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Crossed Grain symbol gluten-free product certification – a standalone audit against the AOECS Standard for Gluten-Free Foods

The Association of European Coeliac Societies (AOECS) is a not-for-profit umbrella organization of 35 European national celiac societies. Its Crossed Grain symbol, which is licensed to companies meeting the requirements of the AOECS Standard for Gluten-Free Foods, signifies safety for consumers. It is promoted by celiac organizations worldwide and is recognized internationally.

Coeliac UK, a member of the AOECS, offers Crossed Grain Symbol certification for food and drink manufacturers and retailers, for products sold in the UK, Europe and globally.

Key facts about certification

  • There are three different types of license, depending on whether food companies are based in the UK, in Europe or globally
  • Products bearing the Crossed Grain symbol, and all ingredients used in these products, must contain 20 mg/kg (ppm) or less of gluten. Only products with multiple ingredients or processed products, such as fruit bars, can be certified. Products that are composed of a single ingredient or are unprocessed in nature, such as fresh fruit, cannot be certified
  • Manufacturing facilities producing AOECS certified products must go through annual audits and undergo finished product testing annually, using accredited laboratories
  • Additional products can be added to the certification at any stage throughout the year, without extra charges
  • The annual license fee varies according to the turnover and exports of the gluten-free products listed in the certification
  • AOECS audits may be performed as standalone or combined with a recognized food safety audit, including any of the GFSI audit standards
  • A BRC voluntary bolt-on module (Module 12) has been developed and is applicable to food manufacturers producing gluten-free foods in accordance with the AOECS standard

Steps to certification

  1. Identify the type of license and certification you need (EU, Global or UK), and then apply. There are no costs associated with completing this application form. Your annual certification/license fees will be calculated by Coeliac UK
  2. Ensure your facility is prepared for an onsite audit by conducting a self-assessment or gap analysis
  3. Book your audit with SGS
  4. Pass your audit and receive a certificate of compliance, issued by SGS, against the AOECS standard
  5. Use the certificate to complete your license application and obtain the right to use the Crossed Grain symbol
  6. Maintain the integrity of your certification by planning for your facility annual audits and conducting the necessary product testing

Learn more about licensing the Crossed Grain Symbol available through Coeliac UK.

How can SGS help?

We offer a range of solutions to help you with meeting the requirements for Crossed Grain symbol certification:

  • Self-assessment: we provide a self-assessment form, developed in partnership with Coeliac UK, that you can use to measure your readiness to proceed with an onsite audit
  • Gap analysis: a qualified SGS auditor will provide a detailed review of your company’s existing gluten management system, benchmarking it against the requirements of the AOECS standard
  • Certification: we audit and certify against the AOECS standard, using the official checklist for the scheme, which has been developed by our experts in partnership with Coeliac UK
  • Testing: we provide comprehensive testing for the detection of gluten in foods, using either Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) or Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) testing methodologies to determine the presence of gluten at low levels
  • Training: we offer training to cover the requirements of the AOECS standard and all aspects of gluten risk management and its effective implementation

Contact us today to discuss your requirements with a food safety expert.