If you spot a food package label that says gluten free, you can now be pretty well assured that the label means what it says.
As of Aug. 5, all food manufacturers must be in compliance with a set by the Food and Drug Administration. The rule states that foods may be labeled "gluten free" only if there's less than 20 parts per million of the protein.
The new regulation is aimed at protecting people with celiac disease, a chronic autoimmune disorder that can destroy the lining of the small intestine.
Flare-ups of the disease can be set off by the consumption of even small amounts of gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and a few other grains. The FDA estimates that it affects about 3 million Americans.
"We're really celebrating," Beth Hillson tells The Salt. She founded Gluten Free Pantry, now part of the company Glutino, after being diagnosed with celiac. She also heads the .