Thursday, April 23, 2009

Consulting Services are Available

Consulting, training, Gluten-Free menu design, research, and authoring services are available.

For more information, please feel free to write to Dr. William Beverly, at, or send U.S. mail to P.O. Box 1271 Edinburg, TX 78540.

Your queries will be answered in a timely manner.

Also, if you are interested in other related topics, please view the affiliated sites at:


Gluten-Free Simplicity at

Gluten-Free Simplicity IQ Building Site

Gluten-Free Simplicity for Food Service Professionals

Monday, April 20, 2009

Are all the Cleansing Chemicals Gluten-Free?

Are the Dishwasher Chemicals, Table cleansers, and Hand Soaps all "Gluten-Free"?

Are Possible Surface Cross-Contaminations Prevented?

Are the fryers, Grill spots, and cutting boards where "Gluten-Free" items are prepared totally free of Gluten? (Why: Grills and Cutting Boards can be cleaned, but a batch of fry grease that has been used to cook breaded vegetables has gluten in it and cannot be used to prepare "Gluten-Free" French fries.)

See these articles: "What is Gluten Cross-Contamination?" and "A Gluten Free Guide: Cross-Contamination".

Are all of the Ready-Mixes Gluten-Free?

Are all Ready-Mixes used for “Gluten-Free” items actually “Gluten-Free” (e.g. Hollandaise Mix, Salad Dressings, and Brown Sauce)?

Are the Bread-Substitute type Items Gluten-Free?

Is there Gluten in items like Corn Bread, Corn Bread Stuffing, Corn Meal Fry or Bake Coatings, Nacho Chips or Corn Tortillas?

Are the Cheeses, Cold Cuts and other Menu Items Offered really Gluten-Free?

Are the cheeses and Cold cuts offered on the "Gluten-Free" menu actually "Gluten-Free"? (Why: The original plan could have been to offer hot dogs that are "Gluten-Free", but the the manager decided to get the others instead because they are about 1/2 the cost and in his opinion they taste the same.)

Has Gluten been Ruled Out among the Non-Suspected Pre-Made Items?

Has Gluten been ruled out as an ingredient in certain non-suspected Pre-made items such as pop corn, pop corn seasoning, potato chips, mints, bacon bits, condiments, candies, cold salads, desserts, cheesecakes and pre-portioned extras like ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, tarter sauce, cocktail sauce etc.? (Why: It could be that the Chef uses the prescribed "Gluten-Free" brand of ketchup in cooking, but the little packages of ketchup given to customers on to go orders are not"Gluten-Free".)

What about the possibility of Gluten with non-typical Items?

Are any of the items being used that are NOT prescribed among the Consultant or Corporate Brands possibly Gluten Coated (i.e., Rice, Frozen Foods and Marinated items etc.)?

Are All Possible Risks of Cross-Contamination in Check?

Is there possible Cross-Contamination of pre-shelled, pre-cut, pre-formed, pre-grated or milled items such as nuts, corn meal, canned fruits, cheese toppings, or prepped frozen potato items such as hash browns? If so, do any Staff members actually think it is acceptable to simply rinse off this item before serving in order to make it Gluten-Free?

Are the Brands of Prepared Cooking Seasonings Used in Gluten-Free Items actually Gluten-Free?

Are brands of prepared Cooking seasonings used on "Gluten-Free" items, actually "Gluten-Free" and MSG free? (i.e., Soy Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce, BBQ Sauce, Marination, Wine, Sherry, Alcohol, Juices, Stocks, Consumes, Sprinkled Taste Boosters and Seasoning Salts). (Why, It could be that the Chef likes to use a dash of his homemade meat tenderizer combination on ALL grilled and roasted entrees and this tiny dash has just enough Gluten to make it unsafe.)

Are Staff using Gluten-Free Brands of Prepared Items?

Are the brands of prepared sauces used in food preparation of "Gluten-Free" items known to be "Gluten-Free"? (i.e., Vinegar, Ketchup, Tomato Sauce, Jelly, Syrup, Yogurt, Sour Cream, and Peanut Butter etc.). (Why: Because even though the corporate recipe might call for a certain "Gluten-Free" brand of ketchup and mayonnaise used to make that Thousand Island Dressing, the Chef might have decided to use a different brand because it is less expensive -- and possibly Gluten-Contaminated.)

Are Prep and Line Staff using Prescribed Gluten-Free Products and Methods?

Are preparation and line staff using the prescribed "Gluten-Free" methods and ingredients for thickening Gluten-Free sauces, gravies, soups, puddings, ice creams, shakes, icings, and toppings etc? (Why: Perhaps the Chef has decided that flour-made Rouxs make richer cream soups than do those using Corn Starch.)

Have Staff been Trained to handle Gluten-Free needs Safely?

Have Staff been trained to leave Gluten-Contaminated off of plates upon request? Have they been trained to offer non-Gluten substitutes? (i.e., Can they leave off the toast and substitute it with grits; or how about some fresh fruit instead of pudding?)

Are Key Staff Aware of the Seriousness of the Effects of Gluten Exposure?

Are key Staff (i.e., Managers, Chefs, Bartenders, Waitrons and Buyers) aware of the possible adverse and long-term effects of Gluten-Exposure? (Why: Because staff who are aware of the seriousness of Gluten exposure may be more conscientious about serving Gluten-Free food.)

Can Key Staff Distinguish Gluten-Free from other Products?

Have key Staff (i.e., Managers, Chefs, Bartenders, Waitrons and Buyers) been oriented to the differences between Gluten-Free items and ingredients versus those with Gluten?

Dedicated to Using Gluten-Free Brands?

If you have a G-F menu, did the consultant or who ever designed it specify certain brand names for various items such as Vinegar, Rice, Pepperoni, Sauces etc. to use regardless of cost or convenience? Are Buyer & Chef aware of these requirements and either committed or required to use these brands? (Why: Because certain brands of various ingredients are Gluten-Free and Certain brands are not.)

How to Tell if a "Gluten-Free Menu" is Truly Gluten-Free By William T. Beverly, Ph.D.

First, it is important for me to acknowledge the efforts of Food Service People. For one, I am very grateful for their sincere attempts at constructively addressing the important consumer need -- "Gluten-Free".

As a person with Celiac Disease who spent many years (about 20) working in food service, prior to just as many years in higher education, I have closely examined "Gluten-Free" Menus whenever I have been afforded the opportunity. Following a brief period of wonder and gratitude, I could not help but start to notice the potential for misunderstandings that can lead to big problems.

By all means, please keep the "Gluten-Free" Menus. But at the same time, please consider these areas that may call for closer attention.

I can see for myself the various ways in which a food-service menu item advertised as "Gluten-Free" by well-meaning food-service planners and menu designers could be slightly altered by well-meaning restaurant staff to become Gluten-Contaminated.

Then I started thinking about how (given my experience) such maladies could fall between the cracks and become tragedies for both unsuspecting Celiac Disease or otherwise Gluten-Sensitive persons as well as for well-meaning restaurateurs.

I have constructed a list which if used wisely, can help both consumers and sincere food-service persons to rule out sources of potential Gluten Contamination in the best of "Gluten-Free Menu" -offering food-service establishments. Please feel free to print this list and offer a copy to the managers of your favorite dining establishments. And if anyone needs further clarification or could use some more focused help with this, I will be glad to accommodate. My contact information is at the bottom of the list.

In additional pages of this blog, I offer various things to consider and look out for when creating Gluten-Free menus.

For additional information, please feel free to browse my other related pages at G-F, G-F S at Wordpress, and the G-F S IQ Building Site.

Gluten-Free Menu for Food Service Professionals

My mission here is to provide resources for food service professionals and consumers as we all move toward valid Gluten-Free Menus for those who need them.