten products along the production stages) that the CCA feels it is safe. They do point out that there is no such thing as “zero risk”, which I suppose is a fair point.

    After reading the certification requirements, the one thing I wish CCA would consider doing, which seems to be currently missing from their requirements, is periodic TESTING of the products. That might be impractical, but it would go a long way toward reassuring consumers that these certified foods are very safe.

    That being said, I feel pretty good about Lays at the moment, and I think I’m going to go grab a bag of their chips and snack on them tonight to celebrate 🙂 hehe!

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