By Mark Johnson
Here are a few tips from the Canadian Celiac Association – we wrote the book on gluten free.
- Gluten free means no protein from wheat, rye, barley, or oats.
- Gluten added to a manufactured product MUST be listed on the product label, in a CONTAINS statement or in the Ingredient list.
- The listing must include the common name of the grain: wheat, rye, barley, and oats. All forms of wheat must be identified as “wheat” including spelt, kamut, triticale, red fife, freekeh, etc.
- If a gluten grain appears in the May Contain list, the product is not considered gluten free.
- Look for flour, grains, and cereals that carry a “gluten free” claim from the manufacturer. Some of these products are made in facilities that also process wheat. A flour mill cannot be cleaned sufficiently between runs to process both.
- Gluten sometimes appears in unexpected places: broth, soy sauce, salad dressings, sauces, processed meat.
- READ EVERY LABEL EVERY TIME. Ingredient lists frequently change.
- It takes less than 50 mg of gluten to cause harm to someone with celiac disease – a few crumbs of bread.
- 50 mg of gluten can be transferred from dish to dish by cooking utensils, cutting boards, on a grill, in frying oil, in pasta water, on dirty gloves or aprons or even with airborne flour.
- Use separate utensils, separate cutting boards, and separate pans for gluten free food.
- Once a gluten ingredient or garnish has been placed on a plate, the plate is not servable as a gluten free dish. You must remake the plate with completely new ingredients.
- Make sure all garnishes are also gluten free.
- Notify the kitchen staff that a gluten free order has been placed, even for a dish that is naturally gluten free.
- Simple contact with a gluten ingredient is enough to contaminate a plate for a gluten free guest.
- Carry and serve the gluten free plate separately from the other plates at the table to avoid this contact.
- Confirm that this is a gluten free dish with the customer when it is served. Don’t be concerned if the guest asks you extra questions – people who will become ill from a small amount of gluten tend are always concerned about your ability to serve them a safe gluten free dish.
Pocket Dictionary of Ingredients – www.celiac.ca
Pocket Dictionary for iPhone and iOS – www.glutenfree247.ca
Cooking and Serving Gluten Free (workbook or training) – www.cuisineservicesansgluten.com
Gluten Free Food Preparation online training – www.CCAlearn.com
Gluten Free Food Service for the Hospitality Industry – coming very soon, inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gluten Free Certification Program – www.glutenfreecert.ca
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