Tip of the Week
What is Coeliac Disease and how to cater for customers requiring gluten free foods. Are you fully aware of this disease and how to avoid cross contamination of gluten in your kitchen?
Here are a few facts
Coeliac disease is not a food allergy or an intolerance, but an autoimmune disease caused by a reaction to gluten.
Gluten is a protein found in grains, wheat, rye and barley. Some people with coeliac disease are also sensitive to oats. Gluten is also found in many favourite foods such as fish fingers, sausages, veggie sausages/burgers, gravies, sauces, stock cubes, soy sauce, salad dressings, soups and vinegar.
Tips to avoid cross contamination in your busy kitchen
Gluten-free food can be contaminated by food that contains gluten during preparation. Sources of contamination include:-
- breadcrumbs or flour on work surfaces or chopping boards
- utensils used for spreading butter, chutney, etc. onto bread
- using the same spread that is used for normal bread (will likely be contaminated with breadcrumbs)
- not washing hands between handling bread and gluten free bread.
- Contamination on meat being cooked on chargrill where bread rolls have been toasted – have a designated area for toasting buns
- Correct storage of gluten free products (store above foods containing gluten to ensure no cross contamination)
To avoid cross contamination when preparing a gluten free meal in a kitchen containing gluten – clean and sanitise work surface, use a clean chopping board and clean utensils and wash hands before preparing the food. If you use a lot of gluten free bread using a purple colour coded board may be useful.
If your kitchen is small and it is difficult to 100% guarantee that you can provide gluten free food, even though the dish has no gluten in the ingredients (for example, you have a lot of flour in the air as you make pizzas), just tell your customers this so they can make an informed decision.
Weekly Food Fact
Did you know that Gluten is the Latin word for “glue”. It is a group of naturally occurring proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and other grains. Gluten can be present in foods which you would not expect such as dressings, sauces, stocks etc.
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