UNLABELLED Consumers, especially those with allergies and/or intolerances, should have confidence in two critical areas of food safety: foods should be correctly labelled and free from contamination. To this end, global proteomic analysis employing LC-MS/MS of gluten-enriched extracts derived from 12 barley cultivars was undertaken, providing a foundation for the development of MS-based quantitative methodologies that would enable the detection of barley contamination in foods. Subsequently, a number of candidate barley-specific peptide markers were evaluated by multiple-reaction monitoring MS. From an initial panel of 26, 9 peptide markers were unique to barley, yet present in a wide range of barley varieties. The analytical method was then used to examine a range of breakfast cereals and was able to detect barley in a barley-based breakfast cereal and a muesli, but additionally allowed detection of contamination of cereals that were comprised of ancient grains and in commercially-sourced flours, including amaranth, chia, buckwheat, millet, rice, corn, oats, rye, spelt and green wheat (0.01-0.08%). LC-MS/MS provides an alternative to ELISA approaches to monitor food safety and the identification of robust and sensitive cereal-specific peptide markers is the first step toward the adoption of this technology. SIGNIFICANCE Coeliac disease is a serious health issue affecting up to 70million people globally for which there is no cure. The only treatment is a life-long gluten-free diet. Contamination of foods can occur at many stages of food production from farm to fork. As such, accurate quantification and identification of the source (i.e. cereal) and type (e.g. gluten) of contamination is critical to the health and well-being of a subset of the population, including those affected by coeliac disease and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity.