Illness: Celiac Disease
What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac Disease is a genetic disorder of the small intestine and is characterized by sensitivity to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and possibly oats. When affected people eat gluten, their small intestine becomes damaged and they cannot absorb nutrients properly. Some common symptoms of celiac disease include diarrhea, increased appetite, bloating, weight loss, irritability and fatigue.
According to the Celiac Sprue Association, approximately 1 in 133 people have Celiac Disease making it the most common inherited genetic illness in the country. Based on these estimates, only about 3% of these people have been diagnosed. Celiac Disease is generally diagnosed with a series of blood tests (Celiac Blood Panel) followed by a duodenal biopsy. The only treatment for Celiac Disease is to follow a lifelong diet without gluten. Once gluten is removed from the diet, most symptoms subside within three to six months.
The level of gluten that is tolerable for individuals with celiac disease has been the subject of debate for many years. Research establishing a safe threshold of gluten consumption for those with celiac disease was recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study, conducted by members of the American Celiac Disease Alliance (ACDA) at the University of Maryland concludes that celiacs can safely tolerate up the 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten in food.
In 2006, The FDA released its proposal for labeling products as gluten-free which was required as part of the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA). The FDA listened to patients, food manufacturers, and members of the scientific community in developing the well-thought out proposal. Click here for a copy of the proposal. In this document, the FDA proposed a definition of "gluten free" that food companies would need to meet in order to make this claim on their label. The key recommendation is that any food labeled "gluten free" must not contain more than 20 ppm of gluten.
Amy’s Kitchen Products
Amy’s Kitchen manufactures a number of “Gluten Free” products all meeting the FDA guidelines for "gluten free" (i.e., <20 ppm gluten). We strive to make these products as delicious as our popular gluten containing products. We currently have over 100 products that are “Gluten Free”.
Click here to see all of Amy's Gluten Free Products
Amy’s Kitchen Policies and Practices
Amy’s has always had strict Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) to avoid cross-contact of our non-gluten products with gluten and we continue to strengthen these practices. The GMPs include strict raw material control, sanitation practices and employee training. We are constantly improving our practices to include more separation, a higher degree of testing and more in process checks. In the last year, we have increased our screening of critical ingredients to verify they are “gluten free” when they arrive at our plant. We continue to make efforts to minimize gluten in areas where gluten free items are processed. We have instituted a screening program to verify that equipment has been thoroughly cleaned between manufacturing runs. In addition, we have an in-house lab so that we are able to quickly screen ingredients and finished products to verify they meet the FDA “gluten free” standard of less than 20 ppm gluten. We are now routinely testing all Amy’s products that are labeled “Gluten Free” to verify they meet the FDA requirement.
Find out more about eating without Wheat with this great book by Karen Fine.
After my 22 month old son was diagnosed with celiac disease (now almost three years ago), we were unable to find any toddler-age book that would help us explain to him that everything was going to be okay. We didn't want him to go through life thinking that just because he had a different diet than some other children, didn't make him any less "normal." There are a lot of children on special diets for different reasons and we emphasized at home "not to make a big deal." He's now almost five years old and thriving thanks to the new products on the market from increased awareness about celiac disease, gluten intolerance and wheat allergies. A change in diet has changed our life and I hope to inspire other young children to live happy, healthy lives.
Said best by our consumers and supported by our employees, Amy’s is dedicated to providing our gluten-intolerant consumers with delicious natural and organic convenience foods:
Hello Amy’s Kitchen!
Well, having grown up on oatmeal and cream of wheat I had a hard time when I was told within the past year that I needed to follow a gluten-free diet. I have a number of health issues that just arose within the past year and a half and it has made quite a difference in my lifestyle. Always very thin, physically fit and on the go 24/7, the changes were not easy to make. In addition, I recently found and purchased your Cream of Rice Cereal Bowls and enjoyed them immensely. Very yummy and soothing to the tummy and I thank you for you creating such a clean food for me to eat.
Gina Maria Bekesz
Simply, thank you.
I just finished eating a frozen Baked Ziti Bowl from Amy’s Kitchen. My heart smiles right now because it was delicious and I am full. I cannot have gluten right now. It’s been 8 weeks, 8 hard weeks. Gluten-free food is not good. I have been spending a lot of $ on food that makes me sad. I had a long day and decided to try this tonight because I was too tired to cook. Most of the items I purchase out of curiosity, I’ve thrown out. This was the best dinner, hell, meal in general I’ve eaten in the last 8 weeks. Everyone at Amy’s Kitchen reached an individual this evening. Thank you for my moment of peace. Keep making wonderful food.
Thank you for your gluten free products. My daughter needs to be on a gluten free diet and she loves your Rice Mac and Cheese. I handed her a plate of your Mac and Cheese and she said "Mom, I can't eat this" and I was able to say, "Yes, you can." She ate the entire plate and asked for more. It was a big day in our house. Thanks Again!
I love Amy's Bistro Burger! You've given me a wonderful, tasty and healthy option that I look forward to eating (have had one a day for the past 4 days). I have not found any GF vegan burgers as wonderful as this. We love all your products, and have for years. Best wishes for continued success!
I've always been a big Amy's fan, but I would tend to shy away from the gluten free items in favor of their "real" counterparts. So I was a bit skeptical biting into the Rice Crust Cheese Pizza... but it was
amazing! In fact, it is honestly THE best frozen pizza I've ever had in my life.
Going from a vegetarian to a gluten free vegetarian has made a lot of areas in my life more challenging... especially when it seems like my family and friends don't understand why I won't "just eat meat". Thank you for reinforcing that I'm not alone. Thank you for convenient, quick, and TASTY foods even I can eat.
I wanted to let you know that after being sick for 20 years, I finally got diagnosed with Celiac Disease. The first thing I thought was "great, how many ways can you make tree bark taste good?" I have been on the diet for two months, and I have definitely noticed a big change in my energy level and overall health already. I am ADDICTED to your Gluten-free cheese enchiladas!! I live in Biloxi, MS, so it is really hard to find many of your Gluten-free products (mainly because when people see your products, they hog it and don't leave anything for anyone else-ha!), which has been a little stressful. When I do find them, I load up. I have had the Gluten-free Garden Lasagna and the Rice Crust Pizza everything has always been consistently wonderful. I just wanted to say a big thank you and your staff for offering products to people like myself that depend on quality food to live a healthier and happier life.
As a gluten-free vegetarian (now vegan!) I have wished a veggie burger existed that did not have wheat gluten in it. Your Bistro burgers not only fill this need but they are delicious! Thank you so much for these as they have made my life easier and tastier!
I started buying your products about 6 years ago because they tasted great. But now things have changed for me, I was diagnosed with Celiac and have started to cut out a majority of foods except for your products. You guys have saved my life! I now can continue to use your products because many of them are gluten free. What a relief. Thank you for all your hard work and please continue to expand your gluten free product line.
From Shabnam Ghazi
I was recently put on a gluten-free, dairy-free diet after years of eating whatever I wanted (hence the reason for going on a diet). I was nervous about the change, went to the store for new foods and was excited to see the Rice Crust Spinach Pizza with soy cheese since I had been craving pizza for a week. To my surprise, it was SOOO tasty. I had to refrain from eating it all! I can't wait to try your other things!
Thank you so much for your gluten-free meals! I used to eat several of your products as a vegetarian, but now I also have celiac disease. So, knowing everything is vegetarian and then finding many items gluten-free AND available at my grocery store is just a super treat! And I can't wait to try the pizza!
The Tofu scramble was my most recent purchase and I loved it! Thanks a bunch for making my busy (but gluten-free) life easier.
From Kristen Nowicki
Thanks so much for your frozen meals that have no wheat! My 22-month-old son has multiple food allergies and cannot have soy, wheat, peanuts or eggs. He loves the rice macaroni and cheese. He recently tried the rice crust pizza (which I know does have soy lecithin). I was so excited to find something "normal" that he could eat. Do you have any other products that have those limitations? Please let me know. There are several stores where I can buy your products (health food and Major supermarkets). Thanks so much for making feeding my son with multiple allergies a little bit easier.
I am allergic to wheat and think I have celiac disease, but am not diagnosed. I am also a vegetarian the vast majority of the time. I want you guys to know how much I love your food and how much I love being able to buy frozen dinners that don't make me sick. Sometimes I get grumpy looking at all the food I can't have, but being able to enjoy your products eased that a lot for me. Plus, when I have to eat at my desk at work, the smell of your food makes my coworkers jealous!
From Aimee H
For more information on Celiac Disease, visit the following websites:
For more Celiac web links visit our Links page in the FAQ section.