Most people think that gluten-free diets are a modern fad, but Dr. Schar was producing gluten-free foods for children in the 1920s. However, the brand wasn’t exclusively free from gluten until 1981, when it started to focus on manufacturing celiac-friendly foods.
Schar has been a global gluten-free food pioneer for decades, and it’s a brand that creates simple products, such as puff pastry dough, table crackers, and shortbread cookies — all sans gluten. But are these foods actually safe for people on a gluten-free diet?
This post is informational only. Gluten-Free Grubbin’ will not receive compensation in any form for mentioning this brand or its products.
How Does Schar Avoid Gluten Cross-Contamination?
Schar’s website contains a wealth of information about gluten-free eating. One of the featured pages is the “A-Z of gluten free knowledge,” which answers commonly asked questions about the celiac condition and how to maintain a gluten-free life.
Interestingly, Schar doesn’t highlight how it avoids cross-contamination in its facilities. So we reached out to learn more. We specifically wanted to know if Schar products are created in a dedicated gluten-free facility.
On January 24, 2020, Schar sent us this reply:
Thank you for contacting Schar. We are happy to provide you with the information you requested.
Schar has been manufacturing gluten free foods in dedicated gluten free facilities for over 30 years. Schar is the world leader in Gluten Free food manufacturing.
Our breads that are sold in the United States are manufactured in our dedicated gluten free bread manufacturing facility in New Jersey. Our Pasta, Cookies and Crackers and Mixes are imported from our European facilities.
Schar uses the ELISA R5 Test, which is the official method established by the FAO Codex Alimentary Standard for Gluten Free Foods along with the European regulation 41/2009/CE defining gluten free foods.
Additionally both regulations fix the maximum content of gluten free foods at 20ppm. More than 95% of Schar products have a gluten content below the limit of determination which means below 5ppm gluten. The remaining few percent of Schar products are between 5ppm and 10ppm.
Schar is able to achieve these high standards through effective quality management and quality control which assures us from our raw materials to our finished products that Schar products meet all the established testing requirements.
I hope I was able to answer your question, but if you have any further questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to us.
Also, if you would like to keep up to date on the latest Schar news, recipes, occasional coupons and more please join our Schar Club here. You could also Like us on Facebook (Schar US) and Follow us on Instagram (@ScharGlutenFree).
Have a great day!Schar Consumer Service
Is Schar Safe for People on a Gluten-Free Diet?
First, I appreciated this thorough reply. It appears that Schar takes many precautionary steps to ensure that its products are safe for celiacs and people who need to eat gluten free.
I especially liked that most Schar products (95%!) come in at below 5 ppm gluten, which is great for people who are especially sensitive to gluten.
But Schar also said that some products can test as high as 10 ppm gluten. Which products, though? Is it possible that their gluten-free chocolate-dipped cookies can come in under 5 ppm gluten in one batch and reach 10 ppm in another? (I wonder if a disparity like this is common in the GF food industry.)
Why Does Schar Have Multiple Manufacturing Facilities?
Why is it that Schar gluten-free bread is made in the United States (specifically for sale in the U.S.), but the cookies, crackers, and pasta are imported from Europe? Bread has a short shelf-life, so importing it would likely lead to stale products.
Staleness is already a problem with some of Schar’s foods. We reviewed their Gluten-Free Chocolix bars (which are supposed to be Twix dupes), and the treats were so old and stale that the caramel had dried out. I can’t help but think that the bars would be fresher if they were made and sold in the U.S. Regardless, we’re pleased that Schar takes food manufacturing seriously by using dedicated gluten-free facilities.
What have your experiences with Schar products been like? Please share your stories by commenting below.
Go get your grub on!