Testing Transparency: How We Ensure Quality and Safety of One Degree Oats


Oat Testing
Glyphosate Free
Heavy Metals
Date Tested
Jesse Letkeman
February 2023
Joey Neufeld
March 2023
Jake Letkeman
April 2023
Wild Rose Farm
May 2023
Rick Klassen
June 2023

At One Degree Organic Foods, our commitment to total food transparency begins with knowing the farmers, co-ops, and processors who make and grow the ingredients we use.

But there is more to transparency than simply making sure every ingredient we source for our family-friendly foods meets the highest standards of organic, plant-based, and sustainable farming practices.

Earning your trust does not end with the relationships we build with our farmer partners. Or even with One Degree Organics’ source code technology that lets you trace every ingredient and meet the farmers who grew them.

We also use a rigorous collection of third-party certifications and quality assurance testing throughout our entire production process—from the moment our clean, organic ingredients arrive at our facilities, all the way to the packaged oats we ship to your favorite store.

Why? Because we know you care as much about the quality and safety of the foods you feed your family as we do.

Keep reading to learn about how we use testing and certifications to make sure the One Degree Organics oats you put on your table are the very best on the market.

In this Testing Transparency article:

Allergens: Peanut- and Tree Nut-Free Oat Facility

Whether you choose rolled, quick, or steel cut, our certified organic sprouted oats are processed in peanut- and tree nut-free facility. We do not work with nut ingredients of any kind. And we have all necessary safeguards and protocols in place to ensure no cross-contamination happens from the ingredients that come into our oat facility—or from the team members working there.

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Gluten: Certified Gluten-Free

As a grain, oats are naturally gluten-free. But it is very common for a crop or container of oats to be contaminated with gluten-containing grains like wheat or barley. (Even if a farmer only grows oats, other grains may be mixed into seed stock, or find their way to a farmers’ fields by wind or wing).

To ensure the oats we receive directly from our farmers as close to gluten-free as possible—and that every bag of One Degree Organics sprouted oats you take home to your family live up to certified gluten-free claims—we have multiple checks and tests throughout our production process:

  • Receiving:
    Before a shipment of oats is accepted into our facility, a sample is screened for any foreign items—including gluten-containing grains. The ratio of gluten-containing grains to oats must be below our threshold to ensure we can effectively remove them during processing. Shipments of oats are only accepted once they pass this initial screening.
  • Post-Sprout Sorting:
    After we sprout our organic oats, they go through an optical sorter that uses a high-resolution camera and bursts of air to remove any other grains, contaminants, or foreign objects from the field. After sorting, our organic sprouted oats go through a full round of testing for any trace of gluten in the batch.
  • Before Bagging:
    After our organic sprouted oats are turned into rolled, steel cut, or quick varieties—and before they are put into bags and sealed—a final inspection is completed to ensure they meet gluten-free certification standards.

(As we use different third-party gluten-free certifications depending on the product and the country in which it is sold, please check out the Who Certifies Your Gluten-Free Products / Which Gluten-Free Certifications Do You Use? section on our FAQ page for the full list of gluten-free certifiers).

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Organic: Certified Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified

One Degree Organics only partners with farmers whose farms are certified organic by USDA Organic, Canadian Organic Standards, or Quality Assurance International (QAI) and qualify to bear the applicable certification USDA Organic, Canada Organic, or QAI logos.

These certifications are strictly regulated and ensure all organic foods are grown using natural farm practices that promote ecological balance, biodiversity, soil and water quality—and avoid the use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, or genetic engineering.

By using certified organic ingredients grown using plant-based organic farming practices, and processed in certified organic facilities, you can be sure One Degree Organics oats are pesticide-free and always non-GMO.

In addition to being certified organic, our oats are also Non-GMO Project Verified to confirm our commitment to using only non-GMO ingredients.

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Glyphosate: BioChecked Non Glyphosate Certified

You cannot be certified organic and use glyphosate on your farm. But despite having organic certification, a farm may still be exposed to glyphosate through water run-off and wind if nearby farms are using it. That is why we choose to go the extra mile and send our certified organic oats to a third party to have them tested for glyphosate. BioChecked Non Glyphosate Certified means One Degree Organics oats are truly 100% certified organic and glyphosate free.

Displaying the BioChecked Non Glyphosate Certified logo on our packaging is not a one-time thing—it is an ongoing commitment. We have one random sample from a specific oat farmer tested every month to make sure we continue to meet this standard.

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Foodborne Pathogens and Microbiological Testing

Under US FDA and USDA regulations, and Canada’s CFIA and Safe Foods for Canadians regulations, all food manufacturers are required to follow strict preventive control programs and verification testing for foodborne pathogens and other unwanted microorganisms and organic toxins[1],[2].

Mandated microbiological testing of each batch is only one part of making sure our oats are free from foodborne pathogens like Listeria, Salmonella, E. Coli 0157:H7, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus cereus—as well as funguses like yeast and mold, and mycotoxins like Vomitoxin.

Consistent use of preventive controls for microbiological hazards at all stages of production are key. At One Degree, we use a collection of preventive controls appropriate to our facility and the food we produce—as well as regular product testing—to make sure our oats meet the highest standards for food safety.

Random samples of specific farmers’ oats are tested every month as just one of countless preventive controls we use in our facilities.

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Heavy Metals: Arsenic, Lead, Mercury and Cadmium

Arsenic, lead, mercury, and cadmium are heavy metals of concern to human health. Because they are elements that occur widely in naturally-occurring deposits in the Earth’s crust—and thus in soil and water—they can accumulate in the food supply through plants and other foods people eat.[3]

While both US FDA and Health Canada have established maximum allowable limits for heavy metals in drinking water, there are no set limits on arsenic, lead, mercury, or cadmium in food in either the United States[4] or Canada[5].

Food producers and manufacturers are forbidden to add heavy metals as adulterants on purpose. And under regulations that require preventive controls, they are also responsible for reducing risk of accidentally adding these elements in foods.

But regulators on both sides of the border expect arsenic, lead, mercury, and cadmium to be present at low levels in food because they occur naturally in the environment.

And in the absence of a specific maximum level, regulators assess the safety of heavy metals in food on a case-by-case basis using the most current scientific data.

But at One Degree Organics, we know consumers expect—and deserve—better. That is why we do not stop at the minimum preventive controls required. We have increased our testing for heavy metals as of 2023, selecting random samples from specific oat farmers every month for testing.


To learn more about how we make our sprouted oats—including all the steps we take and tests we run to ensure quality from the farm to your spoon—check out this article.

We will update this article to include other One Degree Organics products over time. Check back soon! In the meantime, scroll down to sign up for our email newsletter. Follow us on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook for inspiration. Or reach out with specific questions through our Contact page.

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[1]Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Understanding the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations: A handbook for food businesses: Regulatory Requirements: Preventive Controls: 2.1 A: Responsibilities of operators (SFCR: Sections 47 and 48). 2022-05-26. Available from: https://inspection.canada.ca/preventive-controls/regulatory-requirements/eng/1616007201758/1616008092049?chap=0, accessed August 25, 2023.

[2]National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF), U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Microbiological Testing by Industry of Ready-to-Eat Foods Under FDA’s Jurisdiction for Pathogens (or Appropriate Indicator Organisms): Verification of Preventive Controls. Adopted April 22, 2021, Washington, DC. Available from: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media_file/2022-03/NACMCF_2018-2020_RTE_Testing.pdf, accessed August 25, 2023.

[3]Wong, C., Roberts, S., Saab, I., Review of regulatory reference values and background levels for heavy metals in the human diet. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, volume 130, April 2022, 105122. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0273230022000095, accessed August 28, 2023.

[4]Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, 21 CFR Part 109: Unavoidable Contaminants in Food for Human Consumption and Food-Packaging Material. Authority: 21 U.S.C. 321, 336, 342, 346, 346a, 348, 371. Source: 42 FR 52819, Sept. 30, 1977, unless otherwise noted. Available from: https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-21/chapter-I/subchapter-B/part-109, accessed August 28, 2023.

[5]Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Pesticides and Metals in Grain Products and Ready-to-Eat Meals – April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017, Food chemistry – Targeted surveys – Final report. 2020-10-07. Available from: https://inspection.canada.ca/food-safety-for-industry/food-chemistry-and-microbiology/food-safety-testing-reports-and-journal-articles/pesticides-and-metals-in-grain-products-and-ready-/eng/1598548756758/1598548757243, accessed August 28, 2023.

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