Is it possible for an item that contains wheat to be certified gluten-free?
It is possible for a certified gluten-free product to contain wheat, but the wheat would need to be processed to remove all protein. An ingredient like wheat starch would be the most common example, and the ingredient would need to be tested to ensure that it meets our 10 ppm threshold.
“May contain” or “shared equipment” statements are voluntarily included on some products to alert wheat allergic consumers of the presence of wheat in a manufacturing facility, because people with wheat allergies can have a reaction to wheat fractions other than gluten, and there is no test available to detect these other fractions. The presence of wheat starch as an ingredient would be an example of where you might see a “Contains: Wheat” statement alongside a gluten-free claim. For purposes of choosing gluten-free products, these types of statements are not relevant. If you see this type of statement on a product that is certified gluten-free, the gluten-free labeling/certification means that it is gluten-free regardless of any “may contain” type statements and contains 10 ppm gluten or less.