Celiac Disease refers to those who require a Gluten Free diet. Since August of 2013 the hospitality and F&B industry has continuously become more aware of this term, when the FDA established the exact amount of gluten an ingredient may possess to accurately be termed ‘Gluten Free’, this being under 20ppm (particles per million).
In the food pyramid, the bottom-most base, that which includes food items abundant in regular diets, also represents the same items that are off-limits for Gluten-Free individuals. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and Malt, this meaning: anything made with wheat flour, such as most breads and pastas, hamburger and hot dog rolls, many breakfast cereals, breaded fish fillets, most cakes and pastries in the desserts section… so many dishes that a guest requiring a Gluten Free diet must be careful to avoid.
Luckily, with the growing understanding of this disease, it is easy for individuals, and restaurants, to find alternatives to offer a Gluten Free diet. Even cereal brands such as Cherrios have gone the distance to assure they are certified Gluten Free. Hotels can and should be ready with menu items that adhere to the gluten-free norms, same as they might have vegetarian and other special menus. Desserts can be made with almond flour. Gluten Free pasta dishes are made of Rice, Corn, or Quinoa flour replacing wheat flour.
It is usually the client who will inform us of a gluten-free request. On our side, our responsibility begins with being informed, and then preparing on how to best serve each of our guests.
We must develop and implement the system which allows clients the ability to pass information to us easily. Once a special request is received, it is again our responsibility to adhere, being aware that in the case of Gluten Free diets for example, this does not only limit the ingredients used but that we must also pay utmost care during food preparation – down to even paying attention to the oil used in the frying pan.